Dear Rainbow Families,
The year is flying, and your Rainbow children are truly growing by leaps and bounds. It’s so exciting to see how well they are now negotiating the classroom routines and partaking more deeply in the activities, projects, and discussions of the Rainbow Room. The teachers’ focus on establishing clear, consistent routines is really paying off! The children are also enjoying their weekly small group times during which they “plan-do-review.” That is, a small group will go into a classroom area (e.g., dramatic play, blocks, art) with their small group teacher and each child will “plan” what she/he wants to do (e.g., pretend to make dinner, build a tower, paint at the easel), then “do” the plan, and finally orally “review” what she/he did with the small group. This process gives the Rainbows an opportunity to plan and play “intentionally” and then to reflect on what they did (and to talk about this accomplishment proudly with their classmates), mental skills that will continue to be honed as they move through their schooling. It also provides our children an opportunity to try out different areas of the classroom that they might not necessarily gravitate towards.
Over the past few weeks the Rainbows have been focusing on an “All About Me” curriculum that has allowed them to look at themselves in so many ways. They have made full-body self-portraits at the easels, with each child choosing from an array of skin-colored paints to portray themselves. They have also made smaller and more focused self-portraits of their faces. For these, the children studied their faces in a mirror, looking at their eye color, hair color, and skin color. Then they drew their faces with a Sharpie and mixed different colored paints (brown, yellow, orange, white, as well as multicultural colors) together to match their skin tone, applying the paint to their portrait with a Q-tip (excellent fine motor activity). Finally they picked different colored yarn for their hair and googly eyes for their eyes (some further enhanced with markers) and applied them with glue, completing their self-portraits. Please be sure to check out these delightful depictions!
The Rainbows have also read many books that relate to “All About Me” including “I Like Me” by Nancy Carlson, a wonderful book of self-affirmation; “Shades of People” by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly, a book that explores our multitude of skin colors; and “What I Like About Me: A Book of Celebrating Differences” by Allia Zobel-Nolan (with illustrations by Miki Sakamoto), a book that embraces the differences that make us special and unique. The Rainbows have had several discussions tied to these books, talking about their favorite foods, what makes them happy, and what they like about themselves. Please be sure to take time to read these responses on the experience charts posted around the classroom. And have you heard the Rainbows singing “I Like Me” with lyrics by the Rainbow teachers? It has become a fast favorite in the classroom.
While the Rainbows have been exploring “All About Me,” they have also been learning about how their bodies work. Connected to their self-portraits, the Rainbows read and discussed “Your Eyes and Ears” by Justin McCory Martin, a scientific look into our eyes and ears, and “The Skeleton Inside You” by Philip Balestrino (illustrated by True Kelley), a very informative book about our bones, joints, and ligaments, and one that has tied in well with examining how we can do all the wonderful activities that we enjoy (drawing, running, jumping, etc.).
1) Please be sure to remember your Parent-Teacher conference this week – November 18, 19, or 20.
2) International Food Day: Please bring a family-special dish to share on Friday, November 21. And if you haven’t turned in your family poster or food story yet, please bring them in ASAP.
3) Rainbow Special Day – November 24: “Bring a Stuffed Toy to the Gym” Day
4) Rainbow Special Day – November 26: “Bring Your Favorite Food for Lunch” Day
1) Drop-Off – please be sure to have your child stop in the bathroom to wash hands before entering the classroom every morning as a way to prevent the spread of germs. Thank you!
2) Pick-Up – when you pick up your child, please refrain from lingering. We understand that it can be very enjoyable to watch your child at play and to observe school activities (and sometimes it’s a little tricky when your child wants to keep playing), but children who have later pick-up times can become anxious and unsettled if they see their classmates’ parents but not their own. So, please stay no longer than 5 minutes in the classroom (or gym) when picking up your child. FYI – if you arrive when the class is in a circle time or having “Music with Brian,” please wait in the hallway so as not to disrupt the class or find Lauren or me to help if you need to leave immediately.
Thanks very much,