“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!

“The rainbow is so pretty.  It’s a little TOO pretty!”

On a recent sunny day, Stephanie noticed that the sun reflecting off of her sequined shirt created rainbows all over the Studio!  Friends were infatuated by these rainbows and asked if we could fill the Studio with rainbows that could be seen on non-sunny days.  We took photos and videos of the rainbows that Stephanie was casting throughout the Studio, so that I could share them with children from different art groups to help get them on board with this BIG project! (I wasn’t able to load the video’s here, unfortunately!)

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Children began searching for rainbow materials and stringing them on to wire.  Once we had enough strands for our rainbow, we had Mr.Jeff help us install them so they could hang over our tables!

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The following week, children began making charms to hang from the rainbow.  Friends strung and painted wooden beads, wove in fabric and threaded pom-poms.  Once finished, children picked the perfect spot on the rainbow for their charms to go!

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Kaleb: I’m making more rainbows to make the room feel special.

Marcus: These beads look like donuts.

Declan: How did this happen from the ceiling?

Santi: This rainbow is giant!  It’s on the roof!

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Isaac: It looks like streamers.  I see my favorite color, blue!

Theo: The rainbow is so pretty.  It’s a little TOO pretty!

Kaylee: It’s so glittery now!

Alden: I see my blue one.  I made my whole rainbow blue.

Julian: The rainbow looks like a bridge going over our heads.

Hailey: It looks good, really good.

Julien: The charms look like little marshmallows.  And that’s a diamond shape.  And that wooden bead looks like a slinky!

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Uhura: Those are decorations!  The Studio is decorated!

Asa: It looks like we could have a party in here!

Briana: Are these hanging up for Santi’s birthday?

Daniela: What!  Those are rainbows… in the ceiling!

Nora: It looks so different in here now that things are hanging up there.

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Anival:  Cool.  Nice.  Things are hanging from the sky.

Amie: I really like those, but I don’t have them at my home.  I’m gonna do this for my dad and when my dad comes to the Studio, I can show him what I made.

Jax: Ta-da!  A rainbow!

Vanessa: That bead looks like candy.  Rainbow candy.

Cesar: Stephanie just wanted rainbows and now they’re hanging from the wall!

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Have a great winter break, everyone!

“I make a snake with legs…he’s a transformer. Now he’s a juice box!”

Rose Red and Lavender Purple groups have been continuing to work on sculptures, and have been using a variety of materials to help them working three-dimensionally.  Children spent more time creating sculptures with clay, and learned how to use a wire cutter to safely remove sculptures from the table.

Christian: The wire cutter looks like a jumprope.  It goes under the clay and it cut it a little bit off the table.

Adriana: It looks like a rope and a cutter.

Alli: It was easy to use it to pull the clay.  You didn’t know I could use it?

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Esther: When you bend the wire, it looks like a rainbow.

Amal: Wow, it’s working!  It did!  It’s not stuck to the table.

Naomi: The wire cutter looks like a spider web.

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Amen: It looks like a puller.  I’m being responsible.  It’s not on the table now.

Jariel: It looks like a fishing hook!

Children used new tools to draw in clay, followed by collage materials to add details to their sculptures.

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Kavalli: I make a snake with legs.  He’s a transformer.  Now he’s a juice box!

Dennis: I making pizza.  Happy birthday pizza.

Autumn: It’s a seahorse.  Poke it, it moves.

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Jariel: This is Jimmy.  Jimmy likes to surf, but he lost his legs.  We need to take him to the doctor.  That’s his brother.  Now I need to make the baby, his name is Jayden.  Don’t eat him, or he will cry.  Don’t forget his little arms.  He wants to play.

Konone: I’m making a hot dog with fruit on top.  The sparkles are the fruit on top.

Jax: I found my bird.  He’s over here.  We have to use more sparkles.  I think he’s done now, he’s sleeping.  Wow, a new hat for the birdie!

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Christian: I wrote my name in the clay.  Now I’ll squish it and make it like a flat pancake!

Bennett: It’s a snake.  It can just slither around… so strange.

Siah: It looks like the letter “I” and I can make an “S” like Siah!

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The following week, children worked with Model Magic to create sculptures.  Friends used dot markers while they worked to change the color of their Model Magic.  Children enjoyed mixing and blending colors to enhance their work!

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Christian: I know, that’s Model Magic.  I could see M-O-D-E-L M-A-G-I-C and that says Model Magic.

Sophia: I likes it.

Amy: It feels good.  It feels smooth.

Amal: Model Magic is stretchy like a band-aid.

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Christian: I’m making a Sonic snowman, isn’t that fun?  He’s a hedgehog, like a porkypine.  Now I can make his friend Tails!

Belen: I made two friends.  Best friends.  They are best friends forever.  They playing hide and seek.

Cory: When you pull it apart, it looks like a mustache.

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Over the next few weeks, children will be working on wooden sculptures.  Stay tuned for an update!

Minna continues to build her jet and shares the progress with Jasmine

Last week, I posted about Minna and her jet made out of Beautiful Junk.  She had been working on it in her classroom and brought it to the Studio to make some additions.  On Wednesday, I was spending some time in Ms.Lauchlan’s room and sat with Minna, AJ and Jasmine as they were building with Beautiful Junk.  Everyone was engaged and excited about what they were building, as well as what their friends were creating.

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Minna: Treasure, treasure, I putted two treasure.  The gengine (engine) starts rumbling and it goes and goes and then blast off, it disappears.  The orange bead was on the ground… I need it for the fire by the gengine.  This box is their room.  They can just go into the box to sleep and the driver will still fly the jet.  It’s the jet bedroom… by the dungeon.  Oh cool… a bell and a tiger button.  That’s just what the jet needs!  I got some cool things and some pretty things.

Jasmine: Can I watch what you’re doing?  It’s not my work but I like it.

Minna: Yeah, bring a chair.  I’ll show you.

Jasmine: I like this bell.

Minna: It’s a bell button… listen!

Jasmine: What’s this bottle for?

Minna: Smell… soap!

Jasmine: I wish you had something in there that smells like perfume.  Minna, what’s this?

Minna: An alien from Mars.

Jasmine: Interesting yarn.  Minna, that button looks like a ring my mom had from when she wedded herself.

Minna: That’s cool.  Wait, I need to show you something.

Jasmine: Beautiful!

Minna: And shiny! Jasmine, you and Ms.Cushner can always watch what I’m doing.  Whenever you want, just come over to watch and maybe help if I ask!