“Beautiful Junk means trash.  But… I like it…”

Before break, children were introduced to “Beautiful Junk,” which are recycled materials that we can reuse and repurpose in the Studio and in PK classrooms.  Families are invited to drop off bags of materials in the bins outside of the Studio that we can sort throughout the year!

We began by reading Not A Box by Antoinette Portis.  This book is great, as it’s all about a rabbit that uses a cardboard box and his imagination to create a race car, a pirate ship and a robot costume.

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Following the read aloud, I brought a large shoebox to the table and children made predictions about what they thought was inside.  As I began to reveal the items, children instantly made connections to the book and were overflowing with ideas of what the materials could be used for.  We talked about what they were (can, blackberry box, cork, water bottle top) and about what material they were made from (metal, cardboard, plastic).  This led to sorting and labeling materials, which now makes it easier for friends to find specific materials that they need for projects.

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Jax: Let’s build with straws that bend!

Maya: It’s junk that’s beautiful.  Like old plastic cans that you can color to make beautiful.

Leba: That material looks like what you make waffles with.

Uhura: It’s junk that’s beautiful.  Maybe someone washed it.  Like a can that gets washed can be really shiny.

Kyrie: That material looks like a trash can.

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Jahir: If you rub those toilet tubes together it sounds like a frog.

 Frances: This is like a net for catching a fish.  I know I’m going to catch a BIG fish in this net.  Lots of fish, like big fish and tiny fish and little baby sharks. 

King: Is it… just trash?

Sallie Chappell: Could I use Beautiful Junk to make a cupcake?

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Hope: This material is smooth and soft.

Jacob: Skunks like junk!

Connor: That junk just looks like garbage.

Geo: Beautiful Junk means trash.  But… I like it.

Ethan: This thing feels soft.  Like a scarf.

Jayden: What can this be used for?  Is it a flag?  Like for “Capture The Flag?”

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Nora: I saw a plastic bottle top on the playground and that’s Beautiful Junk.

Mina: We can use this stuff to build planets.  Like Saturn.

Adele: Beautiful Junk is junk that looks good.  Like buttons.

Asa: Junk is garbage, but Beautiful Junk you can use again.  Like, this is a bag for garlic but now I can use it as a net.

Hailey: Ew… junk like… stinks!

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Feel free to drop off any interesting materials that you find around your house for us to create something new with!

“This wavy line is the hardest one yet.  My heart was moving so fast.  And then I focused a lot.  And then I did it!”

Over the past couple of weeks, friends have been practicing with scissors and different types of materials to build the muscles in their hands.  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.  We also practiced how to use them correctly and safely.

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Mina: You can cut flowers in the garden if you want to have flowers in your home!

Jax: I think you can cut playdough.  And kinetic sand.

Frances: You could cut cobwebs to make Halloween decorations.

Theo: Cut tape… and string!

Kennedy: Scissors might get stuck if you cut tape.

Sallie Chappell: Things that are fuzzy we can cut.

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Jair: You can cut chicken with scissors in the kitchen.

Kyrie: Hold the bottom of the scissors when you pass them to teachers or friends.

Bella: Don’t cut toys.  They would break.

Anival: Don’t cut flowers.  They are beautiful and then they wont grow!

Farah: We shouldn’t cut hair.

Anival: Do not cut credit cards or else they don’t see what card it is.

Uhura: Don’t cut your hair.  It’s not a hair salon!

Noah: Don’t cut toys or they get braked.

Tahj: I just got my hair cut at the barber shop… not here!

Nanahi: Don’t cut clothes or they be broke and mom has to fix it.

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Next, friends practiced cutting paper with assorted shapes and lines provided.  Depending on their age and experience, children snipped around the outside of paper, were able to cut through the paper, or successfully cut out shapes.

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Kyrie: I’m cutting a shape that looks like a cowboys lasso.  An oval.

Africa Grace: You can cut pictures out of picture frames.  Like art!

Betsegaw: I’m so strong.  I can even cut paper!

Isaiah: The circle might be tricky for me.  Hey… I’m doing it!

Aria: I’m focusing.  I’m cutting the paper into an oval.

Connor: It takes forever to cut out these shapes.

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Jameson: I’m getting sooooooo tired.

Dayana: This kind of line looks like grass!

Kaitlyn: Open, close, turn.  Open, close, turn.

King: I did it.  I feel so good!  I’m doing it.  I’m really doing it!

Jahir: I’m almost there.  I’m doing it!

