Dear Rainbow Families,

There have been two major curricular foci in the Rainbow Room these past weeks – recycling and trees – with both of them avidly pursued by the Rainbow children. Recently the Rainbows talked together about things they can recycle, then followed this discussion by making their own paper in the classroom. They took old newspapers and circulars, tore them into small pieces, put the pieces in a blender with water, blended these materials into a pulp, spread the pulp across a screen to make a rectangular shape, sponged it, peeled it off, and let it dry. Voila! The children had paper! The children also made colorful garden pictures by gluing recycled squeezy tops, plastic bottle tops, and yarn (for the stems) onto pieces of cardboard. Another day the Rainbows celebrated “Recycling Day” throughout the classroom. In the art area they drew with washable markers on the art table (with the caveat that you must have permission to do this 🙂 and on old cereal boxes; on the carpet they took long pieces of bumpy cardboard and cardboard wedges (found in new shoes) to make tracks and other constructions; at the manipulative table they sorted, stacked, and built with squeezy tops on black mats; and in the science area they worked with goop and bottle caps. And on another day the children made binoculars with recycled toilet paper rolls, plus colored tape, laminating paper (for the lenses), popsicle sticks, and yarn. Originally the teachers were going to have the children use these binoculars specifically for bird-watching, but because the children are so excited about trees, they went tree-watching instead!! This was a wonderful trip to the Prospect Park Meadow. Not only did the Rainbows look at trees, they also found larvae, a spider web, dandelions, and some birds. They also talked about what a landscape is, then each Rainbow used a pencil and paper to sketch a landscape from where she/he was sitting. They also observed a man painting a landscape right there in the Meadow. Finally the Rainbows found their “watching tree” and observed how it looks in spring.

Some recent books read by the Rainbows include “From Acorn to Oak Tree” by Jan Kottke, a clearly-written and vividly-photographed book about the life cycle of an oak tree; “Be A Friend to Trees” by Patricia Lauber, a wonderful book about all the ways that trees help people and animals; and “A Mango in the Hand” by Antonio Sacre (with illustrations by Sebatsia Serra), a delightful tale of a boy who is finally old enough to pick the family’s mangoes and the obstacles he encounters. Dawn brought in a mango for snack following that last book, and the children took turns holding it, then joked about how she climbed a tree to get it for them. The Rainbows also painted a tree of their choice – cherry, banana, mango, apple, oak – at the easels, made a bird feeder out of a clear, plastic cylinder (to be hung on the watching tree), and made individual pictures (using Sharpies, pastels, glue, seeds, and cardboard) of a bird eating seeds. These pictures can be found displayed on the closet doors.

Some recent words of the week:

flowers – flores

tree – arbol


Pick-Up – When you pick up your child, please refrain from lingering. I know that it can be wonderful to watch your child at play, but children who have later pick-up times can become anxious, sad, and/or 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. Thank you!

Planting – Please send in an empty 32-oz (or 1 liter) plastic water bottle to be used for planting. Thanks!

Wednesday, May 21 – “Bring in a CD of Your Child’s Favorite Songs Day.”

Thanks so much,