“I need to make my ears more like elf ears because the top is pointy!”

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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Declan: Oh my gosh, I look beautiful!  Look… I see I have two sharp teeth like a tiger.

Isaac: I have a bun on my head like you!

Mina: I found vanilla ice cream.  That’s my color.

Avery: I made my earwax.  No, no, my eyelash.

Asa: My lips are a little bit of two colors.  They are a little bit light and dark.

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Jax: I have hair.  I think it’s dark brown like this.  What’s next… oh… my mouth!

Nora: I made my head so big because I’m growing.

Adele: My skin is like vanilla, or maybe like sand?

Dayana: Let me find my color.  Oh, this looks good!

Joelle: I’m dark chocolate brown.  I drew my dark chocolate cheeks.

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Sammy: You have to look in the mirror to see what kind of skin you have.

Cesar: My eyes are different than my skin.  They’re darker.

Brandon: A mirror shows the reflection of your whole body.  And your whole face.

Julian: I made my head to look like a potato shape.

Alden: I have light brown hair and I have a swirl.  I’m drawing it long from the top of my head because I need a haircut.

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Beginning of the year self portraits are typically a one week process, but this year it seemed like a perfect opportunity to introduce children to self critique and adding detail. This week, children examined their self portraits and noticed parts of their face that they had forgotten to add.  This led us into a discussion on adding details, and how revisiting your work can make a stronger finished piece!  Friends found it hysterical that their self portraits almost went into portfolios when they were missing noses, ears, eyebrows, etc.

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Aurora: A detail is coloring in your skin.  And maybe I could add my dress!

Irvina: I can make my hair darker.  That’s a detail because last week I made my hair light!  I see different colors of brown on my cheeks, too.

Theo: Hey, why did I forget my ears?  It’s the same color as all my skin.

Africa Grace: A detail is when you add your color to your body so it looks like you.  And you can make your cheeks.

Santi: I forgot my ears… I gotta add them!

Isaac: I need to make my ears more like elf ears because the top is pointy.

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Naila: Details are maybe adding finishing touches?

Elizabeth: You need to add things to make it look more like yourself.

Bella: I’m adding more hair.  I didn’t put enough!

Drew: My detail changed!  I don’t have a dinosaur shirt on anymore.  Today I have a polo shirt with a horse on it.

Alina: Why did I forget to add my eyebrows?

Mateo: You could color in your face because your skin isn’t really white like the paper.

Katherine: Last time I did my skin peach, but I see my skin looks like peachy pie.

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Below are some finished self portraits, which show self reflection in making the work look more realistic.

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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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“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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“Instead of going to a pumpkin patch, our school became a pumpkin patch!”

Last week, we kicked off our Pre-K expedition with a pumpkin explosion on the playground!  Children arrived at school and were surprised to see that there were pumpkins of all shapes and sizes everywhere!

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Briana: I found a pumpkin on a bicycle!

Andres: There’s pumpkins everywhere!

Amen: I found something!  A pumpkin!  I need to find more.

Mae: Instead of going to a pumpkin patch, our school became a pumpkin patch!

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Friends noticed and wondered all sorts of things about the pumpkin on the playground.  As children found them, they were asked to bring them to the picnic table so that we could explore them further.

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Waju: I have never seen a white pumpkin!

Sarah: Is it an orange?

Trebor: I want to smell them.  I don’t know how they will smell like.

Ayub: Is this the pumpkins home?

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Siah: Wow… heavy!

Ayub: The baby pumpkins on the branch look like marshmallows.

Zeina:  Yeah, it looks like roasting marshmallows on a stick!

Elliott: I can make a snowman.

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Next, all four Pre-K classes piled onto buses and we hit the road for Butlers Orchard to learn more about where pumpkins come from and what it means to harvest.

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Bennett: Thanks bus driver for taking us to the pumpkin patch!

Cory: This is a bumpy ride.

