“You don’t go to the Art Studio to get a haircut, you go there to make your art!”

Over the last week and a half, friends have been practicing with scissors and different types of adhesives.  We began by talking about materials that were appropriate to cut with scissors, as well as materials that aren’t ok to cut with scissors.  Children were very excited to finally have scissors available in the Studio and practiced how to use them correctly and safely.

Luke: We don’t cut houses because we need them to live in.  Scissors do “open and close” like this.

Daniel: If you cut the table, the legs will break off and you’ll need a new table.

Sylvie: Ms.Cookie cut my hair but we do not cut our own hair or our friends hair.

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Sasha: You don’t cut your hair with scissors.  You go to my mom’s salon for a haircut.

Garumma: When I was a baby, I cut my finger.  I didn’t know how to use scissors.

Zavier: I open them.  Then I close them.  Clip, clap, clip, clap, scissors!

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Zuri:  Cutting is like magic.  If you snip around the paper, it’s like a hula skirt.

Yonathan: You don’t go to the Art Studio to get a haircut, you go there to make your art.

Logan: We should call squeeze scissors squeezers!

Once friends had lots of shapes of paper, they began assembling a collage.  Children worked with wet glue, glue sticks, tape and staplers as they experimented with adhering tissue paper, foil and card stock to construction paper.

Mouhammadou: It’s easy to make a rectangle.  Scissors are good at that.

Justin: I’m gluing it so I can put it all back together.

Vivian: This is going to be a bowtie.

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Ronan: Glue sticks look like lipstick.

Miles: I cut this shape and it looks like a shoe.

Alberto: The foil sounds like metal.  I can squish the metal.

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Jariel: Tissue paper like “achoo, achoo!”

Kofi: The wet glue looks like vanilla frosting.

Andres: Put it there, see it perfect.  Sure, it perfect.

This week, we also introduced the light table!  Children had the opportunity to work at the light table if there was time after they were finished collaging.  Videos to come of some of the work done at this area over the course of the week :)

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Finally, aside from a day of rain, it was a very sunny week in the Studio!  Friends continued to discover new prisms and crystals that were casting rainbows all over the classroom.

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“I’m looking good!”

It’s one of my favorite times of year in the Pre-K Studio… self portrait week!  Friends in Pre-K work on a self portrait for their portfolio at the beginning and the end of each school year.  It’s great to see how much their observations and skills change over the course of the year, and for children that are in Pre-K for two years, over the span of those years.  We begin by reading The Colors of Us by Karen Katz and talk a little about different shades of skin, eyes, hair, etc.

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Mae: Why did the mom say she would eat her up?  Because she was like cinnamon?  She didn’t really eat her at the end of the book.

Ronan: I see the same people on the cover on that page in the book.  It’s part of the picture from that page.

Next, I showed some different techniques for selecting colors that most closely matched the colors that were unique to each of them.  Children selected colors that they thought would work, and held them up next to their hands, hair, etc. to see which color would be the best.

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Daniel: Eyelashes go around the eyes.

Sasha: If you have glasses, you can draw them in your self portrait.

Abdoulaye: Eyelashes keep bugs out of your eyes.

Chrishelle: Draw boogers in your nose if you see them in the mirror.

Amaya: My nose is like a triangle with two holes on it.

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Claire: I have two heads… one in the mirror and this one on my body.

Allison: My hair like coffee brown.

Ronan: In the mirror, I see my dog shirt.

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Miles H.: You look at yourself in the mirror and then you draw yourself.  In the mirror, I see little red veins in my eyes.

Elle: I look beautiful!

Yonathan: I’m looking good!

Here are some of the finished self portraits from our week!

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“Your room is adorable!”

It was a very busy week in the Pre-K Studio as friends began coming for art groups this week!  For children that were Pre-K 3’s last year, they acted as real leaders in showing new children around the Studio.  We spent some time noticing, wondering and asking questions about different spaces and materials that children noticed in the new space.

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Cory: I hear those teachers.  I hear Mr.Duque.  He’s in the wall writing his name.

Maia: Your room is adorable!

William: My sister be here in your classroom before.  Can I stay here for a long time?  Can I sit on your carpet?

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Sylvie: Wow, we’re here!  We’re at the Art Studio!  Guys, you just have to see this!  There’s a rainbow on Ms.Cushner’s table.  When it’s really sunny out the rainbow’s come out from the window!

Luke: The Studio has a hole in the ceiling so it’s next to our class.  The wall attaches to our classroom.

Garumma: I can hear people!  Other kids!  They are under the wall?  This is so interesting.

Once we explored the new space, we came together and learned how to work with watercolors! It was exciting to paint with watercolors after learning about tempera paint because it allowed them to explore their similarities and differences. Friends enjoyed mixing their own colors on palettes and experimenting with making colors lighter and darker.

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Jose:  Why do they love water?

Marley: The water is turning green.  It’s from the green paint.

Claire: Always clean the brush first.  Oops, don’t forget!

Mouhammadou: That’s not nice to the paint to not wash the brush.  That’s not kind.

