“It’s a home for seeds. Cover them up with soil and they grow flowers!”

Last week in the Studio, all children in Pre-K learned how to make seed balls!  Friends had so much getting messy while fun rolling air dry clay in soil and wildflower seeds.  Once they dry, you can dig a little hole in the ground, plant and water them, and wildflowers will grow!  Seed balls will be available to purchase at our Pre-K Market this Friday, May 20th,  from 2-3:30!

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Alli: It’s a home for seeds.  Cover them up with soil and they grow flowers!

Christian: Seed balls look like Oreo cookie crunch, but don’t eat them because they are dirt balls.

Siena: Making seed balls is fun.  I like getting messy!

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Autumn: You can cover all the seeds up with clay.

Isabella: The seeds go in the clay and then you plant them in the ground and then flowers will grow!

Belen: A baby seed ball.  So cute!

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Elmys: Seed balls. So hard.  Like rocks.

Jariel: Don’t throw seed balls.  They are too hard.

Waju: Wow, flowers will grow from them?  But they feel like rocks!

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“It smells like soup… delicious!”

As children in their classrooms are learning about gardens and markets, friends in the Studio are also working on creating products to be used and purchased at our market.  Last week, all Pre-K friends learned that they would be in charge of designing and making reusable canvas bags that families could shop with at our Market Showcase on May 20th.  Rose Red groups began this work by observing jars filled with different colored dyes made from beets, spinach, raspberries, carrots, tomatoes and pomegranates.  Friends enjoyed making predictions about what they thought were inside, because each one had a very distinct scent!

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Belen: It smells like a vegetable.

Amy: Smells like juice.

Christian: It looks like paint, but it smells like raspberry.

Amal: Strawberry juice?

Felipe: Yuck!

Esther: It smells like soup… delicious!

Alli: Can we eat it?

Sophia: Tomato juice!

Next, we practiced folding, twisting and rolling fabric.  Then we tied it up with rubber bands!

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Friends put on rubber gloves and began dipping their fabric into the natural fruit and vegetable dyes.

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Christian: How do we make blue dye?  Maybe with blueberries?

Belen: Could we make purple with grapes?

Adriana: Let’s use strawberries to make it pink!

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This week, children took the rubber bands off their dry fabric and observed the different lines, patterns and shapes that they created.  We also began brainstorming about what fruits and vegetables we would like to use when we begin dying our canvas bags next week!

Bennett: Isn’t it weird that it’s purple on the outside and yellow in the middle?

Leonel: A circle and lines.

Eli: It’s all brown!

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Models of Excellence for EL

Big news! The Capital City Public Charter School Pre-K project “The Color I Made Is Stunning!” has been accepted into the EL Education Models of Excellence collection, an amazing and very selective resource of exemplary student work open to educators across the country. Take a look at the work created by the students that will be used as a model to raise questions, provoke thinking, and inspire excellence:

http://modelsofexcellence.eleducation.org/projects/color-i-made-stunning

Make sure to stop by your children’s classroom, or the Studio, to check out our color study book!  Yay!

“You need a bigger Studio, we can’t all fit!”

Wow— what a fabulous Showcase we had yesterday!  Thanks to all the families that stopped in the Studio.  Friends who helped write the invitation sure were right… there were so many people, we almost did need a line!

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In the New Year, we will begin assembling this color study work into an artist book.  I’ve also been thinking about incorporating some of the images into a children’s book (thanks for the idea, dad!)  If anyone has experience writing, publishing or illustrating books and is interested in collaborating, please let me know!  I hope everyone has a wonderful, restful break.

“There are going to be so many people looking at our art work at the Showcase that we need security guards!”

After weeks and weeks of experimentation with color mixing, we started working on our final color study product!  We began by looking at work that shows individual colors side by side an image that uses the colors to make a cohesive piece of work.

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Siena: The colors on the side show what colors are in the painting.

Maia: The colors on the side match.

Next, friends closed 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.

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Amy: I want to make pink princess, dark purple princess and green princess.

Nayeli: I’m going to close my eyes and I see the pool.  I want to make pool blue.

Fatima: How do I make the color of a man sitting on the moon?

Next, friends began creating their unique colors in small plastic cups.  When they made a color that was just right, they painted a small rectangle with their paint.  Children named each color as they were working.  Friends were able to choose how many colors they wanted to make and throughout Pre-K, the numbers ranged from 2-6 unique colors per child.

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Waju: This is a perfect color.  Just a little more purple and it’ll be perfect perfect.

Adrian: It’s just the right color that I needed.

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Dai’Jah: I thought about when I went to the park with my mommy and there was a purple slide.  I’m trying to make a purple the same as the slide.

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The following week, friends were excited to revisit their paint and began to brainstorm how they would like to incorporate every color into a painting.

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Elliott: You have to be creative with the painting.  If you don’t have the right color, you have to make it different with your imagination.  It’s beautiful.

Zavier: You help me kind of like you’re my manager.

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Jariel: I’m making a people eating a shark.

Mae: The animals are sitting together on a tree and they’re having some fun.  Then they are going for a walk.

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Zavier: There are going to be so many people looking at our art work at the Showcase that we need security guards.  And tickets for the parents so that they can come.

We can’t wait to share our color study art work at the Pre-K Showcase on December 16!  Please stop by the Pre-K Studio between 11:30-12:30 on the 16th.

“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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