“I’m making a color that nobody’s mixed 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 2-4.  Colors were saved for the following week… stay tuned for a post about the final work!

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Victor: I maked black. I mean I maked grey! I’m making it!  I like it!

Luca: This color looks kind of rotten.

Naomi: I’ve got an idea! Maybe if I put orange and yellow it will make gold. Elijah, is that how did you made gold?

Sebrina: I’m ready to make mines. Let’s see if mine is beautiful enough.

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Amen: It made mint blue. Mint blue is very light.

Dafnee: I made brown. You just use all the colors to do that.

Eli: I used yellow, blue and white. Then I used a little bit of blue again. I picked them because I want to make green. I knew blue and yellow made green.

Waju: I think I need a little bit more red to be happy.

Julissa: Oooohhhh, this color is good!

Isaac: Let the color mixing wars begin! A color mixing war is something that when everyone mixes colors together!

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Fatima: This green I made looks like turquoise. I like this. I want to use this color everyday.

Eden: I’m making a color that nobody’s mixed before.

Kwame: I made dark green. I’ve never made dark green before. I saw a juice that was dark green before.

David: White paper like colors of paint!

Jeylin: Mine looks like yogurt.  I love this so much.

Siah: I’m happy with my color. Wait, no, I’m not.  More purple and now I’m happy!

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Katherine: I’m using all of the colors. It’s turning into rainbow colored. It’s changing to brown.

Avery: I’m not happy yet, I still feel a little mad.  I’m not happy yet.  Now mine looks like a smoothie.  I’m happy with this!

Kate: This is like chocolate milk.

Sammy: Close your eyes everybody, lets see what it is. Oh my god! Oh my gosh! A dark purple, I’m happy with it.

Anders: I like this one… it’s blood red! Zombie red. Zombie blood red.

Kourney: Look at it, I love this color. It’s purple and pink.

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Aurora: This color looks like cake.

Elliott: I’m ready for my paper because it turned so light. Wow! It’s light orange.   It only took me all these colors to make light orange.

Kaleb: I’m sad about this color. I need to get some red a little bit.

Isabella: This is the color I wished for and wanted to make.

Amal: I like this color now. This color is amazing.

Leonel: I maked beautiful colors.

Frances: I’m mixing all of my colors into a beautiful paint that looks like a leaf color.  I love it, I love it.

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“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’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!

 

“Yellow, yellow, who do you see? I see pink looking at me!”

Welcome back to the school, friends!  After a summer filled with travel, art-making and lots of time to relax, it feels great to be back in the PK Studio and kicking off year 5!  I’m so excited to continue to work with PK4’s and to begin working with the new PK3’s this year.

During the first 3 weeks of school, I joined children in their classrooms and introduced materials at their art centers.  We worked with crayons, oil pastels and finally… tempera paint.  I also introduced Studio Sketchbooks for the first time, which will help compile all of their art work from the beginning of the year.  They will take their sketchbooks home at the first conference day!  Next week, children will begin coming to the Studio for art groups… and I’m beyond excited 🙂  Below is a snapshot of the beginning of the year work in their sketchbooks… enjoy!

Friends have used oil pastels, crayons and markers to begin illustrating stories and sharing their interests with myself and their peers.  Children enjoyed smudging and rolling the oil pastels, especially because they can be a little bit messy 🙂

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Kimi: This says K-I-M-I.  It’s my book!

Samantha: This is not Josie’s?  This is mine?  This is my notebook?  It’s not Josie’s, it’s mine?  My sketchbook?

Dafnee: Like your sketchbook?  Now I have one!

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Brandon: I don’t like the paper on the crayons.  I got to see all the colors.  I need to put the paper in the trash.  Now everyone can see the colors!

Isabella: When you drag pastels on the side it looks like a rainbow.  I love being here at the art table.  It’s so relaxing.

Amal: When you blow on it, the oil pastel doesn’t go away.

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Jax: Pastels make your hands dirty like a monster.  I want to keep drawing.

Torin: My fingers got messy too.  Just like Drew!

Elliott: Hear that scratching sound?  That’s called rubbing.

Aurora: It feels good.  They roll.  I can roll it fast.

Frances: I miss crayons, but these pastels are funny.

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Eva: Julia’s hands turned green like an ogre.

Belen: Messy, messy, silly messy.  I love doing messy.

Siah: What should you call this color?  I’ll call it rainbow water!

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Throughout the week, we have been using different sized brushes to paint with tempera.  Children also practiced putting on smocks to protect their clothes.  Friends mixed colors in their sketchbooks and are really excited to have paint open at their easels soon!

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Kaleb: The smock is covered in red paint because I have red paint on my hand.

Gionni: Did you know blue and yellow makes green.

Jax: Yellow, yellow, who do you see?  I see pink looking at me!  Pink, pink, who do you see?  I see red looking at me!

