“I’m going to make the crying face blue because tears are blue. When I see water coming from the sky it’s blue.”

Phew! We have been so busy with all this color mixing that I’m not really behind on blogging— sorry about that!

A couple of weeks ago, 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.

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Victor: I made grey. White and black made grey. The sad face is grey.

Autumn: Peach is a silly color.

Luca: When someone makes you mad your face get’s red.

Elijah: When someone’s making a really silly joke, you might laugh really hard and cry at the same time.  I don’t know what color to make that face, though.

Naomi: There’s black in the story and it was a mad page. I’ll make the mad face black.

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Amen: It’s making it grey. Daniel, you’re right, it’s making grey. Dark grey. You mix up all the colors to make it.

Dafnee: That face feels exhausted.

Eva: I make the happy face pink. It’s my favorite color.

Elliott: I’m using blue for the sad face. Because blue is the color of tears.

Amal: That face feels shy. And that’s a love face.  This is a curious face.

Nydelyn: The face with the hearts is purple because purple is my favorite color. I like purple.

Cora: A smiley face with tears? I loved something so much that I cried.

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Frances: Heart eyes, he’s in love. Pink or red are good love colors.

Elizabeth: White is confusing because then you can’t see the face underneath.

Kai: I’m putting more mad. It’s getting so mad.

Alden: The laughing and crying is a rainbow face. Because I said so.

Eli: Look at this one. I made the sad face pink because I don’t like pink.

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Mileena: The sad face is red.  I don’t like red.

Waju: I made my mad face super duper red. Some peoples face look red when they get mad. I made it super duper dark.

Jayde: Pink for heart for red for aaawwww. Love.

Isaac: I’m going to make the crying face blue because tears are blue. When I see water coming from the sky it’s blue.

Konone: He’s smiling and crying at the same time because he’s so happy. My mom smiled and cried at the same time because she was so happy.

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Eden: Yellow is for happy, for the happy face. Yellow makes me happy. And it looks like a happy face sun.

Drew: This one looks silly. That’s why he’s a clown with a red nose.

Kwame: He’s making a happy face. Do you see he has a beard. He has a ginormous beard. He’s a little embarrassed that he has a beard.

Siah: Happy is pink like in the book.

Dylan: I’m making mad. Red and blue, it look like a rainbow. Look, Siah, I made a rainbow. Because it’s beautiful.

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Julita: The heart in eyes is purple.

Anders: I’m putting yellow and white, haha. I feel surprised about that color.

Sammy: I made a wolf color for mad.

Kimi: It’s like your eyebrows are like up, up, up, angry.

Julian: This face is red because he’s angry.

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“Magical colors coming up!”

Last week, children learned about mixing tints and shades by adding white and black to their paint palette.  We began by reading Mix It Up by Herve Tullet, a really sweet gift that Ms.Morris picked up for me at the National Book Fair this fall!

This was such a fun book to read because it’s hands on and everyone was able to participate in changing the colors throughout the book.  Friends thought it was magical and continuously checked their fingers to see if the paint really left the page and was on their hands.

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Cameron: The book is magical because it made different colors. Some colors disappeared.

Frances: 1,2,3,4,5…. * gasp * it made my hand. Wait, it’s not on my hand. It’s magical!  It’s mysterious because it didn’t get on my hand but I could still change the colors.

Mateo: There’s a lot of colors on that page.

 

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Trebor: 1,2,3,4,5… all the colors went on my hand. But there’s no paint on them.

Naomi: This book as magical. I like when we got to put our hands on it.

Felipe: The book was beautiful.

Anders: The book is magical when you smushed the book together and it made grey.

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Next, friends began mixing their own colors and have started to really draw connections to the colors they make and objects that they know.

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Brandon: A little bit of blue and a little bit of red, let me see what happens. Looks like pink like the ice cream.

Elizabeth: How you make the light blue? Wait, actually you tricked me, it’s blue grey.

Ethan: Yeah, pancake pancake.

Luca: Look, I made light grey! More white makes it light.

Siah: This one’s my favorite. It’s peach pink.

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Elliott: Look what we both made. Red and black. Eva’s is lighter because of the red, and mine is darker because of more black. Mine is darker than Eva. Eva, look how dark mine is.

Kai: I think I’m gonna make pink. I made pink! How do I make pink darker?

