“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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“We want to make you something special because we love you!”

Wow… what a week it’s been!  As we’ve been wrapping up our school year, I was able to join every classroom for a Morning Meeting to present gifts!  Friends were very excited to share with their friends what they made for them, as well as see what other friends worked on.  Here are some photos from the sharing experiences.

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Tomorrow, rising Kindegarteners will take home their flower pots.  Be sure to look for them in the cubbies!  And hopefully by the end of the day tomorrow, our new curtain will be hanging in it’s new home on the window.

“I love when I was in Pre-K with you… but I gotta move on now!”

This was the last week of art groups for the school year and friends worked on making gifts for their classmates.  Last week, I asked the Pre-K 3′s and the Pre-K 4′s separately what type of “gift” they would like to make for their classmates.  We jotted down all of their ideas and then picked what we thought they would enjoy the most!

Some of the ideas presented were…

Daniel: A colored circle that goes on your window.  It’ll make colors in your room.

Haley: I think we should make like a pretty artwork like we can like put like the people and make cards for them, colored cards, and we take it and write something friendly and give it to them.

Roman: A roller coaster and I’m gonna make that.  A real one.  It’s gonna go all over the place in the school, even loop!  We could even put it in the hallway, through the classroom and on the courtyard.

Michael: Maybe I could make them a picture of me.  Maybe I can write my name so they know it was mine.

Darian: Like a card?  It can say “I want you back to our classroom.” And like maybe we can make them… butterflies?

Matteo: They would like rocks in the garden that they could put in the ground.

Asiah: Eyeballs… we can make them eyeballs.

Jasper: Maybe we could make something that we could all work on like the thing they made last year?  Something for the window so it’s not two things separate but two things we could put together.  It has to go on the window.

Kailyn: We could make our friends a plant.  Or seed balls.  Or make them paper.  We could plant them flowers then when we give it to them they will say “hahaha” because Kailyn gave us a plant!

As you can see, there were so many great choices to pick from!  The rising Pre-K 4′s decided to make flower pots out of handmade paper, since at this point in the year they have had a lot of practice with the process.  We decided to put soil and wildflower seeds in them so their friends could plant them at home.

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With the flower pots, friends wrote (and painted) an incredibly sweet note to send home with them!

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Dear Kindergarten friends,

We want to make you something special because we love you.  We will miss you and will you come back to please visit us?  I will miss playing with you and we want to be with you in the Art Studio!  You will love it and you’ll be surprised.  We can still wave with a “finger hello” in the hallway!

 We made you this paper and planted flower seeds for you.  You can plant the whole pot!  We think it’s so beautiful and that you will love it.  It has soil and the flower seeds are hiding.  It’s looking so fabulous!

 I’ll miss you all the time and I hope you have a good day at Kindergarten!

 Love,  your Pre-K 3 friends

The rising Kindergarteners decided that they wanted to make something beautiful to go on the window in the Studio, similar to the one that friends made last year.  Friends used Shrinky Dinks to decorate panels that are being strung together to hang in the window.

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The best part was watching them shrink in the toaster oven!

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And here is a photo from yesterday, which shows half of the panels strung together.  We can’t wait to hang it up in the window!

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Dear friends, 

I’ll miss you.  I like to play soccer with you and I like that you like Messi and Barcelona.  I don’t want to go to Kindergarten… I want to stay in Pre-K with you!  I love you and when I was in Pre-K with you!  I was so happy but I gotta move on now!  Have good fun being leaders and tell what Pre-K is all about to the new friends!  

No need to panic, we will still be friends.

Love, the new Kindergarteners

Next week, I will visit each classroom during Morning Meeting so that children can present their gifts to their friends.  Stay tuned for photos of this sharing experience!

“Don’t forget the two boogie things under the nose!”

It’s that time of the year when we begin to get things ready for the end of the year… and for me that means, self portraits all week long! I love working on self portraits with children because it’s always so exciting to see the amount of growth from fall to spring… and for Pre-K 4’s, they will have 4 portraits to compare!

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Michael: You look in the mirror to see what you look like, what your hair looks like, what your shirt looks like, what everything on you looks like.

Logan: I did awesome… it looks like me!

Phoenix: No earrings… just ears.

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Noah: Don’t forget the two boogie things under the nose. My skin looks like syrup.  This is fun!

Cole: My head is like, tan?

Darian: I’m not drawing hair because I got a haircut.

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Ebbisa: I look like a young man.  I look fancy!

Alexia: I only have a dimple on one side.

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Mouhammadou: I have two holes in my nose.

Quentin: I think the top of my hand is like chocolate brown, and the under is like cereal.

And here are some of our spring self portraits…!

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