Dear Rainbow Families,
As we complete our fifth (!) full week of school, I want to take a moment to share curriculum news from the Rainbow Room. Please look for these updates every month to provide more in-depth info on what’s happening in the Rainbow Room.
September was a very busy month for the Rainbow children as they were learning the daily routines and structures of their classroom. The Rainbow teachers place a strong emphasis on establishing consistent classroom routines and structures so as to foster a sense of security in the children, which in turn frees up their creativity and play. In other words, when a child doesn’t have to think/worry about what is coming next or negotiate an erratic environment, she/he can play freely and comfortably. And the Rainbows have been doing just that, enjoying all the areas of the room: the blocks, manipulatives, dramatic play, art, sand table, science, and writing table. I love to pop into the Rainbow Room and see the children engrossed in their play – building block towers and bridges, pounding and pinching clay, making handprints (and waving their paint-covered hands at me), and setting up “dinner” at the dramatic play table.
Along with learning about the routines and structures, the children have also been busy getting to know – and learning more and more about – each other through the “All About Me” curriculum. The Rainbows have been reading several books with this focus, with follow-up discussions and charts. One book, “I Like Myself,” by Karen Beaumont with delightful illustrations by David Catrow, emphasizes the joy of liking oneself, whether “wild” or “tame” with the deeper message of “Even when I look a mess, I still don’t like me any less, ‘cause nothing in this world, you know, can change what’s deep inside, or so.” Check out the Rainbows’ chart with the children’s replies to what they like about themselves, e.g., “my brain” and “my arms because I can move with them.” Another wonderful book the Rainbows read is “When I Was Born,” by Isabel Minhos Martins and Madalena Matoso, which poetically contemplates the changes from being a newborn to what one can do now. The Rainbows eagerly shared their own accomplishments, including “Now I can go on the monkey bars,” and “Now I can go to Coney Island and swim.” They are so proud of what they can do now!
The Rainbows teachers make a concerted effort each year to be sure that the classroom reflects – and is truly owned by – the children. As you look around the room, please notice all the places you find the children’s art work, names, and discussion charts. Another piece of this ownership is the calendar of “special days” created by the Rainbow children. Each Rainbow comes up with an idea for a special day, and the teachers schedule them across the year. Parents – we need your help to fulfill these special days as they require assistance from home. This month our special days are:
Thursday, October 10 – “Bring a Drawing from Home” Day
Wednesday, October 16 – “Bring a Toy from Home” Day
Monday, October 21 – “Bring a Cookie to School” Day
Wednesday, October 30 – “Wear the Color Orange to School” Day
Please be sure to mark these days on your calendars at home! And if you forget, the calendar is posted on the bulletin board just inside the classroom door.
Another curriculum area for the Rainbows has been the beginning of fall. The Rainbows have read such non-fiction books as “How Do You Know It’s Fall?” by Allan Fowler and “Pumpkins” by Ken Robbins, and had follow up discussions on how we know autumn has arrived. They have also done several fall-related paintings including a tree with leaf prints (made from leaves they collected – take a look by the classroom door) and small and large paintings with autumn colors.
And finally, this week marked the beginning of music with Greg and yoga with Jovan. Both classes went so well. Greg had the children dancing away (even our shyer Rainbows!), and Jovan captivated the Rainbows with her playful and energetic approach to yoga. Please be sure to check with the teachers which day and time your child is slotted for yoga to ensure a punctual arrival for class.
Thanks for reading – enjoy your weekend!
P.S. Some quick reminders:
1) Curriculum Night – Curriculum Night will be held Wednesday, October 23, at 6:00 PM. There will be no childcare that night as the teachers attend and present in all three rooms simultaneously. I’m sorry if this is inconvenient, but hope you can make arrangements to attend this informative event. Curriculum Night lasts about 1 hour or so.
2) The Collective will be closed on Monday, October 14, for Columbus Day.