Phoenix: That looks like ketchup and mustard.

Autumn: My hand is hurting because I keep painting.

Drew: Yellow and red, wait, wait, wait that’s not right. Yellow and blue makes green.

Dylan: Red, for Mater. I use red.

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Isabella: Snowy blue. Just like Elsa made with her powers.

Katherine: I used red, white and yellow to make pink, light pink.

Ali: A magical colors mean it has green.

Kimi: Wow, I mixed it… I did it!  I didn’t feel scaredy.

Waju: White will make it light, black will make it black.

Elijah: That color looks like honeycomb.

Gionni: My palette is filthy.

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Amal: If we put all the colors and put it here it makes grey. I hoped it was rainbow. Not fair, it’s grey.

Avery: Magical colors coming up!

Jax: *gasp* it turned play dough red!

Konone: Silver! All the colors made silver.

Nazeer: This looks like a toothbrush. And the paint is the toothpaste.

Amen: You can do light pink with I don’t remember, oh yeah, white and red like this.

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“Purple and yellow together made a dark yellow that looks like a rotten banana.”

For the second week of our color study, friends mixed colors using primary (red, yellow, blue) and secondary (orange, green, purple) colors.  We began by reading Color Dance by Ann Jonas, which gives really great visuals for how colors mix and change… especially highlighting that all colors mixed together make grey or brown.

Next, friends began mixing colors on their individual palettes and shared with friends what they noticed and wondered throughout the process.

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Autumn: What did I make? Red! But what kind of red? It’s yellow red!

Gerson: I made brown.  No, this is purple.

Phoenix: I made two purples… like twins.

Luca: Purple and yellow together made a dark yellow that looks like a rotten banana.

Naomi: Wow, this is a new color.  It’s so new that I don’t even know the name for it.  I guess I can call it yellow gold.

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Elijah: I made a special color.  It’s called violet jam.

Nazeer: I’m holding the palette in my hand like I’m an artist because I am an artist.

Daniel: Red like the lobster.  Red lobster.

Brandon: Let me see what happens.  I used all the colors and see, it made brown.

Leonel: This color is called dark rose.

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Frances: I think I made grassy green. And this kind looks like cactus green.

Elliott: On sunny days, I want to be cooled down. On cold days, I want to be warmed up. I’m going to make a color to make me really warm. A color like the sun makes me really warm, I used yellow and orange to make that.

Isabella: Does anyone know this color? It’s a dark stormy color.

Cora: I’m mixing Christmas-y colors. It made purple brown.

Trebor: I mixed a little bit of orange and a lot of green and it made monster green.

Elizabeth: Look look look what I made, it’s garbage green.

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Mileena: This color is like the clouds. Like outside the window on those clouds.

Gionni: What happens if I put a little more green on the blue… it got lighter! I put more blue and now it’s darker.

Eden: That’s how real artists actually do when they paint on the walls they hold the palette.

David: What color this is? Blue. Yes.

Siah: Let’s see how it changes. Orange, I got orange! Uhhhh, I used red and orange.

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Avery: I’m making black. But I’m not finished yet, I’m still making colors.

Anders: Let’s see what happens to this. It made green. I made light green and dark green. It looks like trees.

Jax: Some red and some yellow, mix the colors and now let’s see what happens now! It turns to an orange with…. Blood!

Julian: Mater is brown and McQueen is red.

Joelle: I’m gonna mix two colors. Not a lot of colors, just two colors. It looks like green beans, right?

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“I need to take a little break… mixing colors is making me tired!”

Last week, friends began learning about colors and color mixing as we kicked off our long-term color study!  We started by reading Monsters Love Colors, a very silly book that introduces colors and color mixing to young children really well.

Daniel: Red monster!  Blue monster!  Yummy colors!

Elizabeth: I can’t wait to mix so many colors for the monsters.

Felipe: Will red, yellow and blue make a rainbow?  The monsters will be so happy!  We made new colors, too.

Next, I introduced some new materials, such as a palette.  Children learned that palettes are a tool that artists use for mixing colors.  They were very excited to hold it in one hand and their paintbrush in the other.  For the first week, each palette was prepared with the primary colors (red, yellow, blue) for children to mix new colors with.

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Leonel: We’re going to paint with Colombia colors… red, yellow and blue.