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Maceo: Are you ready for bath time, brushy?

Mae: You can’t trick us.  We’re smart.

Justin: Give the brush a bath to get clean.  Kids do that too.  Dip it in the water, then put it in the paper, then put it in the water again.

Once friends were finished with their paintings, they had the opportunity to observe and draw a large flower arrangement that were leftover from an event this past weekend.  The flowers are beautiful and had many different smells, textures, patterns and colors.

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Daniel: That plant goes up and down like a hill.

Luke: They are so soft… when I touch them they feel nice.

Alberto: I found another match.  This crayon matches that flower.  I see little flower seeds on the table, too.

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Roman: They smell like roses.

Justin: The flowers smell like vinegar.

Amaya: Are there bugs on them?

Florentina: Are there bees in there?

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“When I squish them they are wonderful!”

During the first six weeks of a new school year, children explore new materials in different areas of their classroom. Learning about new materials is a great way to build relationships with both classmates and new teachers!

During the second week of school, Pre-K friends began working with oil pastels in the art area. It was exciting to compare and contrast crayons, which children have been working with since the beginning of the year, with oil pastels. Children were able to draw freely as they acquainted themselves with the new material. Once friends were finished with their masterpieces, they learned how to clean up oil pastels and where they could find them the next time they wanted to draw with them!

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Ryler: I rubbed my finger and now it’s on the paper and my finger.  I made lots of trees, a pattern, line, line sideways, line, line sideways.  What do orange and purple make?

Ronan: Why are these called oil pastels?  They don’t look like oil to me.

Moses: I want to try to make it white but the pastel is white and the paper is white so I think it won’t work.  The white on the blue made it indigo now.  I made ice cream but it’s too sweet for your bones.

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Mae: The colors turned to blue!  Now it’s green… I made broccoli!  I’m doing so much colors.

Claire: When I squish them they are wonderful!

Kofi: I remember, those are oil pastels!  You can mix with them.

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Sylvie: Smudging is putting your one finger on it.

Vivian: Let’s see how they make a person.  If I put pink and black and purple, let’s see how I can smudge mine.  Let’s see how it changes.  What is the white going to do?

The third week of school was very exciting as we began learning about different types of paint! Friends learned about primary colors (red, yellow, blue) and how to mix them to create secondary colors (orange, green, purple). We practiced putting on smocks to protect our clothing, and learned how to carefully carry wet paintings to the drying rack. Next week, we will begin art groups in the Studio!

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Chrishelle: You have to brush it for a long time to turn it to another color.

Madison: It turned black.  How?

Mackenzi: I can make a swirl with the blue.  It swirled in red and made purple.

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Adrian: I painted my name.  It wasn’t hard to do it.

Noah: Put on your paint jacket so you don’t get paint on your clothes.

Isley: The paintbrush made it look like footprints.  I made an elephant eating blueberry pancakes.

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Zavier: What does paint mean?

Justin: I’m going to make the prettiest one of all!

Zuri: I want to put it in the hall so everyone can see my painting!

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Reflecting on my summer and gearing up for Tuesday!

The first day of school is right around the corner and I wanted to take a few minutes to share about my trip this summer, as well as post some photos of the new set up in the Studio! I hope that everyone had a fantastic summer and I can’t wait to see everyone on Tuesday.

This summer, I had the opportunity to travel to Skopelos, Greece to attend a printmaking workshop at the Skopelos Foundation of the Arts. I was lucky enough to travel with my dad, as he was teaching the painting workshop through the Foundation. This two week course focused on monoprinting, which is a process that every child in Pre-K experiences throughout the year. It’s a great way to work and the results are often quite surprising as every piece is one of a kind.

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I also collaborated on a woodcut that was part of a book featuring a panoramic view from the balcony of the Foundation. Seeing as I hadn’t ever carved a woodblock before, I teamed up with my dad and our print turned out great!

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On our last night in Skopelos, we had an opening at the Foundation and people from all over the island came to check out what we had been up to and join for a night of eating and dancing!

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I’m so excited to incorporate some of these monoprinting techniques into my curriculum this year! Over the last couple weeks, teachers have been back to work preparing for the year. I spent a lot of time this summer thinking about ways to arrange the space in the Studio and am happy with how everything came together! Looking forward to seeing everyone on Tuesday!

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Pre-K planting in our garden!

This week, friends planted their plantable paper and seed balls in big planters on the playground.  Everyone was very excited after our Herbal Market to plant the products that they worked so hard on making and we can’t wait to check on them when we return in the Fall!

First, we filled the planters with stones and soil.

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In one planter, we layered plantable paper made with herb seeds on top of the soil.Image

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In the second planter, we tossed in wildflower seed balls.  Then we buried them in the soil.Image

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We covered up the seed balls and plantable paper and then stuck our signs in the soil to show what was growing!Image

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We had to give them lots of water because it’s been so hot out all week!Image

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And once all the herb products were planted… a dragonfly perched itself on the rim of the planter to check out the new addition to the garden!  Jasmine said that it was called a Honey Dragonfly, and then a few friends gave it the name of “Honey!”

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