Hope: I told you I could do it.  I did the wavy line!

Soleil: It’s so hard for me.

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Ava: Yeah… I cut out a rectangle.  This is for my mom.

Ethan: I’m so tired.  Scissors are exhausted.

Katherine: This wavy line is the hardest one yet.  My heart was moving so fast.  And then I focused a lot.  And then I did it!

Eva: That line looks like the top of a castle.

Asa: It’s hard to cut out the bumpy line.

Crystal: Open, close.  I made it!

Savannah: Yay! I did it! I did the square.

Sebastian: Open, shut them.  Open, shut them.  Like the song!

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After friends practiced with paper, they were invited to cut playdough.  Friends practiced rolling playdough “snakes” and then using dough scissors to cut them.  Friends noticed a difference between cutting paper and cutting playdough right away, as both feel different in your hands.  Children are very excited to finally have scissors available in the Studio and in their classrooms!

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Jax: I can cut playdough.  Even a big piece!

Jayden: I try my best.  And I’m doing it!  I’m feeling so the best.

Amie: I’m already focused.

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“There’s love in your heart.  And your heart is under your skin so you don’t need to draw it.”

Last week, friends added finishing touches to their self portraits!  Children used additional drawing materials to draw on top of the liquid watercolors once they had dried.  Friends studied their faces in mirrors and compared them to their self portraits.  Many children realized that they forgot important features and added them to make the portraits even more realistic!

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Asa: I forgot to paint all my face!  I’ll color the rest in.

Anival: Why do I look like a monkey alien?  Oh well.  But I did make my beautiful legs.

Leah: Mouth? I forgot my mouth!

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Amie: I added some pink around my mouth.  The color red is on my shirt so I’m making it red.  And I made two sleeves.  I made Jessica with me.  She’s my sleeping friend that I brought to school!

Adrian: I forgot to do my legs, and my underwear, and my pants, and my shoes.

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Adele: My hair is light brown with golden.  And I need to add light pink to my mouth.

Ava: I love my face.  See?  This is my face!

Nanahi: I add a little bit of skin.

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Hope: First I did my hair blue, but I actually need to make it dark.

Ahmari: Brains are under our skin.  Let me make my brain.

Nora: I drew my pink pants and I changed my pants to white because I’m wearing white pants today.

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Connor: There’s love in your heart.  And your heart is under your skin so you don’t need to draw it.

Dayana: I’m drawing a rainbow dropping on me.  It feels like wet rain falling on my head.

Frances: I can make “WW” for my Wonder Woman shirt.

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Kaylee: I’m making my dress red and sparkly.

Bella: I forgot to add my hands!

Theo: I see a small part of red in my eyes.  And white on both sides around the blue.  Now… my buttons.  They are brown and grey.  My shoes… wait, where are my shoes?  I forgot them but they are grey and green.  I didn’t draw my feet because they’re inside my shoes.

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Africa Grace: I need to use white to make my leggings.

Emely: I’m making me in my own color!

Maya: I forgot to leave my teeth white.  And I only drew my bottom teeth!

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Kyrie: I have to make my eyes darker brown.  And I need to add white to them!

Uhura: I need more peach on my cheeks.

Jax: I need my eyes to be brown.  And my boogers.

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“Skin is so you don’t have your skeleton out!”

Last week, friends started working on their self portraits in the Studio!  We began by reading The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler.  This book has rich text and illustrations, so we broke it up into three parts to use throughout our self portrait work.

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Next, we began examining our faces in mirrors.  Friends noticed shapes, colors and textures, while also sharing what they knew about skin and why we have it.

“Why do we have skin?”

Kyrie: You need skin so you can play.  And so you can run really fast.

Abbie: It keeps your inside warm.

Africa Grace: Skin is so you don’t have your skeleton out.

Jax: If you take your skin off, you’ll see your bones.

Theo: It helps keep the bones inside the body.

Kaylee: And the blood inside.

Sallie Chappell: When we grow into a baby, we grow skin.

Jair: Skin helps you grow bigger and bigger when you eat your vegetables.

Amie: If you don’t have skin, you’ll die.

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Betsegaw: Self portraits are you draw if you’re a boy or a girl.

Abbie: You make your eye color.

Theo: I need to make my Nationals jersey.  And my missing teeth.  And little boogers in my nose.

Aria: Don’t forget to make your eyelids.

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Jacob: My legs are lines.  And my feet look like little ovals.  My fingers look like five lines.

Frances: How come I’m always in my skin?