Sebrina: A palette holds the paint.  It’s important.

Finally, it was time to paint.  Children began mixing colors that they thought the monsters from the story would love!

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Autumn: Look at how I made it…  I mixed red and blue and it’s purple!

Phoenix: That color looks like the color of Ethiopian food.  My mom likes that food!

Luca: Red is the color for love.

Dafnee: Daniel was right!  Red and blue makes purple!

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Brandon: I’ll mix red and blue and let’s see what happens!

Isabella: How did you make that kind of purple, Elliott?  Does it have more blue or more red?

Cameron: I mixed all the colors… let’s see what happens!  How come when I did all the colors it made brown, not rainbow?

Nydelyn: I made red, like a strawberry red, because I like them.

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Trebor: I want to make rainbow.  Wow, I did it actually!  It’s because I’m an artist.

Cora: I can’t believe red, yellow and blue can make all of these colors!

Frances: I made turquoise with a lot of blue and a little yellow.  Now look, when I put a lot of yellow and a little blue it makes light green, like slimy green.

Bella: I made the color of ducks!

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Elizabeth: When you mix colors, the paint is loud.  When you paint, the brush is quiet because it’s busy.

Waju: I made dark green!  Now I have two types of green.  This one is darker because it has more blue in it.

Eli: I made green because I thinked about it and remembered that blue and yellow would do that.

Kwame: I mixed all the colors and it made brown.

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Siah: I made tropical blue, how did I do that?

Katherine: Blue and yellow I told you made green.

Anders: I was right… red and yellow did make orange.

Joelle: A little bit of yellow and a little bit of blue makes a little bit of green.

Sammy: I need to take a little break… mixing colors is making me tired!

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“He’s the writer. He writes the words. He makes the pictures. Eric Carle is a human. I’m like Eric Carle!”

While children were embarking on an author study of Eric Carle in their classroom, there was so much enthusiasm around his stories and illustrations that consistently came up in conversation. It seemed like a natural progression would be to find connections to his work that we could explore in the Studio!

Each group began by reading By Mouse and Frog by Deborah Freedman. In this story, Mouse is trying to write a story, but Frog keeps interrupting and changing the plot of the story. By the end, they learn that they can write a wonderful story together, but only if they take the time to slow down and listen to each other.

Phoenix: Mouse and the frog don’t listen to each other.

Naomi: Mouse was mad because frog made a big mess with his story.

Sebrina: The mouse was sad that frog was talking over his story.

Cameron: Frog made it a mess and it was a bad story. He didn’t let mouse talk!

Eli: The frog made the mouse worried because he didn’t listen.

Isaac: That story blew my mind because they drew on the walls!

Next, children were introduced to the “imagination rock”, which meant that when it was your turn to contribute to the story, you were holding the rock and sharing your ideas. The rock had the word “imagine” etched in it, and friends loved feeling it’s “powers” when it was their turn to share. Once the collaborative story was complete, we edited it until everyone in the group was happy with it.

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Autumn: The special rock is giving me powers… story powers!

Luca: Close your eyes and you can feel the story powers.

Amal: If you put it on your heart, you use your imagination and you know what you want to make.

Samantha: This rock is really special.

As children learned about Eric Carle, they loved that he writes books and also does the illustrations. After re-reading our story, children used ripped tissue paper and glue to design backgrounds based on their story.

Amen: I heard Eric Carle did the ladybug and the click beetle book.

Dafnee: I read a book, an Eric Carle book, and it had a monkey in it.

Fatima: Eric Carle writes the words and draws the pictures.

Katherine: He made that caterpillar book.

Anders: He’s the writer. He writes the words. He makes the pictures. Eric Carle is a human. I’m like Eric Carle!

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Aurora: He’s the person who draws the words about the caterpillar who ate all the food.

Joelle: He’s an author. He draws pictures. He wrote about the grouchy ladybug.

Luca: When I grow up, I want to be Eric Carle.

Gionni: I’m gonna be like Eric Carle and make the frog a funny color. He’s a yellow frog now!

The following week, we read The Artist Who Painted A Blue Horse by Eric Carle as we began thinking about how to represent the characters. Eric Carle used his imagination in this book, and friends thought it was silly that he represented the animals in different colors. Children began drawing and collaging to make their stories come alive. When the work was finished, children signed their names so people would know that they were the authors and the illustrators!

