Seed balls: They’re getting all snuggled up for their nap!

We are getting very excited for our Market that’s now only a week away!  On Monday and Tuesday of this week, friends made seed balls (aka seed bombs used in guerrilla gardening.)  Seed balls are a mixture of air drying clay, soil and herb/wildflower seeds. Children kneaded clay to soften it, then mixed in soil before adding in seeds.  When the seed balls were ready, friends rolled them in more soil and set them aside to dry.  Once they are dry, the seed balls can be thrown at a wall/ground and the seeds will be dispersed in the area!  Children are excited to sell seed balls at the Market, as well as save some for us to throw around our school during art groups at the end of the school year.

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Sasha:  So you throw it at the ground and then flowers will grow there?

Michael:  Look at the soil.  I’m squishing it and it’s getting stuck to the clay.  I hid my seeds deep in the clay.  You’ll only see them when you throw them.  When you throw it, it will make things beautiful!

Phoenix:  This ones like a rock.  It’s hard like clay.  I put soil on like a cherry on top.  The little ones go to the market and the big ones we can throw.  When I throw this one, it’s going to be a big plant because it’s a big ball.  Bigger balls have more seeds.  Little balls have little seeds.

Edwin:  So you throw it at the wall and it breaks and them flowers grow?  Let’s throw by where we play soccer because there are no flowers there.

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Noah:  The plants are going to be happy when the seeds are warm in the seed balls.

Leah:  Goodnight little seeds!  Don’t be scared in the seed ball.  The seeds is sleeping so we have to bang so quietly.  Don’t wake them.  We are taking care of the seeds.  They will never die.

Cole:  The seed balls gonna travel and then it lands and the little fella seeds will grow.  What will happen to the little seedies?  Goodnight little seeds.  See you when you grow.  I’ll cover them with soil.  This is my seeds little home.

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Alberto:  They’re getting all snuggled up for their nap!   Some seeds are small and some are hairy.  They look like little eggs.

Sylvie:  The seeds are getting comfy.  Goodnight seeds.  Enjoy your seed ball.    

Today after Service, a couple friends from each class joined me in the Studio to make labels for our herbal products.  Some children practiced their new fancy writing skills and then used liquid watercolors to paint on top of their words.  The turned out beautiful and we can’t wait to share these products with families next week!

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“Making seeds in the paper keeps them warm in the paper.”

In preparation for our Market (May 7 from 11:30-1:30), Monday and Tuesday art groups have been making plantable paper!  There was a lot of excitement after making handmade paper a few weeks ago, and plantable paper seemed like a great way to connect the process with the Expedition.  Plantable paper began the same way as handmade paper, but once the pulp was mixed, friends stirred in different types of herb seeds.  Once the paper dries, families can dig a hole, plant the paper, and herbs will grow in it’s place!

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Logan: We’re going to show everyone how to make it.

Justin: Then we spray it.  Spray every little piece!

Ty: Whoa, I see the water falling.

Michael: I ripped my paper with my big brain!  We’re gonna spray it too?  Are you kidding me?  The blender is getting full… wow it’s getting fabulous.

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Georgi: It looks like a McFlurry.

Phoenix: It looks like lint with water in it.

Moses: The pulp looks like fluffy sand.

Maceo: It looks like seaweed.

Once the paper and water were mixed together, we poured the paper pulp into bowls and began examining the seeds.  Some seeds, like the mint and lavender, were tiny, while other seeds, like basil, were much larger.  Next, friends mixed the seeds into the paper pulp.

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Georgi: It sounds like seeds.  They shake and are small and it makes noise.

Phoenix: They look like little pieces of dirt.

Edwin: Aw, you cute little seed!

Noah: Making seeds in the paper keeps them warm in the paper.

Alberto: It sounds like little particles of something.

Sylvie: They look like coffee seeds.

Cole: They are seeds.  They are mint seeds.  I think I can read and the first letter was “S” so I knew they were seeds.  We can plant it in the ground and it will grow into mint.  Goodnight little seeds… you’ll be safe in here!  I love you, mint seeds!  The seeds are the cutest thing in the world.  They are even cuter then Fifi.  Even cuter then when she smiles.  Have you seen her smile?  It’s very cute.

Once the seeds were mixed into the pulp, we put a screen on top of a bowl and began squishing the water out!

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Justin: It feels warm, cold, and hot.

Daniel: Everyone, look! I made a paper!

Phoenix: It’s all dripping into the bowl.

Sylvie: The bowls getting fuller!

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Miles: I see seeds in my paper!  It’s like it’s caught in a net.

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Cole: How will people know we can plant them?  We can make a sign or just tell them so they know the paper can get planted.

Alberto: It dried up so it doesn’t squirt any of the water out.

Michael: Wow, that’s amazing… how did paper grow into lavender?  Because of the seeds?  I’m doing this 100 times at my house!

Miles: You put the seed paper in the ground and you water it and the plants grow.

“Ah! A giant sage leaf!”

