Hi Rainbow Families,

March has been a busy and engaging month in the Rainbow Room.  We started off with our visit to Puppetworks to see “The Prince and the Magic Flute,” an adaptation of Mozart’s opera “The Magic Flute.”  The Rainbows were enthralled by the dragon, the bird man (Papageno), the evil queen (the Queen of the Night), and the prince and princess.  During some scarier moments it was very endearing to see Rainbow friends comforting each other with reassuring words and arms around one another.  It was also fascinating to learn from the puppeteers how marionettes work and how they put their productions together.  In the classroom, the Rainbows completed their hand puppets and put on their own plays, using the classroom theater, curtains, and even a spotlight.  The children’s plays were a wonderful opportunity for the Rainbows to perform their own creative ideas, which ranged from trying to scare the audience to dealing with conflicts between friends.
From the emphasis on puppets and plays, the Rainbows have now turned their attention to story reading with parent guests, libraries, and bookstores.  Thank you so much, parents, for finding the time to come in and read to the Rainbows.  It’s been a very special way for the children to see and enjoy classmates’ parents and to share in families’ favorite books, not to mention how overjoyed the children have been to have their own parents come to the classroom.  The Rainbows have just set up a classroom library this week for children to check out and borrow books, a prelude to a class visit to the Grand Army Plaza library on April 8.  This will be followed by a separate trip to the Community Bookstore to look at and read books.  (Did you know that the Community Bookstore’s co-owner, Ezra Goldstein, is a former Collective parent?)  It is incredible to see this love of books and stories nurtured in our Collective children.
Speaking of the community, the Rainbows have been enjoying walks in the neighborhood and spending time discussing and learning more about specific places like the firehouse on Union Street, the Park Slope Food Co-op, and Cousin John’s Bakery.  This attention to the neighborhood is a natural progression from the focus on selves, families, and homes earlier this year as the Rainbows are now branching out to understanding more about their greater world – and the interconnections between it and themselves as they recognize community sites and the shops and restaurants that their families frequent.  The Rainbows bring these ideas into the classroom then through their play in the block and dramatic play areas, which further deepens their understandings.  Stay tuned!
Have you seen the amazing bridges and Statues of Liberties in the Rainbow Room?  Many Rainbow children were expressing an interest in the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty, and the Rainbow teachers nurtured this interest with books and pictures, then with paper, toilet paper rolls, pipe cleaners, tape, and popsicle sticks (to make the bridges) and natural clay (for the Statue of Liberty).  It was remarkable to see the children plan out their designs and work on their creations.  Interestingly, after working on their clay statues, the Rainbows noticed the statues on the arch at Grand Army Plaza during their recent walk to Prospect Park to observe their “watching tree.”
Finally, the Rainbows have so enjoyed their special days this month.  Their riotous laughter on “Tell-A-Joke-From-Home Day” carried down the hallways, and I am literally typing this update to you while the Rainbows are holed up in the gym for “Nap-in-the-Gym Day.”  We’ll see how many children actually were able to fall asleep.
PS  Please remember that the Collective is closed this Friday, March 29.  Enjoy the long weekend!