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Isaac: Everyone calls me Eric Carle but I don’t know why. Maybe because I’m drawing a rainbow donkey.

Frances: Eric Carle is a great storyteller.

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Samantha: Eric Carle is friends with Antonio the ant. He’s not a person, he’s an ant.

Cameron: Eric Carle is Antonio’s favorite author and illustrator.

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Below are a few of our collaborative stories and storyboards… enjoy!

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The Little Rock Goes to the Pool Party   by Jabez, Jeylin, Dylan, Frances and David

Once upon a time, there was a rock. He was walking because he had legs. And he has feet and he wears shoes. The rock has clothes on. And he has eyes, a nose, mouth and hair. Then, there’s a lion in a pool. The lion invites the rock to the pool party. They eat chocolate ice cream cake. The lion has his feet in the water. All of the people are coming to the party for the lion and they are so happy because the rock is just like them. The people are also rocks with legs! The airplane comes to pick the rocks up. The airplane takes them to New York for a bigger pool party.

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Giant Monster at the Playground   by Adonai, Trebor, Cora, Nydelyn and Nazeer

One day on the playground, the mouse fell on the ground. “I hope it will stop falling,” said Trebor. “I hope it can slide down the slide,” said Adonai. There was a monster and the mouse showed his claws and said “roar!” Then, Trebor just slide down the slide and bumped the wood chips because he was surprised. The monster just fell on the rock and he got a scratch.

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The Princess, the Prince and the Dragon   by Elliott, Eva, Isabella, Kaleb and Brandon

Once upon a time, there was a tower. A princess and a dragon lived there and the dragon was trying to destroy her tower. He tried to keep the city all to himself. And the princess was sad and the prince came and he made her another castle and saved her. Then, the dragon came back and destroyed the whole world and the whole planet. The dragon broke the princesses new house. The princess goes in her house and then the dragon breathes fire on the princess. And then the dragon and the princess got friends and got along. They were friends again and happily ever after.

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The Rainbow Butterfly and the Nice Dinosaur  by Daniela, Cameron, Leonel, Amal and Issabela

One day, there was a butterfly and he was flying in the forest. He’s eating flowers like rosies. A dinosaur came and ate him. The dinosaur said, “roar!” The bunny comes and the butterfly came and they become friends. “Do not eat it,” said the bunny. And then the dinosaur ate him! The dinosaur ate all the butterflies in the whole city. But, he didn’t kill one butterfly, the rainbow butterfly, because he was so powerful. And he had nice kindness powers and he shot it at the dinosaur and he became nice. Now, he shares.

“Scissors are so powerful. They really can’t stop paper!”

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.

Autumn: Scissors are dangerous for babies.

Diego: My mom, she cut my hair.  Not cut hair in here.

Isabella: Go to like, a hair salon or a beauty salon for a haircut.

Nydelyn: You could cut plastic with scissors.

Eli: I know, you can braid your hair but don’t cut your hair.

Trebor: If you cut your finger it’ll so hurt.

Eden: We could cut fabric and flint.

Drew: We could cut pictures of cars.

Frances: We could cut ribbon!

Samantha: We could cut crabs so we can eat them.

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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Kwame: Scissors are so powerful.  They really can’t stop paper!

Gionni: We have scissors in our class, that’s why we know how to use them.  We can cut our drawings out.  How can Isaac cut so good when he’s 3?  Good job, Isaac!

Stephanie: I did it.  I’m happy.

Joelle: Good job, Joelle.  I did a good job!

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Bella: I did it!  My first time using scissors!

Jax: If you can’t do it, you just practice.

Aurora: These scissors make a big mess with the paper.

Kimi: Open, shut, open, shut.  You did it, Anders!

Elliott: You could make a truck with these shapes.

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Nydelyn: I’m practicing so I get better.

Mileena: I could make a unicorn with this shape.  I like scissors.  I like cutting things.

Katherine: I cut the diamond!

Leonel: Open, shut, open, shut.  I love cutting them small so they are small like babies.

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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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Belen: What? Playdough scissors?

Jax: Cut the snake?  I don’t want him to be dead guys!

Torin: Cutting the playdough feels like snow because it feels squishy.

