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Pre-K: Rhyming, Rothko, Rocks and Rectangles

"Rr" week was full of rocks, rhyming, dice rolling, rain clouds, Rothko and Rembrandt!

Language and Literacy

In addition to using fine motor muscles to trace "R" and "r" with q-tips dipped in paint or thinking up “r” words and practicing lots of "Rr" activities, we used this week to Rreview many of the letters/sounds that we have already done this year. Children loved matching upper case beads with lower case letters and then writing the lower case letter on our laminated sheets. They also cut and pasted lower case letters onto their respective upper case counterparts and worked, together and individually, to come up with rhyming words and identify words that do NOT fit into a rhyming group.

We read a lot of Margaret Rey’s Curious George books this week, including Curious George Goes to a Restaurant. Children, then, came up with a menu for our own restaurant, which they called Rock Diner. They identified items from rice to frog legs that they wanted listed and how much we should charge for each.

Math and Science

We used lots of manipulatives starting with "r" this week. On Monday, children created rectangles on geoboards with rubber bands; on Tuesday, they figured out what they could build collaboratively with only rectangular blocks, and on Wednesday they revisited "Race to 20", which children played with much more ease than the last time we tried it. The class LOVED playing "Roll and Build": first they rolled a die, pulled out that number of small foam cubes and built structures with them. Some children even rolled 2 or 3 dice, counted and added the pips together, and then built with that number of cubes! Pre-K created robots from recyclable materials; make sure to take them home. On Friday, we experimented with rain clouds in a jar (easily recreated at home with shaving cream squirted on top of water and then watercolor dripped in via an eyedropper).

Martine’s Science Thursday was an exploration of Rrocks! First, they read To Find a Rock and talked about the difference between regular rocks and geodes. Martine had brought in some rocks she found on the beach that they decided to call wishing, worry and writing rocks. Each child held the wishing rock and many shared their wishes:

Emersyn: I wish to be in Disney.

Zafi: I wish that my room would become Paw Patrol.

Connor: My wish is chocolate.

Hazel: I wish for chocolate, too.

Story: I wish for a beautiful day with rainbows and lots of colors.

Ashwin: I wish my whole room would turn into a giant Dunkin’ Donuts shop.

Martin: I wish that I could have a unicorn that only I could see.

Nate: I wish that I had milk chocolate in my chocolate egg today after dinner.

Marie-Sophie: I wish my whole room would be a museum with a dance studio and on the walls is chocolate, a tiny chocolate house.


We started the week by looking at Mark Rothko’s color fields, which are mainly composed of rectangles. Children used washi tape to create rectangles on their white art paper one day, and then, the next day, filled in the rectangles using pastels, blending the colors with fingers or toothbrushes. After they peeled off the washi tape, they had color fields of their own, which are on display on our hallway bulletin board.

We ended our week by looking at Rembrandt self portraits both from when he was younger and from when he was older. Children noticed that he usually had a hat on, both in his drawn and painted self portraits, so, they each chose a hat to wear for their January creations! Take a look at the bulletin board above the Pre-K cubbies and see if you can find your child! We also watched a video of a flash mob at the Rijksmuseum reopening that features Rembrandt’s enormous painting The Night Watch! Make sure to look at the painting itself before looking at the video (by accident I showed it after, which didn’t really help make any connections).

Thank you to Julie for starting our week off with a book about the Lunar New Year and for the lucky red envelopes each child got from Zafi! Have a wonderful weekend and we will see you on Monday for "Ss" week..

Emily and Martine

Questions to ask your child:

What’s the difference between a rock and a geode?

Which Curious George book did you like the most?

What rhymes with “cat?” “bin?” “pot?” (Real and silly words are just fine!)

What colors did you use in your Rothko color fields?

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