Dear Rainbow Families,

There has been so much activity in the Rainbow Room these past weeks! Shapes have continued to be a focus, and the children have created many pictures out of circles, triangles, squares, ovals, and rectangles. They have drawn objects – cars, trains, jet planes, houses, ladders – out of shapes, plus they have painted easel pictures of a shape, making the shape both big and small. They also recently made marker drawings of rectangles inside one another, then colored them in with oil pastels – please check these out on the closet doors. The Rainbows have also gone on some wonderful shape hunts, both indoors and out, looking for triangles, ovals, rectangles, etc. They even examined the contents of their lunchboxes one day and spotted the different shapes within their lunches. This focus on shapes has led to an exciting culmination for the Rainbow artwork donation to the Collective silent auction. Check out the wall above the cots when you pick up today – you will find an incredible surprise! (And be sure to look at the photos that show the process.)

Shape Words of the Week:

triangle – triangulo

rectangle – rectangulo

circle – circulo

square – cuadrangular

Has your child told you about their classroom activity called “scenario”? The Rainbow teachers have been creating pretend scenarios, based on real-life classroom conflicts that arise from time to time, then asking the children to identify the problem and come up with a solution. For example, one scenario had a Triangle (the characters are often anthropomorphic shapes) tell another Triangle that he didn’t like him. The Rainbows then said what they saw as the problem, and came up with solutions: some ideas were “apologize,” “say kind things to him,” and “hug him.” These scenarios have been wonderful learning opportunities for the children to think of different ways they can treat one another kindly – and how to express strong emotions in non-hurtful ways.

Music has recently become a curricular focus in the Rainbow Room, beginning with their “Sing A Song” Days. The children first prepared for the special days by painting 3 cardboard boxes black, filling them with sand, then placing them together to make a stage. The children also were asked to think ahead of time about what song they wanted to sing for their classmates. It was a delight on the first big day to watch the children perform and see all the different responses – some Rainbows were quite confident as they took the stage, while others experienced some stage fright. After the performances (which were so dear – we had songs ranging from the Frozen soundtrack to “ABC”), the Rainbows talked together about what a performer needs to do to prepare and what an audience expects. The next day, several of the children who had had stage fright took the stage and performed – and the audience was very appreciative.

Some other music activities have included reading the books “Charlie Parker Played Be Bop” by Chris Rascha, a wonderfully rhythmic book that captures the feel and spirit of be bop; “The Happy Hedgehog Band” by Martin Waddell and illustrated by Jill Barton, which was followed by the Rainbows each making their own sound with their mouths and putting these sounds together in their own musical band; and “The Maestro Plays” by Bill Martin Jr. and illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky, which was followed by a discussion of what instruments the Rainbow children play. Replies included violin, rock ‘n’ roll guitar, guitar, piano, flute, and drum.

And have you seen our new gym nook? Huge thanks to Nadine (Sam Rainbow) for making this happen – everything from planning to executing! This nook is a wonderful little “sensory gym” that allows our children to play in a ball pit, walk on ridged “river stones,” and draw with chalk, perfect for those vital sensory experiences that all children benefit from. We’ll be adding some new elements in the near future, but for now, “Thank you so much, Nadine!”

Have a wonderful weekend,