Kaitlyn: I put my unicorn horn.

Nora: I need to add my birth mark.

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Adele: It means… um… self means us, so, a picture of us!

Ellie: How do I make Ellie?

Eva:  I added a freckle to my foot.  And a bandaid.

Jayden: That’s me.  That’s myself!

Hope: I have skin on my face.  And my cheeks.

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Below are self portraits in process!  Next week, friends will mix colors with liquid watercolors as they start adding additional details to their portraits.

“I love it.  I love this place!”

This week, children began coming to the Studio for art groups… FINALLY!  New friends were excited to explore the Studio, and returning friends were eager to be leaders.  Friends had many noticing and wonderings about the new space…

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Jahir: What’s over that wall?

Abbie: I hear the air conditioning blowing loud.  It makes me feel calm.  And soft.

Maya: I didn’t know you were over this wall!

Briana: Where did this room come from?

Ethan: Do you have beds in here for nap time?

Nanahi: I hear Ms.Holmes singing “Sally the Camel!”

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Khyrstian: Lots of good art in here!

Kennedy: What’s that sound?

Noah: It sounds like people?

Elena: I love your house!  It’s nice.

Yanelis: I hear that.  What’s that sound?  It sounds like niños.  And I hear Mr.Christian?

Matthew: I like the flowers.

Leah: Why does the sink make noise?

Jayden: I love it.  I love this place!

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We began by painting together at the front table with liquid watercolors!  Children practiced putting on smocks, safely passing glass jars with paint and putting wet work away on the drying rack when they were finished.

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Uhura: I see flat brushes, and round brushes.  And big ones and little ones.

Aria: I’m getting so tired from painting.

Dayana: That’s a ginormous skinny brush!

Nora: First the paint looked black, but then it dried brown.

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Adele: Keep the glass on the table so it doesn’t break or spill.

Asa: If you put the brush in the wrong jar, it will change it wont ever change back.

Eva: I’m painting a house for fish!  It even has a spot for the fish to put her clothes.

Hailey: Blue paint… like the color of smocks!

Anival: If you want to mix a rainbow, mix it on your paper.

Sallie Chapel: I’m wearing a smock like you.  We’re artists.

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Once children were done painting, they could self select other centers in the Studio to continue their work.  At the sensory table, there were mung beans and materials for scooping and pouring.

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Yanelis: I’m making a little tea party in here.

Vanessa: I love sensory table.  It feels so weird!

Kennedy: I love it.  I want to play so long!

Isaiah: Don’t eat the sand for real.  It’s not really ice cream!

Javi: Don’t spill the beans.

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At the easel, there were dry erase markers and erasers for collaborative drawing.

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And at the back table, there were drawing materials sorted by color!

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Jax: Put the tops on so the smelly markers don’t dry up.

Theo: If you twist this too high, it’ll break.  If it breaks, we won’t have it.

Adele: This marker color is metallic.  That means it can glow in the dark.

Nanahi: Twist only a little bit.

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“I’m making something pretty amazing!”

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! 

By the third week of school, children were using oil pastels, crayons, markers, dot markers, rock crayons and twist crayons in the art area. It was exciting to compare and contrast these drawing materials, as they all have very unique qualities! Soon, children will begin coming to the Studio for art groups where they will continue to explore a variety of 2-D and 3-D materials.

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Soleil: Why are they called rock crayons?  Can we use them outside?

Hailey: I rubbed it with my fingers.  Now I can draw with my them!

Dayana: The black oil pastel looks like licorice.  This one looks like a minty color.  This one is a peachy color.

Asa: I made a plan for how to build an airplane. 

Africa Grace: When you use the side of the rock crayon, it makes you draw faster.

Nanahi: It twists.  I’m just writing.

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Savannah: I’m doing it.  I’m twisting it up high!

Jair: Can it twist to the ceiling?

Adele: It’s really hard to smudge black.  Maybe because it’s dark?  Look… I’m drawing with my fingers!  The more you smudge it, the lighter it gets.  I just turned red to pink!  You have to scrub it.

Kennedy: All the colors are making the rainbow.

Vanessa: It looks like lipstick.

Sallie Chapel: I’m making something pretty amazing!

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Johnny: I’m busy… busy!

Leba: The top goes there.  On the back!  Click!

Hope: Those are details that I made.  I added arms and a mouth to the ghost.

Sebastian: It turned my finger green.  It’s getting all the colors on my hand!  Look at all the colors on my fingers.

Isaiah: Can you draw with the back of the pastel?

