Dear Rainbow Families,

So many exciting activities in the Rainbow Room, centered on Music, Spring, Trains, Recycling and the Earth, and Books.

Music – as the Rainbows continue with their Music Curriculum, Fred has been doing weekly circles with the children to learn about and share a different percussion instrument, e.g., the drum, xylophone, maracas, triangle, tambourine, and cymbals. They’ve talked about where these instruments come from, what they are made out of, what they sound like, where you find them, and how to make different types of sounds with them. The children have also tried out all these different instruments and made music together, including playing together to songs from different countries in Africa. Some books they have read include “Barnyard Dance” by Rhonda Gowlen Green and “Ah, Music” by Aliki.

Spring – we never thought it would arrive, but finally, spring is here. The Rainbows helped welcome spring – and spread spring cheer – by walking in their very own spring parade along Seventh Avenue, where they gave out paper flowers (made from tissue paper and pipe cleaners) to pedestrians and gave flower pots of home-made flowers (made from squeezy tops and pipe cleaners) to the workers at some local establishments, including Cousin John’s and Duane Reade. They have also painted spring flowers using both tempera paints at the easels and watercolor paints at the art table; drawn and water-colored pictures of themselves on a spring day; made kites out of sticks, tissue paper, glue, ribbon, and yarn; and talked about how they know it’s spring. Please check out these displays on the classroom walls and hanging from the ceiling. Some books they have read include “How Do You Know It’s Spring?” by Allan Fowler and “Swamp Spring” by Carol and Donald Carrick

Trains – the Rainbows have had so much fun pursuing their interest in trains, especially subway trains. They have made their very own MetroCards out of index cards, markers, and pencils, plus they have made pretend subways trains in the classroom by setting up chairs for seats and using their class mailbox as a MetroCard swiper. They also talked together about where they would like to go if they could take a trip on a train – please see their drawings and responses on the closet doors. And they even took two actual rides on the real subway – once on the 3 train and once on the B train. These trips were very memorable as many children recognized familiar subway stations along the way, plus they took time to sit in the Grand Army Plaza station and wave to the conductor and passengers as they¬†watched the trains pass by. Some books they have read include “Trains” by Gail Gibbons and “Hey! Get Off Our Train” by John Burningham.

Recycling and the Earth – the Rainbows have been very absorbed in learning about recycling. They have had problem-solving discussions to think about why we recycle and how it helps the earth. They have also learned about the different ways we sort materials (glass, plastic, metal, and paper) and discovered the different types of recycling receptacles on Seventh Avenue. They have also brainstormed together what they can make out of recyclable materials – and wow, how these ideas have taken off as the children have assembled and painted these materials to create assorted group art pieces! Please take time to look at their art – and the accompanying photographs that invaluably document the art process – on the stairwell walls and outside the classroom. Some books they have read include “Recycle!” by Gail Gibbons, “Blue and Beautiful: Planet Earth Our Home” by Ruth Rocha and Otavio Roth, and “I Love My Planet Earth” by Laura Gates Galvin.

Books – due to the high number of books that have been torn in the Rainbow Room, the Rainbow teachers decided to focus on books, especially to discuss with the children why this has been happening and how we can work to take care of books. The children thought deeply about this classroom issue and brainstormed ideas of what they can do, e.g., put books back on the bookshelf instead of leaving them on the floor where they can be stepped on and turning pages carefully because paper rips easily. To emphasize the specialness of books, the teachers asked the children to bring in a favorite book from home to share with their classmates. The teachers noticed how protective the children were with their own books, an observation that helped solidify the need to care for all our books. They topped off this examination of books by taking a trip to the Community Bookstore (owner Ezra Goldstein is a former Collective parent!) where they read a wonderful pop-up book about New York City.

IMPORTANT DATES:

Wednesday, May 6 – “Bring a muffin to share with your child” Day

Thursday, May 7 – Collective closed for Staff Development Day

Tuesday, May 12 – Thursday, May 14 – Parent-Teacher Conferences in the Rainbow Room (be sure to sign up for yours)

Thursday, May 21 – Bring a seed to school for planting

Monday, May 25 – Collective closed for Memorial Day

Enjoy the week!

Martha