PEAK Teacher Newsletter              
March 2014
Featured Articles
Community Event
Very Tasty Caterpillar
Spring Playdough
Very Hungry Caterpillar
Early Education Research
Links from Pinterest
Songs and Fingerplays
Dates to Remember
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Quick Links
Mary Rieck
Pottstown School District
230 Beech Street
Pottstown, PA 19464
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Thinking of Spring  

Some hints of warmer weather are making periodic appearances but there is still plenty of snow on the ground and in the forecast.Here is hoping for warmer weather soon. Enjoy these "thinking of spring" activities.


Month of the Young Child Community Event

Mark your calendar for the PEAK community outreach event for the Month of the Young Child.


April 12, 1:00-3:00

Pottstown YMCA (724 North Adams)


We will have Pipper the clown, the petting farm, mascots, snacks and lots of activities for families.


Hope to see you at the Y! 


The Very Tasty Caterpillar


-Store bought pizza dough (1/2 bag)

-2 white button mushrooms, sliced

-olive oil for brushing

-toppings such as peppers, carrots, olives, cucumbers

-sauce of choice (tomato, pesto, hummus)

-mozzarella (cut deli-style into disks)


1. Heat the oven to 400 F. Lay a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet so that it extends slightly beyond each end. If needed, let the dough rise according to the package directions. Divide the dough into 15 one-inch balls and combine 3 balls to make the head. Have your child dust her hands with flour, then let her arrange the balls on the cookie sheet and flatten them slightly with her palms.


2. Press the mushroom slices under the dough for legs, as shown. Brush the dough and mushrooms with olive oil, and then bake until the dough is starting to crisp around the edges, about 10 minutes.

3. While the dough bakes, create the caterpillar features from your choice of toppings.


4. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven. Using the parchment paper as a carrier, lift the caterpillar off the cookie sheet and set it on a wire rack. When it's cool enough for your child to touch, let her paint the surface with sauce and arrange the Mozzarella and toppings. Again using the parchment, set the caterpillar back on the cookie sheet and bake it until the cheese is just starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Let it cool slightly, slice, and serve.  



Spring Playdough Ideas


Spring Playdough

Montessori Inspired Spring Playdough Activities

Spring Playdough Mats

Spring Playdough


The Very Hungry Caterpillar Ideas

Multiple intelligence ideas for using The Very Hungry Caterpillar in the classroom 

Oral Language

Talk with the children about the meaning of metamorphosis. Have them act out the following "Metamorphosis" rhyme.



I am an egg. (curl up in fetal position)

I'm an egg.

I'm an egg, egg, egg!

I'm a worm. (open up and wiggle on the ground)

I'm a wiggly, humpty worm!

I'm a cocoon. (curl up in a fetal position with hands over the face)

I'm a cocoon.

I'm a round and silky cocoon!

I'm a butterfly. (stand and fly around using arms for wings)

I'm a butterfly.

I'm a grand and glorious butterfly.


Book Knowledge and Appreciation

Point out how the story follows a predictable sequence using the days of the week as its structure.



Ask the children the following questions: Which parts of the story could really happen? Which parts are made up? Why did the caterpillar finally stop eating?


Linguistic, Spatial, Intrapersonal

Invite children to pick their favorite foods from the items the caterpillar ate. Have them draw pictures of their favorite foods, and then dictate a sentence explaining why they like those items.


Logical-Mathematical, Naturalist

Provide a variety of photos of foods, some healthy and some unhealthy. Invite the children to sort the pictures into two categories (healthy and unhealthy). As children work, point out which foods make up a balanced diet and in which food groups they belong.


Bodily-Kinesthetic, Intrapersonal

Play classical music, give the children colorful crepe paper streamers attached to plastic plates, and suggest that they dance like butterflies. Before they start, ask them to close their eyes and imagine the ways butterflies move. Visualizing butterfly movements will help the children move more creatively.


Linguistic, Spatial, Interpersonal

Away from the children, spray paint 26 paper plates green. Write one letter of the alphabet on each plate. Paint another paper plate red, glue large wiggle eyes on it, and attach pipe cleaner antennae to it. Invite the children to put the caterpillar together, starting with its red head and place the green plates in alphabetical order.


Logical-Mathematical, Naturalist

Explain to the children that a typical caterpillar is about the same size as a large paper clip. Give the children paper clips and invite them to find things in the room the same size as a caterpillar.


More ideas for The Very Hungry Caterpillar - visit Eric Carle's web site at:



Reports and Research on Early Education

Reports on recent research in the early education field... For more updates in early education, follow PEAK on Twitter @PEAKPartners 


Lack of High Quality Early Ed in Montgomery County



Dosage Matters: Evidence for Full-Day Pre-K and K 



Supporting Dual Lanaguge Learners in Preschool 
US Department of Education


Quick Links for Spring Theme

Here are some quick links from Pinterest for March and spring theme activities. You can follow PEAK on Pinterest - search for PEAK Pottstown.



March Songs and Fingerplays

Good-Bye Winter

Good-bye winter, we wish you'd go away.

Good-bye snow, good-bye slush.

Good-bye puddles, good-bye snowsuits.

Good-bye cold wind!


Come back springtime, we wish you'd come to stay.

Come back grass! Come back flowers!

Come back birds! Come back swimsuits.

Come back warm sun!


It is Spring

It is spring, it is spring

The grass is turning green,

The grass is turning green.

Look at all the flowers,

Look at all the flowers.

Hear the birds sing,

Hear the birds sing.


It is Springtime

(Tune: London Bridges)

Leaves are growing on the trees, on the trees, on the trees.

Leaves are growing on the trees, it is springtime.


All the grass is turning green....


See the birds build their nests...


Watch the flowers start to grow...


Leprechaun Song

(Tune: I'm a Little Teapot)

I'm a little leprechaun Dressed in green, 

The tiniest man 
That you ever seen. 
If you ever catch me, so it's told,
I'll give you my pot of gold.



(Tune: Mulberry Bush)

Springtime, springtime, how do you do

Springtime, springtime, how do you do

Springtime, springtime, how do you do

Flowers, sunshine are part of you.


Springtime colors are everywhere

(repeat twice)

Bright and cheerful colors too.


Springtime animals are everywhere

(repeat twice)

Birds, bees and butterflies too.


Blossoms, buds and greenery too

(repeat twice)

Springtime, springtime, glad to see you.


Ten Fingers

I have ten little fingers

With which I like to play

They can be such different things

On any kind of day.


Now they're ten ants running

In the summer sun

Hither, thither darting

Work is never done.


Now they're ten fish swimming

In a gurgling brook

Safe from larger fishes

Safe from any hook.


Now they're spiders climbing

Upon a silken line

Safe in corners hiding

From your eyes and mine.


Now they are ten fingers

In a row like this

They can help me clap my hands

And throw you a big kiss.


Two Little Feet

Two little feet go tap, tap, tap.

Two little hands go clap, clap, clap.

One little leap up from the chair.

Two little arms go in the air.

Two little hands go thump, thump, thump.

Two little feet go jump, jump, jump.

One little body goes round and round.

One little child sits quietly down.



Dates to Remember                             
March 12, 5:00-7:00 Pottstown Family Fest - Pottstown High School
April 12, 1:00 - 3:00 Pottstown Celebrates Young Children - Pottstown YMCA


For more resources visit or the PEAK blog at
Happy Teaching!
Mary Rieck
PEAK Coordinator