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Esther: It looks like a pumpkin party here!

William: It’s really tough to walk through the vines at the mumpkin pumpkin patch.

Waju: I think a porcupine ate that pumpkin!

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William: Lots of spiders on the pumpkins… ah!

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After the long weekend, friends returned to school and continued to notice, wonder and ask questions about the pumpkins.  Children were ecstatic to see that pumpkins were still on the playground, in their classrooms and even in the Studio!

Kavalli: Pumpkins in the Studio! That’s crazy! There’s more pumpkins! Pumpkins are everywhere!

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Friends used twist crayons to do an observational drawing of the pumpkins.  Children examined the color, size and texture of the pumpkins and gourds very carefully.

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Carlos: I’m counting the pumpkins so I know how many to draw.

Siena: The red pumpkin on top looks like a hat.

Miguel: I like these pumpkins.  They are all different sizes but I like the little one the best because it’s like a baby.

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Next, children used liquid watercolors to paint over their pumpkins.  Friends were excited to see that they could still see their crayon drawings and enjoyed watching them emerge through the paint.

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Ra’Maya: I can still see the dots on my pumpkin!  It’s like the paint disappeared in the paper.  I think it went to church.

Waju: Hey, I remember these!  They are water paints!

Dai’Jah: I can still see all the lines on my pumpkin.  And they were skinny.

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“I look like a flying potato!”

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

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Ra’Maya: I’m cocoa brown!  Yummy!

Rayyan: I look so nice like yummy chocolate brown.

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

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Mae: Eyebrows are skittery skattery across your face.

Amal: I make Amal!

Zavier: You don’t have to draw your legs because you don’t see them in the mirror.  I can only see my shirt, not my pants.

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Dai’Jah: I have to try to draw my bows!

Andres: Camels have eyelashes, too.

William: Eyebrows keep the sweat from getting in your eyes and the hair in your nose keeps sand from getting up there.  It also stops wood chips from getting up there.  It tangles it up and gets it out!

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Adrian: You forgot to draw earwax in your ear!

William: I look like a flying potato!

Carlos: Giraffes have eyelashes to keep mosquitos out of their eyes.  They have ears like half circles, too!

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

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“I’m looking good!”

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 those years.  We begin by reading The Colors of Us by Karen Katz and talk a little about different shades of skin, eyes, hair, etc.

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Mae: Why did the mom say she would eat her up?  Because she was like cinnamon?  She didn’t really eat her at the end of the book.

Ronan: I see the same people on the cover on that page in the book.  It’s part of the picture from that page.

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

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Daniel: Eyelashes go around the eyes.

Sasha: If you have glasses, you can draw them in your self portrait.

Abdoulaye: Eyelashes keep bugs out of your eyes.

Chrishelle: Draw boogers in your nose if you see them in the mirror.

Amaya: My nose is like a triangle with two holes on it.

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Claire: I have two heads… one in the mirror and this one on my body.

Allison: My hair like coffee brown.

Ronan: In the mirror, I see my dog shirt.

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Miles H.: You look at yourself in the mirror and then you draw yourself.  In the mirror, I see little red veins in my eyes.

Elle: I look beautiful!

Yonathan: I’m looking good!

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

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“Your room is adorable!”

It was a very busy week in the Pre-K Studio as friends began coming for art groups this week!  For children that were Pre-K 3’s last year, they acted as real leaders in showing new children around the Studio.  We spent some time noticing, wondering and asking questions about different spaces and materials that children noticed in the new space.

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Cory: I hear those teachers.  I hear Mr.Duque.  He’s in the wall writing his name.

Maia: Your room is adorable!

William: My sister be here in your classroom before.  Can I stay here for a long time?  Can I sit on your carpet?

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Sylvie: Wow, we’re here!  We’re at the Art Studio!  Guys, you just have to see this!  There’s a rainbow on Ms.Cushner’s table.  When it’s really sunny out the rainbow’s come out from the window!

