“I wish I was a spider so I could eat a cricket!”

Pre-K kicked off our Expedition on Spiders a couple weeks ago, and we now have four types of spiders in the Pre-K program!  Children have been fascinated with observing and illustrating the spiders, and I’m still finding myself surprised that many of them think they are “cute” and not somewhat “scary.”

When we were picking out spiders, I wanted to look for a spider that had very distinct marks on it’s body for children to observe and illustrate.  Mr.White suggested the Mexican Red Knee tarantula because of his orange and black stripes.

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Jose: He’s orange and black.  He happy.

Adrian: I notice he have stripes.

Christian: He’s orange and black and has long legs.  He’s cute.

Sylvie: I can see his heart.  When you draw, you discover more about him.

Kofi: He’s lazy, he’s not moving.

Asiah: He looks so pretty.  The legs are big and I see his face… hello!

Laniyah: Welcome to DC, spider!

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Friends had many questions about our new friend.

Vivian: Does the spider go to school?  Does the spider have teachers in the cage?

Alberto: Is he from Mexico?

Andres: He looks cozy.  Can we let him out to play ball with us?

We realized that our spider needed a name!  Every friend gave a suggestion, and children voted in their classes.  There were so many fabulous suggestions… it was very hard to choose!  The front runners were Lazy, Wiggles, Sally and Mister Skinny Legs and after a vote… Mister Skinny Legs was the clear winner!

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Christian: He’s really scary.  He’s gonna eat my brain, but not teachers brains.  I think I hear him talking to us.

Claire: I wish I was a spider so I could eat a cricket.  I wonder if he wants to eat us because our class is called the crickets?

Amberly: Come out spider, we’re all friends at Capital City!

Kofi: Mister Skinny Legs is a Mister, so that means he’s married to another spider.  I know, he’s married to Ms.Bergie and now he’s hiding because he doesn’t want her to kiss him… ew!

Mouhammadou: Spiders don’t get married because they don’t have the right clothes.  The daddy spider don’t have a suit and the mommy spider don’t have a dress.

Andres: When I grow up, I want to be a spider!  They so cute.

William: He has big eyes to see his prey.

Zavier: The spider is too big it might scare ladies.

Rayyan: You look awesome, Mister Skinny Legs!

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Mae: I think the spider would like it if I played music for him!

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“Mine looks like a masterpiece. It looks like the Northern Lights!”

Over the past few weeks, friends in the Yellow art groups have been continuing to learn about and experiment with different printmaking processes.  Children spent two weeks working with Gelli plates, which are durable, gelatin printing plates that allow you to create monoprints over and over again.  This is the first year that I have working in the Studio with this material, but am so happy that I was able to take a class on it and introduce it to Pre-K friends!

How does the Gelli plate feel in your hands?

Sylvie: Soft like the ground floor.

Sophie: Like peanut butter and jelly.

Mackenzi: Ooey gooey.

Zoe: Whoa, it feels like jello!

Nneka: Squishy wishy.

Justin: Is it a jellyfish?

Abigail: Don’t squeeze the Gelli plate or it’ll break.

Next, friends began by putting a few small spots of paint on their Gelli plates and then rolled the paint over the plate with a brayer.

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The first week that we worked with Gelli plates, children used different types of stencils to make patterns and images to transfer to their paper.

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Next, children laid down a sheet of paper and applied pressure with their hands to transfer the paint.

Chrishelle: I remember… what you stamp will be on the paper.

Ryler: You can never make the same thing again.

Sasha: It’s so pretty it’ll make my dad cry!

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While friends were learning about this process, Ms.Lewton, the Head of the Art Department, stopped by and children had the opportunity to teach her how to use the Gelli plate.

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The following week, friends used finger stamps to create marks and images on their Gelli plate.

Miles: The finger stamps are boinging on the Gelli plate.

Reese: I like how squishy the Gelli plate is.  The paper gets stuck to it because it’s sticky.

Zoe: Mine looks like a masterpiece.  It looks like the Northern Lights!

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This week, children signed their finished prints for their portfolios!

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“You can bend wire so it looks like a house!”

Monday art groups are continuing their sculpture work and worked with a new material today… wire!  Children have had experiences with pipe cleaners and have enjoyed bending and twisting them to make different lines and shapes.  We compared wire with pipe cleaners today and incorporated both into our three-dimensional sculpture work this morning.

Claire: You could make letters or bend it like an octagon!

Adrian: You could bend wire so it looks like a house.

Phoenix: If you bend wire it makes the buttons not be able to move.  They get trapped.

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Jose: Pipe cleaners twist like wire but they are hairy.

Mae: I made a slide for my bear.  It’s a school for bears and it has a playground!

“The pipe cleaner looks like a person wrapped up in a towel at the pool!”

Over the past few weeks, Thursday art groups have been using a variety of materials to create sculptures!  Friends will continue to create three-dimensional sculptures in the Studio throughout February.

We began by creating “Crazy Line Sculptures” with Model Magic, pipe cleaners and beads.  Friends explored line, shape, balance and rhythm through manipulation of Model Magic, as well as by cutting, bending and twisting pipe cleaners to create different types of “crazy lines!”

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Alberto: Careful, pipe cleaners are sharp!

Amaya: It looks like a roller coaster.  It has hills that go up and go down.

Kofi: The pipe cleaner looks like a person wrapped up in a towel at the pool.

Elmys: It say “boing boing!”

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Maceo: Lines can be crazy.  They can be straight or twisty like a twizzler.

Andres: It look like a spring and sound like a slide.

Emely: It’s like a wiggle worm!

Ezekiel: Model Magic feels like marshmallows.  It looks like marshmallows, too.

The following week, friends were so excited that their sculptures were dry and that they could take them home!  However, before the sculptures were ready to leave the Studio, children worked on an observational drawing.  This process helped friends reflect on the color, line and shape that they observed in their artwork.

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Luke: I see loop de loops.

Maia: It’s a great idea to draw and paint your sculpture.  Then we can look at it again!

Ronan: So many crazy lines.  They go up, and to the side and loops.  Drawing what you made means you have to look at it closely.

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What! Stamping with Legos?

This week, Tuesday art groups continued to learn about printmaking by creating Lego prints! Friends explored shape, line and pattern while stamping with these materials and enthusiasm continued to build around the process. For the next month, children that come to the Studio on Tuesday’s will continue to work with a variety of printmaking processes!

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Sophie: They make the same shapes!  Small and big rectangles.  It makes it look cool!

Mouhammadou: You can use little Legos to make little buildings.

Ryler: I made vegetable prints at home with my friend!  She thought it was so funny!

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Miles: You can use all three sides and they all look different.  They make different shapes.  I wonder how you can make clouds?

Chrishelle: What!  Stamping with Legos?

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