I am not sure about you, but every time those two words are said I immediately think of the old cartoon Blues Clues and the silly man in the stripped shirt that sings “we just got a letter, we just got a letter, we just got a letter, I wonder who its from?!” Maybe your kiddos are a little (or way) too young to have watched it when it first came out but I thought that that tidbit of information may be worth sharing, as some of you parents may start hearing around the house when the mail truck drives by. Now, to begin with the real fun…
“Open it, open it!”
You may have recently stepped into the the Red Robins class to pick up your darling child and notice that something is a little different. This class is now officially a small town with 7 miniature mail carriers that is completed with a town post office, a community mail box, various packages, a mail delivery truck, and SO MUCH MAIL!
Looking to send out a delivery to that special someone? Not a problem! Each letter is hand crafted with pictures, stamps, drawings of every color, and each one sealed with a little extra love. Our friends have been beside themselves with excitement to share their specially marked letters to each of their friends in all of the classrooms, their family, their teachers, and anyone that puts in a special request. Who doesn’t love to get some mail?! Bills excluded, that is.
“There is more mail, go look!”
All stemming from the discovery of a plastic mail/messenger bag one fine morning, our Red Robins class took on the challenge of “creating mail”. It all started with the idea of stuffing as many letters into the bag as possible…and it didn’t end there. The letters they were creating couldn’t be just any ordinary folded pieces of paper. This mail needed to be more…real. It needed envelopes. So at first the busy souls folded, and cut out special envelopes for their perfectly written letters until…. Ms. Ronni had a special delivery. Real envelopes! You can imagine what happened from there. Roughly 30 letters later and stamps and markers galore, you could see in their little eyes, this was still not over.
Too much mail? Not a problem when you have a special mail carrying bag! They created their own messenger bags (with some help from Ms. Arielle) and they were perfect!
These friends of ours have even made some incredible deliveries: penguins to the arctic circle and some kittens to some lonely grandmothers. Their words not mine.
“No the kitty and the penguin cannot go in the same box!”
“Yes they can!”
“My kitty only likes to be in big boxes!”
“But that’s my box!”
*Very passionate work to be done here*
Worry not, the issue was resolved and the animals made it to their final destinations safely.
We can even go as far to say that we have even put a student in the mail box for delivery… but that one would be an exaggeration. While it may appear to be true, I assure you she IS the mail box, not inside of it.
But on the other hand, this occasion he truly was in the mail box! Haha
The fun never ends! Believe it or not, the mail truck even does on site physician consultations. Do not let these miniature mail carriers fool you, they are highly trained and educated in many fields.
Despite what you may think, the Red Robin class of mail carriers weren’t always so distinguished in the postal service field. There was a lot of hard work and dedication that went into becoming such highly trained and educated humans of the world. They each started out as basic construction workers. Then in time after studying and with much practice, they became very accomplished painters and have continued to improve on their skills to embark on a new journey. Now here they are. Mail delivery personnel, and very proud of it.
“Happy Paint Day!”
“This is the engine”
While it wasn’t an easy feat, I was actually able to schedule an interview with one of the lead mailmen. I asked him a series of brief questions (amidst his hectic mail run) in regards to the efforts that he had contributed while painting the groups mail truck…
Question: How long does it take to paint the mail truck?
Answer: “We paint all day long, its ‘Happy paint day!'”
Question” “What happens if you get hungry?”
Answer: “Then you take a small break to eat and then get right back to work!!”
As you can understand, they take this work very seriously.
There is some serious talent in here. Between the kids and the teacher I think they could win an award for creativity and teamwork. What a fun way build upon a simple idea!
Imagine what they are learning throughout this whole project! They are continuously building on their abilities to problem solve, think creatively, working as a team, learning from one another and teaching one another. When they are painting their mail boxes, writing their personalized letters, cutting out their individual stamps, they are using fine motor skills and crossing the mid-line (when painting the larger objects) which are all developmentally appropriate ways to develop the skills necessary for writing letters and numbers. They are practicing using functional print and working with environmental print, both very important concepts for pre-reading. Not to mention, the numerous ways that they were able to incorporate counting in all of their activities!
But, reader, I stress to you that we do not take this project lightly here at the Children’s Center. We cannot let the story of the mail carriers end just like that, oh no. Ms. Arielle is taking their story one mail box further. She is having a very special guest come in from post office to help us learn all about the real mail carrying heroes of the world and working to set up a tour of the post office. And it doesn’t end there. Wait what, there’s more?! Indeed. She is also setting up a pen pal system with some preschool friends from China! Very soon the Red Robin class will be witnessing just how far a letter can go.
By finding out what the childrens’ interests are, then intentionally building and expanding on it, we are maximizing their learning….and that is what emergent curriculum looks like! That is who we are.
We cannot wait to keep you updated on the excitement to come in the Red Robin classroom!