“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! 🙂

“This… is art!”

The Rose and Lavender groups have been hard at work in the Studio on wooden sculptures. Friends spent a week exploring wooden shapes and trying to figure out which pieces worked together and which didn’t.  Children noticed that round shapes had a hard time balancing on flat shapes, but if both sides were flat, they could easily stick together.  Next, friends used wet glue to adhere their pieces to create one or more sculptures!

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Eli: I can mix the glue.  I can spread the glue.

Jax: Wow, so cool.  See, it can stand up!

Konone: I don’t know what I made!

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Christian: The ring and the ball look like a planet from outer space!

Bennett: I’m going to make a little kid.  It’s my sister.  No, no, I made a dinosaur with a spike on the back!

Naomi: This piece looks like a bracelet!

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Kavalli: Whewwwwww, the ball rolls.

Cathy: I balanced it!

Isabella: Wood feels cold, smooth and hard.

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The following week, friends were excited to see that their sculptures were dry!  Children used liquid watercolors to paint their wooden sculptures.

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Cathy: My sculpture looks like Mars.

Darby: This… is art!

Christian: My 3 headed monster!  I missed him!  I’m an artist because if someone is an artist, they just paint their sculptures.  Yep, I’m correct.  I’m an artist because I have to make him detailed.  It’s so crazy, the paint is drying so fast!

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Isabella: Victor, yours balanced!

Siah: I’m painting it gentle so it wont break.

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Jariel: The paint dried.  It dried fast.

Kai: Look at me.  I did this.

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This week, friends worked on adding collage materials to our sculptures.  Children collected feathers, buttons, googly eyes and other found materials from the Studio to add to their sculptures.

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Kavalli: It’s an experiment.  An eyeball fox man.

Naomi: Cathy, look! This material is shiny.  It can be the chocolate in the cookie.

Phoenix: The glue is rainbow.

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Siah: A star! A sprinkle star! So pretty.

Jariel: Mamma mia, stop sticking to me, you feather.

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“You have to look really hard. Diggers do that to find the bones.”

Before the Blizzard of 2016, friends were working on a collaborative weaving in the Studio!  All children in Pre-K contributed to our weaving over the course of two weeks.  After a substantial amount of work was done, children began observational resist paintings as they noticed how lines differed, based on the type of yarn that children selected.  Friends began by drawing different types of lines (straight, wavy, zig-zag, curly, etc.) with oil pastels, based on what they observed.  Next, children add liquid watercolors.  Some friends painted on top of their drawing, and were excited to see that the pastels were still visible.  Other children chose to paint between the lines, filling in the background.

As the year progresses, children will begin longer term projects.  When finished, children will be asked to create observational drawings and paintings of their work.

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What does it mean to observe an object?

Mae: You have to look really hard.  Diggers do that to find the bones.

Carlos: You take down what it looks like.

Selwyn: Observe is when you look and know more about what you’re looking at.

Florentina: You draw what you see!

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Ryan: When you paint on it, it looks like fire.  It shines.

Ra’Maya: I can see my drawing, but I don’t know why!

Douglas: I see yellow lines that go up and down.

Zeina: The red lines are wavy and the red brown is a curvy line.

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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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“It’s amazing to use all the colors you want to make the color you want to make the most!”

Art groups are in full swing in the PK Studio, and we’re continuing to work with and learn about new materials every week.  This past week, friends used liquid watercolors to make paintings.  It was exciting to paint with watercolors after learning about tempera paint, because it allowed them to explore their similarities and differences. Friends enjoyed watching the paint settle into the paper, as well as laying colors to create one of a kind paintings!

Before we could begin painting, friends practiced putting on smocks.

Siah: Good smocks!

William: Darby, let me help you with your smock.  It goes like this… long part in the front, short part in the back.

Reese: We wear smocks so we don’t get our clothes messy.

In the PK Studio, we keep liquid watercolors in glass jars.  Before we began painting, friends shared what they already knew about glass, and how to handle working with the fragile material.  As you can see, children really covered all of the bases in regards to using glass jars in the Studio.

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Adrian: Don’t be rough with the jars or they will break.  Jars are like a small bottle.