Luca: The purple paint covers the brush like magic.

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Isaac: What do you think of my painting?  It’s footprints!

Amen: When this fat brush goes in the yellow, it turns to brown.  I want to show all of my family.

Torin: Blue and yellow made a green person.  Guys look, it’s so mixed up.

Nazeer: I spin the red in yellow.  It’s orange!

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“We can’t stay, we’re getting bigger!”

Just as the PK 3’s made gifts for the PK 4’s, the PK4’s returned the favor and created two special gifts for our rising leaders!

You may remember back in Spring when some children spent months learning about figure drawing through different printmaking processes.  We accumulated so many gorgeous Gelli prints of children posing alone, and with friends, that it seemed to lend itself to illustrations for a book.  Figures in the prints were expressive, and evoked many feelings.  Children added text to each image, ultimately creating a feelings/classroom rules book that friends will read at the beginning of the school year!  Below are some pages from the book…

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“You can always hug a teacher if you feel sad.”

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“That’s your teacher.  They help and play with you.”

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“You can look out the window to see your friends and remember how much fun you had.  You can look for us, but it might make you miss us more.”

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“You can give a friend a hug, a handshake or a high five.”

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“See, that’s being teamwork!”

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“Looks like they’re making a mess.  Don’t forget to clean it up!”

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“They’re playing.  The big one is four and the little one is three.  They’re going for a walk together and holding hands in the line.”

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“You can walk in the garden.  There are tomatoes, strawberries and flowers in there.”

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“Raise your hand is how you talk to someone.”

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“Technically, he’s not a spider.  He’s using his imagination.  Anything’s possible.”

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“Sometimes you’re gonna cry.  Teacher’s help you, friends can give a hug, or you can go to the cozy nook.”

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“Even though you’re small, you’re strong.”

In the back of the book, children wanted to take group photos for the authors page!

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PK 4’s also drew on transparent colored paper that was compiled into a stained glass window.  Their art will remain on the window next year so that PK3’s can continue to be inspired by their friends!

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Zoe: I’m going to miss you.  I want to stay!

William: My sister and Adrian’s brother might  be in the same class next year.  They will be friends.

Nayeli: They will miss us.  They can ask us to come back.  Can you please come back?

Maia: We can’t stay, we’re getting bigger.

Rayyan: I’m gonna miss you.  I’m gonna make you gifts.  Are you going to cry when we leave?

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Zavier: I’ll make my name and me and tiny lava I can step on.  Don’t tell no one about this because they will want to do it.  I can’t believe I’m going to Kindergarten.”

Zeina: Oh, it looks beautiful when the sun is coming through.

Destynee: When you be a leader, you show them how to do stuff.

Selwyn: We can still come back and visit.  We can see you in the hall.

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Have a great summer, everyone!

“I’ll go sad when they go to Kindergarten and I’m gonna cry so loud!”

How is it already June?  This year really flew by!  One of my favorite parts of the year is when I split PK3’s and PK4’s so they can create gifts for their classmates who are either going to Kindergarten or staying in PK for another year.

This year, the PK3’s created their own colors of paint to send to Kindergarten.  The idea is that when children open their easel the first week of school, they will have special colors waiting for them and reminding them of their friends in PK.  We read My Many Colored Days by Dr.Seuss and brainstormed what types of colors friends might want to incorporate into future paintings.

Trebor: Let’s make them pink.  They like it and they be happy.

Eli: Let’s mix the paint and make it like chocolate milk.

Jax: Special red orange.  Really special.  Best day ever.

Cameron: Elijah likes green, let’s make him that.  And Sophie likes purple!

We narrowed it down to two colors per group to create and got to work on our color experiments!  Friends took turns adding colors to jars and mixing until they were happy with the color.  Finally, they assigned each color a name.

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Autumn: I’m just gonna cry about them.

Jax: I’ll go sad when they go to Kindergarten and I’m gonna cry so loud!

Dafnee: I won’t tell them what we  made for the surprise.  I’ll just say we make a flower!

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Fatima: We can call it lettuce… we grew that.

Amen: It’s turning to dark blue.  It’s turned to dark pink.

Dafnee: It’s getting lighter.  It’s mixing colors.

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Dafnee: This pink is pink lemonade.  It takes like sweet lemonade and it’s my favorite color.

Belen: C’mon purple, you can do it.

Waju: The stick is gonna turn purple.  Let’s write the names, like broccoli, on the stick so they know!

Kai: I put just the right amount of white.

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Below are some shots of the finished jars of paints and the sticks that show what children chose to name each color.  Along with the paint , we will include a sweet letter that friends wrote.

