Dear Brancher families,

What a marvelous month it has been! May brought us a mix of weather! We had some rainy and windy days and warm, sunny weather!  The perfect weather to start growing our knowledge of plants and gardening! We like to take a deep dive into gardening during May because, as they say, “April showers bring May flowers!” Gardening is always such a fun and exciting study for both the teachers and the students. It allows us to see the growing process from start to finish and get our hands dirty! Plus, the results are always beautiful in the end! 

This year, the Branch classroom expanded its growing space! All the Branchers worked hard to clear the space by the fence. Then, we spread out fresh soil to cover the ground for our new garden. After the soil wasspread out, the Branchers made sure to water it all down so it would be ready for seeds! 

We started off our study by learning about seeds and looking at different types of seeds. We compared the size and color of the seeds and talked about how we could even eat some seeds! Like the little white seeds in our watermelon at lunch or sunflower seeds. The Branchers even got to taste-test chia seeds and hemp hearts! After trying chia seeds, most of the Branchers decided the texture was not their favorite for eating but looked perfect for playing! So that is what we did: we hydrated the chia seeds and opened them up for sensory play. The Branchers loved the ooey-gooey texture! 

After preparing the garden space and learning about seeds, the Branchers got ready to plant! We gathered supplies from the greenhouse to start planting. We filled six galvanized pails outside with potting soil and placed them in a safe, sunny spot. Then the Branchers got to have a turn placing either a green bean or a pea seed into the pot. After that, we used wooden dowels to form a trellis for the vines to climb when ready. Next, we started planting in the rest of the garden. We planted Mammoth and Skyscraper sunflower seeds along the fence line and sprinkled wildflower seeds over the rest of the soil. Lastly, we planted our very own thornless blackberry bush. A Berry Big Thank You to the Little Family for donating the blackberry bush to our classroom!

After all the planting was complete, the Branchers did an excellent job watering our seeds and singing songs while we were outside to help our seeds grow big and strong! We are patiently waiting for more sunshine to see our sprouts pop through! We can’t wait to continue to watch them all summer and enjoy the fruits of our harvest.

During circle time, we read Jack and the Beanstalk. All the Branchers loved the story, but what they loved even more was a fun, story-telling song about Jack and the Beanstalk. After learning about Magic Beans, we got a few magic beans ourselves. What made our beans so magical is that they could grow WITHOUT soil! So we placed each bean into a ziplock baggie with a damp tissue and taped it to the window. After a week or so, that bean began to sprout! Some of the beans grew so big they came out of their bags! Seeing their roots and how a bean grows out of its shell was interesting. 

When exploring the various parts of a flower, we put our lab coats on and got to work by performing our very own Radical Rainbow Blooms! We conducted a color test with white carnation flowers by placing each flower with various food colors into the water. As time passed, we watched as the flowers soaked up the water and began to turn the color of the water they were in.  What a great visual of how a flower’s stem can be used as a “straw” to soak up water and bring it up towards the pistols and petals of the flower.

Every month is complete with some beautiful art created by the Branchers! As for art this month, we enjoyed reading Eric Carle’s The Tiny Seed. So we tried to make some art inspired by Eric Carle. We loved the texture of his artwork, so the Branchers mixed paint colors together using texture rollers to create a beautiful print. After the paint had dried, the Branchers practiced their cutting skills and cut out the different parts of the flower: a stem, leaves, a center, and petals. We assembled all the pieces and created a beautiful wall of flowers! 

Next up, self-portraits. This month, we cut out petals to form our self-portraits in the shape of a flower. Each Brancher got to choose which color they wanted for their petals and drew themselves in the center of the flower. Their self-portraits are improving and becoming very detailed.  

Lastly, we practiced our cutting skills some more with a shape salad. We had a great time discussing how different fruits and vegetables grow: in the ground, on a tree, or the vine.  We also saw Branchers excited to try new foods at the table and focus on eating good foods to help their bodies grow.   

As this month nears an end, it is fun, as always, to reflect on and discuss as a group some of the fun, hands-on, engaging, and informational things we have all enjoyed learning! Make sure you ask your Brancher what their favorite discovery was in May.

Can you believe June is upon us already? Bring on the summer weather, sunshine, and insects… That’s right, insects. Our upcoming study is Insects and Arachnids!

Happy Fathers Day

Miss Gracen  and Miss Heather         

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