Mae: If you drop the glass it’ll break all over the floor and it could hit your foot and your foot could get bloody and you will cry and the paint will be gone.

Ra’Maya: Glasses have glass in them, too!

Sophie: If you put the jar hard on the table, it could scare friends and also break.

Selwyn: If we pick the jar up and throw it in the air, it would make a mess and it would break.

Zoe: If you drop the glass it could break and you could step on it and your foot would bleed and you might not walk and your foot could fall off, so that’s why you have to be careful with glass.

Friends also learned that if we want to mix colors, we mix colors on our paper and not in the jars.

Sarah: Don’t put the pink brush in the blue jar because it’ll mix it all and no one can use the blue anymore because it’ll change to purple.

Luke: You can’t trick us… we know the green brush goes in the green jar!

Nayeli: I always don’t put the pink brush in the blue.

Jax: Do I put the orange in the yellow?  Nooooo!  Do I put the orange in the blue? Nooooo!  Do I put the orange in the orange? Yes!

Finally… friends could get to work on their masterpieces!

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Naomi: If someone comes in, we could tell them they can come paint with us!

Marquis: The pink paint disappears when I put it on the green.

Zavier: This yellow paint is sparkly and golden.

Christian: Mister Skinny Legs, look, I’m painting Mikey Angelo.  And Mister Skinny Legs is like “OMG, I didn’t know Christian could paint the Ninja Turtles!”

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Carlos: It’s amazing to use all the colors you want to make the color you want to make the most!

Iris: How do watercolors dry so quickly?  Maybe if you blow on the painting, it’ll dry up.

Miguel: This yellow looks sparkly like pirates gold.

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Nneka: That color looks like emerald.

Madison: Mine is beautiful because I know how to paint really well like an artist.

Elijah: This looks like fern green, which is like our art group!  It’s a light green, it’s fern green.  Can I call you Ms.Fern?

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Florentina: Watercolors get sucked up into the paper faster than other paints.  Look at the back of my paper… the paint sucked all the way through to the back!

Isabella: Paintbrushes love the watercolors.  They look like they are swimming in an ocean of pink paint!

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“Skunks are cute but I know they don’t smell cute!”

It’s been another great week in the Studio as we start winding down before starting self portraits and portfolio reflections.  At the small square table, there was the opportunity to observe, sketch and paint dried flowers.  Some friends illustrated the flowers, while other’s painted sharks, skunks and cupcake machines.

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At the big table, there was clay and found materials to work with.  Children made puppets, jets and tornados that were under volcanos.

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Miles: I made a flower now.  A beautiful flower.  That’s the bulb underneath.

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Kofi: It’s a jet and it has every type of sugary food and every type of healthy food.  Those are the wings and the fire is shooting out the back.  It has a volcano in the front.  It’s blue and red but not because I like Barcelona colors because I just like red and blue.  Red buttons for the front wheels and blue lumpy bumpys for the back.  Mine is automatic so no one needs to fly it.  The automatic thing is in the front.

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And then today… friends started making mustaches out of pipe cleaners.  TGIF!

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And… Ms.Richardson and I wore our matching grey shirts today 🙂

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Kicking off our herb case study with… a tea party!

Today was a very exciting day in Pre-K as we kicked off our case study of herbs with… a tea party!  Families donated decaffeinated peppermint tea and let us borrow an assortment of tea pots for the special event.  Friends were served tea by the fairies (staff and parents) that were wearing wings, and enjoyed a special snack of fancy tea cookies and berries.

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Neche: Are those the tea cups we made with you?

Leah: It tastes like mint and fairies.

Jose: I no like.

Mouhammadou: My mommy and daddy have tea.  I love this tea party… the tea and the snacks.

There was a lot of excitement after the tea party, which was perfect because two of today’s art groups was working on creating items for their own tea party!  Last week, children made tea cups and tea snacks out of Model Magic.  This week, friends were excited to discover that the Model Magic dried and that they could now paint their tea cups.

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Alberto: It’s sparkly inside, like magic.  I’m doing a really good job… we all are!

Samantha: It’s hard… last week it wasn’t hard.