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Dear Friends,

We will miss you when you go to Kindergarten.  Be nice.  You are our best friends but you have to go and make something new.  We’ll miss your singing, I like playing with you and thanks for playing with me.  Don’t worry, when you go to Kindergarten, you will see all our friends.  We could visit you and we could play out back.  Will there be babies in our class?  We’re gonna be in charge of the little teeny tiny kids.  We will be kind to the new friends, and we can help take kids to another classroom so they can find their teachers.  I’ll be a leader, leading them, like you showed  us.  I’ll share with them and show them how to freeze.

We hope you like the paint.  Can you paint one thing for us so we can see the colors we made?  We can’t wait to see what you paint.  

Love, your PK3 friends

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“I look good. That drawing is an impostor.”

As the year is winding down, friends in Pre-K work on end of the year portfolio additions, as well as reflecting on their year and their hard work.  For me this means… self portraits all week long!  I love working on self portraits with children because it’s always so exciting to see the amount of growth from fall to spring… and for Pre-K 4’s, they will have 4 portraits to compare!

Just like in the fall, we began by reading The Colors of Us by Karen Katz and discussing the different shades of colors and shapes that make up our faces.  Children observed themselves in the mirror and matched colors based on what they saw.

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Ra’Maya: My tooth is loose.  I’ll draw it!

Elijah: I’m the color of honey, but don’t eat me!

Christian: My skin is like chocolate.  My eyes are dark brown like night time.

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Nneka: My eyes look like football shapes.

Sophie: I’m drawing my hair sticking up in one spot because it’s really doing that.

Zavier: I’m looking fancy in this mirror.

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Zeina: I’m drawing my flower earring.  I noticed last year I didn’t have earrings.

Mae: I see five different colors on my face.

Zoe: I wasn’t even trying and it looks just like me!

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Andres: My eyes look like potatoes.  They are mostly round.

Elijah: All of these colors together look like myself.

William: I see three colors on my face like cinnamon, tan and chocolate.

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Waju: Look what I did… it’s me!

Reese: My hair is curly so I have to draw bumps.

Marquis: I look good.  That drawing is an impostor.

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Kavalli: A mirror makes another you that’s doing the same stuff you’re doing.

Naomi: Stop copying me, Naomi in the mirror!

Jariel: My skin is a little bit brown, like peach brown.

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William: Whoa, Reese’s self portrait looks like the real her!

Iris: I’m making the little freckle next to my eye.  That’s a detail.

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Below are a handful of self portraits from the fall and spring… check out all those details!  Apologies for scanning them in backwards, so fall is on the right and the most recent ones from spring are on the left!

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“The carrot looks like my brother with a fade on his head!”

Currently sitting in jury duty, and it seems like the perfect opportunity to blog about another canvas bag design process as we gear up for Friday’s Market!

There was so much enthusiasm around printmaking from the Sunflower and Fern groups after learning the processes during our figure drawing study that it seemed like a no brainer to incorporate these skills into our Expedition!  Friends began by observing details of fruits and vegetables under a magnifying screen or with magnifying glasses.  As friends observed the produce, they sketched what they saw onto pieces of styrofoam, creating their own stamps!

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Zoe: Whoa, these strawberries are huge!  Look at all the seeds.

Luke: Look at those big things.  The magnifying screen makes the beet look ginormous!

Briana: It makes them look so big!

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Elijah: The parsnip looks like the carrots cousin.  One is taller but they smell the same.

Mae: The strawberry is a “V” shape.  Let me check if there’s anything I missed.  I’m looking closely at the leaves.

Nayeli: Do beets have dots or just lines?

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William: People are going to flip out… the drawings are so good!

Elijah: The carrot looks like my brother with a fade on his head!

Mae: The pepper has little lumps on it and some little dots.  My stamp looks like a pepper party.

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After two weeks of creating styrofoam stamps, it was finally time to print on our canvas bags!  Each child chose which of their stamps they wanted to use, the color of fabric ink that accompanied them and the layout of the bag.  Friends are so excited to shop with their bags at our Market, as well as outside of school with their families!

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Trebor: My tomato is on my bag!

Miguel: You have to push hard so it goes on and is bright.

Zeina: I want to make mine a pattern.

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Sarah: This is my bag.  I can buy the focus spray and the seed balls and put it in my bag.  It’s gonna be mine and I’m gonna keep it forever and ever.  My own bag!

Reese: This is going to be my perfect bag.

Marquis: The carrots look cool on here.

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Ryan: My bag… oh yeah!

Carlos: I’m making my strawberry green so it’s not ready to eat yet.

Mae: This stamped the best because I pushed down hard and it made the brightest red.  It worked!

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Nneka: It feels like I’m ironing.

Carlos: I can already see the red pushing out when I roll on my stamp.

Zavier: We’re doing like teamwork to make the bags!

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Rayyan: The fabric ink makes a scratchy sound when you roll in it.

Ayub: Ink looks like toothpaste.

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Here is a small sampling of bag designs… Enjoy! See you at the Market from 2-3:30 on Friday!