Brandon: Ouch, poor little snake.  I cut the big snake to make little snakes.

Julissa: It’s so harder to cut playdough.

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Eli: I’m pretending to give the snake a haircut.

Anders: I can roll a snake.  I can roll a ball.  I can cut a ball.  I can cut a snake.

Eva: It’s soft to cut playdough.  Sorry snake, I don’t want to cut you but I’m practicing.

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Elizabeth: Playdough is harder to cut than the paper.

Mateo: The snake broke and now there are two!

Frances: I’m cutting the snake up because he’s poisonous.  I’m cutting you up forever!

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“I’m coffee colored and I have a nice smile!”

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 both years.  We began by reading The Colors of Us by Karen Katz and talked a little about different shades of skin, eyes, hair, etc.

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

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Amal: I look beautiful!

Nazeer: My skin is a toast color.

Waju: I’m making my head an oval.  My skin is pancake color and my eyes are a little bit blue.  I look nice!  I’m drawing myself holding the pencil.  Wait, why do I kind of look like a huge potato?

Anders: Don’t forget your belly button.

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Autumn: Oh my!  I’m looking at myself.  Hi Autumn!  I see that I’m so hairy.  I have more than one hair on my head.

Isabella: I’m the color of spice.

Isaac: I’m coffee colored and I have a nice smile!

Konone: My eyes are dark brown like midnight brown.

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Phoenix: I’m chocolate brown and Autumn is chocolate brown too!

Mateo: I even want to draw my stinky feet.

Leonel: When you look in the mirror there’s another you.  My head looks so big because I have a big brain.

Gionni: My skin is brown like a brown  bear.

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Sophia: I’m sand colored.

Eden: I’m making mine silly and drawing my tongue!

Jax: I’m just like you… I have eyelashes too!

Aurora: I see my two ponytails.

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

 

“This is like a tiny paint… stadium!”

This was the first week that children came to the Studio for art groups, and we had an absolute blast!   Friends had many questions about the space and materials which made for enthusiastic and busy art groups.

Friends noticed and wondered many things about the Studio…

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Mariyah: Who’s making that sound over that wall?

Belen: You got a new carpet?  And an easel?  Wow!

Yuri: I hear Ms.Holmes.  Is she in that white box?

Dafnee: I wish there would be a wall so it’s more quieter.

Kaleb: Is this your house?

Brandon: You have a dee-doo dee-doo in your room for the fire drills.

Elliott: You got a new rug just like our class!

Nydelyn: Your bell sounds like the tooth fairy.

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Alden: Hey, that’s my classroom over that wall!

Eli: Why you got two boards now?

Gionni: This is like a tiny paint… stadium!

Kwame: That’s Mister Skinny Legs skin… do you remember him?

Frances: My very first time in this room!  There’s rainbows in here and now I’m turning into a rainbow!  And seashells! And a magical sink that makes a “bump bump” sound.

Anders: I just stepped on a rainbow!  It was on the floor.  Now it’s on my pants and my pants are actually my pajama pants.

Julian: I love it in this place.

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At the front table, children were introduced to liquid watercolors and used them to fill more pages of their sketchbooks.  We discussed mixing on the paper (not in the jars… for now…) and how to safely use and pass the glass jars.

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Luca: Glass breaks when you drop it.

Amen: I’m putting the brush in the green.  It stays green that way.  I’ll put the red on top like an experiment.

Mateo: Don’t break the glass so you don’t get a cut.

Isabella: Pass it gently and keep it away from that edge of the table.

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Naomi: Are the jars made out of concrete?

Amal: This is red like red blood on the bandaid.

Trebor: Phew, this painting is hard work!

Jax: Don’t hurt the brush.  Don’t bang it or the brush will die.

Elizabeth: This brush is big, but the one in the pink is small.

Isaac: I can’t believe it… I’m painting with blue!

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Once children were done painting, they could self select from the other centers in the Studio.  This week, friends could use markers at the back table, draw and erase at the easel, or build with shape and color puzzles on the carpet.

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Katherine: Let’s do this together because the board is really, really big.  It’s an ice cream cone with chocolate chips.

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* I have many group photos of children working that couldn’t be posted due to the confusion with media releases this year.  Looking forward to getting those lists updated so that more photos can be posted on the blog! 🙂