Amie: Put the top on so it doesn’t dry up.

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As children in Mrs.Balk’s class were drawing outside, many began creating treasure maps of the playground.  There was a lot of enthusiasm around maps as children were studying the location of playground structures, the sandbox and the garden.  Children began trading maps with their friends and wishing each other “good luck” as they set out to find treasure on the playground!   

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Frances: I’m going to make treasure maps for Abbie to find the treasure.

Abbie: I’m making two treasure maps for at home.  Zach and daddy are on a team and me and mommy are on a team.

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Art groups begin in the Studio on Monday! Hooray!

“We can paint with our friends special colors? Wow!”

Our color study has come to a close, and children put the final touches on their work last week!  Children signed their name under their painting, came up with unique names for their colors and shared a story about their final painting.  Friends looked at the Pantone book (for kids) for support if they needed help naming their colors.

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With the leftover cups of paint, friends worked together on collaborative paintings at the easel, and at the table during Service!  Children were excited to try out the special colors their friends made.

Avery: We can paint with our friends special colors? Wow!

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Last Thursday, Capital City hosted it’s 1st Annual Pre-K to 12th grade Art Exhibition, titled In Forced Proximity.  16 Pre-K students had art work displayed at the opening and shared their work with family and friends.  It was wonderful to watch children share their art work with pride, as it took a lot of courage to explain art work to adults and older students.  Looking forward to the tradition of this at Capital City!

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“I only made two colors because they were cool… the coolest colors I’ve ever made!”

Last week, friends returned to the Studio eager and excited to use their special colors of paint for a cohesive painting.  It was a tricky challenge, and children used their imagination or changed their idea once they had time to observe and reflect on the colors of paint they mixed the prior week, as those were the only colors available for their final painting!  As children worked, they shared stories about their paintings with their friends.

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Briana: I’m making something brand new.  It’s hard work… hard hard work.

Joelle: I mixed a color that looks like mint ice cream.  I’m using it to put on the finishing touches.

King: I like that.  It cool.  I make a house for me!

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Uhura: I made a microscope looking at a sunflower seed.  The microscope is on the boat and that’s me and my sister on our boat.  Those spots are yogurt drops falling on us!

Frances: I want to make grass, but I don’t have green.  I know… I can use gold!

Ahmari: This color looks like garbage from the trash truck.

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Kaylee: I make orange.  This color looks like the orange art group!

Kendul: The dark red is my favorite color that I mixed.

Isaac: I’m making something… something very specific.  I don’t have yellow to make the sun, so the sun can be dark green.  The plant is burning up.  The plants are in trouble!

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Africa Grace: I only made two colors because they were cool… the coolest colors I’ve ever made!

Santi: This is hard work to make the painting with all the colors.

Mina: I made beautiful colors!

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Avery: I like this color… it’s a monster color!

Theo: I think I used pink and purple and black and mixed them together to make this dark color.

Anders: This color looks like it’s burning up!

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Mason: I’ll make the grass… red… because I don’t have green.

Drew: Blue is a good color because it’s the color of Earth so it comes with all the powers!  My other colors are camouflage colors.  I like them very much!

Aaron: I got three greens like Gecko.

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Kourtney: I made the sun purple… I wish it was really purple, not yellow.

Gerson: Challenge accepted! I can do it!

Mateo: This is a Minecraft color.  And this looks like a goo color!

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Alden: I’m up for the challenge!

 “I mixed a new color that I’ve never seen before!”

After weeks and weeks of experimentation with color mixing, children started working on their final color study product!  Friends began by closing their eyes and imagined what it would be like if they only had a few colors in the world to paint with.  Children thought about places they had been that evoked vivid memories, animals and food that they loved, and objects they have seen at school or at home.

Next, friends began creating their unique colors in small plastic cups.  Friends added paint to their cups until they had a color that made them happy.  Once the color was just right, they painted a small rectangle with their paint that would be used for the final product.  Children were able to pick the number of colors they wanted to create, ultimately ranging from 2-5.  Colors were saved for the following week… stay tuned for a post about the final work!

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Connor: I’m using a little bit of black so it only gets a little bit darker.

Drew: I made a camouflage color.  It’s called “camouflage tiger!”  Did you know paint has a name and that’s the name for this one.  And this color is called “green Jell-o” and I’m gonna name this color “tree.”

Kimi: This color looks like a witchy color.

Luca: This looks like apple sauce and I want to eat it.

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Brandon: I put purple in and it made it darker.  Like burgundy.