Luke: The Studio has a hole in the ceiling so it’s next to our class.  The wall attaches to our classroom.

Garumma: I can hear people!  Other kids!  They are under the wall?  This is so interesting.

Once we explored the new space, we came together and learned how to work with watercolors! It was exciting to paint with watercolors after learning about tempera paint because it allowed them to explore their similarities and differences. Friends enjoyed mixing their own colors on palettes and experimenting with making colors lighter and darker.

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Jose:  Why do they love water?

Marley: The water is turning green.  It’s from the green paint.

Claire: Always clean the brush first.  Oops, don’t forget!

Mouhammadou: That’s not nice to the paint to not wash the brush.  That’s not kind.

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Maceo: Are you ready for bath time, brushy?

Mae: You can’t trick us.  We’re smart.

Justin: Give the brush a bath to get clean.  Kids do that too.  Dip it in the water, then put it in the paper, then put it in the water again.

Once friends were finished with their paintings, they had the opportunity to observe and draw a large flower arrangement that were leftover from an event this past weekend.  The flowers are beautiful and had many different smells, textures, patterns and colors.

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Daniel: That plant goes up and down like a hill.

Luke: They are so soft… when I touch them they feel nice.

Alberto: I found another match.  This crayon matches that flower.  I see little flower seeds on the table, too.

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Roman: They smell like roses.

Justin: The flowers smell like vinegar.

Amaya: Are there bugs on them?

Florentina: Are there bees in there?

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“Don’t forget the two boogie things under the nose!”

It’s that time of the year when we begin to get things ready for the end of the year… and for me that 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!

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Michael: You look in the mirror to see what you look like, what your hair looks like, what your shirt looks like, what everything on you looks like.

Logan: I did awesome… it looks like me!

Phoenix: No earrings… just ears.

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Noah: Don’t forget the two boogie things under the nose. My skin looks like syrup.  This is fun!

Cole: My head is like, tan?

Darian: I’m not drawing hair because I got a haircut.

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Ebbisa: I look like a young man.  I look fancy!

Alexia: I only have a dimple on one side.

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Mouhammadou: I have two holes in my nose.

Quentin: I think the top of my hand is like chocolate brown, and the under is like cereal.

And here are some of our spring self portraits…!

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“I need years to do this big painting!”

Today, the Tuesday art groups continued to work on their large resist paintings!  Friends were so excited to paint standing up and were thrilled with the new liquid watercolors available today for their resist paintings.  Children enjoyed making drips with the liquid watercolors and discovered that when different colored drips intersected, new colors were created!  Below are some photos from today, as well as children’s words… enjoy!

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Braeden: The drip looks like a river… or a tunnel.  It’s an orange tunnel to the Star Wars city, wheeee!

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Phoenix: I’m gonna make a drip spot, a green drip.  It’s part of the roller coaster… the down part.  Hey, it dripped on my hands, too!

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 Haley: The tape is a shield.  It means the paint wont go through.

Jasper: This painting is outer space caught on fire and now the whole world is on fire.  The orange grass is eating everything.  When the sun turns red, it means it’s really, really hot.

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 Mouhammadou: This is my beautiful house… here’s my doggy, Nemo.  He lost his collar.  I need an “M” for my name.  Here’s two bugs… a family of bugs.  See my pets?  An elephant, see I need a house for it.  Nemo needs a house, too.  The bugs are my other pets.  And there’s my family, right there!

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Minna: It’s dripping!  The new colors can drip!  Lots of drips right here.  What happens when you put the wetness on the dryness?  I’m being a scientist, this is my experiment.  What’s gonna happen?  Huh?  Oh, you can still see it!  Ms.Cushner, this is the shark.  And those are the two mouths.  That’s his eyeball, it’s big… and there’s the big wave!  It’s dark blue.  The red on the bottom is blood.  The daddy shark was fighting the biting fish all the way at the bottom, but he’s okay now.