As we prepare for the Market at our Showcase (May 7 from 11:30-1:30), the Studio has been busy making products with herbs.  The Thursday and Friday art groups have just finished their herb stamps that we will begin printing for greeting cards next week!  We began by talking about different herbs and studying them with magnifying glasses.  Friends loved sharing what they knew about herbs, as they have been studying herbs in expert groups in their classrooms for the past few weeks!

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Matteo: Basil is sweet like candy!

Ezekiel: I love you, basil.

Ebbisa: Did you give these herbs some sunshine?  Herbs love sunshine.

Gabriela: It’s lavender with the flower.

AJ: Sage is a nice plant and it saved me for real.  I ate a little piece and it made me feel better after I ate a licorice plant.

Kofi: I see a bug in the basil because it’s his home.

After we used our senses, and small magnifying glasses to observe the herbs, I introduced friends to a magnifying screen!  Children loved making faces behind the screen and were able to get a closer look at the herbs on the table.

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Paris: It makes your face look gigantic!

Minna: It looks like Samantha is in the movie behind the magnifying scream.  I mean screen.

Next, friends sketched the herbs on sheets of styrofoam in preparation to stamp on cards next week!

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Jude: It’s kind of easy to push into the styrofoam… it feels good and looks cool when you make the little dots.  It’s like little bumps.

Jasper: I need the magnifying screen to see the herbs really well.

Haley: I’m putting dots on mine.  I see the dots in the magnifying glass.

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Minna: It looks bumps so it’s sage.  It’s sage!

Samantha: Ah!  A giant sage leaf!

Betsabe: Mine is cute.  Them cute.  I’m making little flowers.

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“Vrooooom, it made blue!”

Before art groups switched this week, Friday (Blue) groups had been trying different painting techniques with a variety of materials.  Last week, friends came into the Studio to find a basket of toy cars and trays of paint.  We set up some large pieces of paper and began experimenting with rolling the cars through paint and seeing what types of marks the wheels made.

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Morgin: Look what’s happening… it’s turning into a rainbow.

Marley: Start your engines… we’re racing!

Gerlin: Vrooooom, it made blue!

Moses: There’s the tracks.  The paint shows the tracks.

After friends were finished rolling the cars through paint, they had to take them to the car wash!  We used a bucket of soapy water as our makeshift carwash and children scrubbed the cars clean when they were all finished.  I think friends enjoyed this just as much as they liked getting the cars dirty!

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Morgin: My cars dirty.  Got to get it clean.  Wash the car and got it clean.  Oh… bubbles!

Sasha: We’re getting our cars clean!  My car can talk… it says, “I’m at a tea party with bubbles.”  My car is filthy.

Moses: Put them in the carwash?  That’s funny. Ms.Cushner.

Amberly: Clean at carwash.

“Is it a bag of snakes?”

By this point in the year, all children in Pre-K have had an experience working with clay!  It is one of my favorite materials to work with and I always love introducing it to children.  We began by examining clay in a plastic bag… friends feel it, poke it and attempt to lift it, among other things.  There’s always a sense of mystery around it, and we brainstorm what we think is in the bag.

Moses: I think it’s mud.  It’s smooth.  I like how it feels.

Roman: It feels really, really, really, REALLY good!

Justin: Is it a big rock?  Can you tell us already?  I can’t wait!

Phoenix: A brick?

Alexia: I think it’s gak.

Michael: Is it a bag of snakes?

Marley: It stinks!

Once friends learned that it was clay (and not a bag of snakes, phew) they began to work on their clay sculptures!  We had some different tools available… rollers for making it flat, clay scissors for cutting, utensils for mark making, etc.

Sylvie: I’m just making bird soup.  They can eat it outside.  I might even eat it for my dinner because birds said it was yummy.

Cole: I need something to add to my house.  It needs a roof so that my little fella doesn’t get lost.  These are the shades… if little fella is in the sun it keeps him cool and shady.  He has a secret hideaway spot but he’s bigger then that.  He zaps and this little hanging thing gets her into his home.  He hides from the bad guy.  The little fella roof is there just for the little fella to get out of in an emergency.  It’s hard to build a house.

Paris: A bear cave and a bear.  He sleeps in there in the winter.

Wallace: Clay can do so many cool things.

Elias: Did you know that clay is made from a cow?  Oh, that’s not clay… that’s actually milk.

Maceo: A choo choo train through the tunnel.  This is the track… a big track for trains.

Minna: I’m making Ms.Cushner a birthday cake!  This is her party and she just turned 5.  Blow out the candles!

Owen: My battleship is stronger because it has pipe cleaners in it.

Darian: Two hedgehogs.  Two hedgehogs that are friends.

Once sculptures were finished, we had to figure out a technique for getting them off the table if they were stuck!  Fishing wire is perfect for this because it’s thin, yet strong enough to slide under clay without breaking.  Children enjoyed working with the fishing wire… some friends made holes and tunnels, while others used it solely to remove their piece from the table.

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Jude: Is it floss that you put under to get it off the table?

Wallace: This is what you use to catch a fish?  That’s so cool.

Jasper: I’m putting the fishing wire through the clay to make tunnels for worms.

AJ: I got it off the table!  AJ saves the day!