Elijah: This color is “mint” and this color is “Night Ninja.”

Africa Grace: Santi made my favorite color… it’s turquoise!  I like really, really, really light colors.

Avery: I don’t like this color yet… I need a little more blue.

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Naila: I added a little white and now it’s perfect.  You guys, look… I made ocean blue!

Elizabeth: I made cabbage… yay!  And I’m calling this color “dirt.”

Anders: This is the coolest color I’ve ever made.  It’s Lizzie’s favorite color… cabbage!

Bella: I made a love color.

Christian: This is my favorite color… I’m good at mixing it.

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Asa: This color looks like Nemo the fish.

Joelle: This color looks like slime!

Cesar: I mixed too many colors.  I hope it makes golden but it might make brown.  Oh, this color looks just a little like poop.  Ew.

Stephanie: I made red but it looks even cooler!

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Kate: It’s like a “My Little Pony” color.

Alina: I made a dark green and Adrian made a light green.

Kyrie: I mixed Halloween colors.

Kaitlyn: I like this color.  Orange is my favorite!

Betsegaw: Ewwww… this color looks like broccoli!

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Ali: Look what I made… an awesome aqua color!  This color looks like a party.

Irvina: I mixed a new color that I’ve never seen before!

Dayana: This looks like cotton candy.

Isaac: I like this color… it’s a cool black.

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“Red can be a sad color because it’s the color of blood when you get hurt.”

As children continued to learn about mixing colors, friends began making connections between colors and feelings.  To further explore this, we read My Many Colored Days by Dr.Seuss.

Once it was time to start mixing colors, friends were excited to see that different facial expressions were on their paper and immediately made connections between colors and feelings! They also enjoyed trying to mimic some of the sillier expressions 🙂

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Kaleb: I’ve seen these emojis before.  This face looks happy because maybe he’s having a balloon party!

Ali: Use peach and white to make a “love” color.  And that face looks like a robot so he can be grey.

Betsegaw: The silly face can be blue, yellow and red mixed together.

Abbie: When my baby pulls my hair, my cheeks get so red and I cry.  It makes me mad.

Luca: I used all the colors to make the heart eyes because I love all the colors.

Mariyah: The love color (purple) reminds me of Ms.Berger because I love her and she loves that color.

Avery: This one is mad.  He has a mad face like Mufasa.  Mufasa is always mad at Simba.

Mina: That face looks like he’s sweating!

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Kate: I’m really busy here being a painter.  Blue for the crying face… like tears.

Alina: I’m gonna put purple on the happy face because I love purple.

Stephanie: He yellow because yellow is a happy color.  Pink is happy too!

Joelle: Dr.Seuss thinks purple is a sad color.

Amie: When I add a little bit of yellow, it mixed to green.  He’s sad because he doesn’t like green and want to be another color, like purple.

Cesar: Love is for red… I think so!

Gerson: I made silver.  That’s my favorite color!  When you mix all the colors, it makes grey, like silver.

Bella: When I cry, I get cries that are blue so the sad face is blue.  And that face looks confused… like he’s thinking about what made me sad.  He’s like “hey, what happened here?”

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Daniela: That face feels confused.  What happened!

Asa:  The sad face can be blue because it’s the color of tears.

Adele: Do you like this camel color? It’s for the silly face.

Nazeer: This color looks soapy.  He’s surprised he’s covered in soap.

Alden: Sometimes my face turns red when I get mad.

Julian: Hey… grey, grey, grey! Three different greys.  I can still see his little emoji eyes and surprised face!

Elizabeth: The happy face is green, a kind of green that looks like cabbage because that’s my favorite color!

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Drew: Dr.Seuss said pink was a happy color.  You could make the happy face pink, but you don’t have to.  And this face is silly, green is the color that fits the silly face.

Connor: I was thinking… maybe we could put some colors together.  They can make new colors!

Kourtney: Look at this color, it’s a little bit pink.  It’s for the smiley face because it’s my favorite color.

Kimi: That face feels like it’s alone, awwww.

Elijah: This emoji looks sleepy, and this one looks curious!

Declan: Red can be a sad color because it’s the color of blood when you get hurt.

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Luca: Faces can turn red when you get angry.  But Dr.Seuss said black is an angry color.  I mixed black and red together to make my own angry color.

Africa Grace: I’m making this one so pink because there’s so much love.  She has so much love on her.

Isaac: This face feels… annoyed!

Santi: I like this color.  I’m putting it on the angry face because it’s my favorite!