“I got a teeny tiny brush to use for my teeny tiny ears!”

Last week, we continued to read The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler and began discussing different colors that we noticed on our face and body.  Friends used liquid watercolors to mix their skin colors and added them to the self portraits that they began the previous week.  Children selected from a variety of paint brushes, based on the amount of detail they wanted to add, versus filling in large areas of their face with paint.

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Theo: Sometimes my hair is a little bit this color.  I need a lot of different colors for my face.

Frances: What does “layering” mean?  Is adding water layering?  I’ll try just adding a little water.  I made my skin lighter!

Hope: My hair is darker than my face.

Mina: Water makes the colors lighter.

Asa: I need mostly water and a little bit of paint.  The paint is foggy.  It makes it so I can’t see my nose.

Noah: Big brush for the head, little brush for my eyes.  And my hair.

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Jayden: It’s me!  It looks like my skin.

Amie: Rinse, rinse, rinse again to make it lighter.

Lenin: This color like coffee.

Lorenzo: This is a fire brown!  It has red in it.

Leba: I’m using the darkest dark for my hair.

Isaiah: I’m using a little bit of water.  It got light brown.

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Aria: I got a teeny tiny brush to use for my teeny tiny ears.

Farah: My hair is kind of blond.  One of my ears looks stuck in my hair.  And my lips are kind of red.

Maya: This brush is not tiny, it’s medium.  I’m using a skinny brush for my mouth.

Uhura: My skin is honey skin.  And my tongue is pink.

Kyrie: I see my hair is dark black.  My teeth are white.  I know I have blood in my eye.  I could add that.

Jax: We have different skin.  I’m light brown but I’m darker brown than Africa Grace.

Africa Grace: Yeah, mine is lighter.  My mom has light skin, too.  I’ve seen wood that’s the color of my skin.  I don’t see my skin color but maybe I can mix it.  I’m gonna add red because I see red on my arms and I need dark for my hair.

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Below are some scanned images of self portraits in process!

 

“Skin is so you don’t have your skeleton out!”

Last week, friends started working on their self portraits in the Studio!  We began by reading The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler.  This book has rich text and illustrations, so we broke it up into three parts to use throughout our self portrait work.

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Next, we began examining our faces in mirrors.  Friends noticed shapes, colors and textures, while also sharing what they knew about skin and why we have it.

“Why do we have skin?”

Kyrie: You need skin so you can play.  And so you can run really fast.

Abbie: It keeps your inside warm.

Africa Grace: Skin is so you don’t have your skeleton out.

Jax: If you take your skin off, you’ll see your bones.

Theo: It helps keep the bones inside the body.

Kaylee: And the blood inside.

Sallie Chappell: When we grow into a baby, we grow skin.

Jair: Skin helps you grow bigger and bigger when you eat your vegetables.

Amie: If you don’t have skin, you’ll die.

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Betsegaw: Self portraits are you draw if you’re a boy or a girl.

Abbie: You make your eye color.

Theo: I need to make my Nationals jersey.  And my missing teeth.  And little boogers in my nose.

Aria: Don’t forget to make your eyelids.

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Jacob: My legs are lines.  And my feet look like little ovals.  My fingers look like five lines.

Frances: How come I’m always in my skin?

Kaitlyn: I put my unicorn horn.

Nora: I need to add my birth mark.

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Adele: It means… um… self means us, so, a picture of us!

Ellie: How do I make Ellie?

Eva:  I added a freckle to my foot.  And a bandaid.

Jayden: That’s me.  That’s myself!

Hope: I have skin on my face.  And my cheeks.

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Below are self portraits in process!  Next week, friends will mix colors with liquid watercolors as they start adding additional details to their portraits.

“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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“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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“The camera looks like yours!”

Yesterday was an incredibly exciting day in the Studio as we began learning about photography!  As some of you may know, I was an education and photography major in college.  I have always wondered how/when/if I could incorporate my love of photography into the Studio and finally decided to give it a try!  I had a feeling they would enjoy it… but I wasn’t necessarily expecting them to love it as much as they did!

We began by looking at old negatives on the light tables.  I went through my archived work and found all different sized (35mm, medium format and 4×5) negatives and brought them in.  I selected a wide array of photographs… portraits, still lives, landscapes, etc.  Children loved looking at the negatives and several groups decided to act out stories based on the way they were arranged on the light table.

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Wallace: I see a man with no face… they’re pictures!

Georgi: I see cupcakes.  We can make it into a story… it tells different parts.

Phoenix: This looks like a library.

Georgi: The elements of harmony… it’s like loyalty, kindness and My Little Pony.

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Jasper: We made the pictures in a row.  I see they are pictures because they look like a camera took them.  I see a person, a kitchen and another person.  I found two gates.

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Minna: This is awesome.

Darian: Are they food?  You can’t see them when they are on the ground but you can see it on the light table.

Minna: I put it back on… it’s something… it’s a monkey?  Oh no, it’s a person!

Next, friends gathered around the table as I passed out digital cameras that we were borrowing from the library!  Children were beyond thrilled that they were going to get to take photos with “adult cameras.”  We came up with some group rules about using the cameras safely and appropriately.  Next, we had a quick demo lesson about turning the cameras on and off, taking a photo and seeing the photos you’ve already taken.  Once children felt comfortable, they began taking photos of themselves, each other and objects in the Studio and hallway.  Yesterday I posted some of the children’s photography… here are some moments that I captured while they were exploring!

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Observing Darian’s Self Portraits

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At CCPCS, Pre-K classrooms are mixed age  (3-5 years old).  Children remain in the same classroom for two years before moving up to Kindergarten.  It has been exciting to see our Pre-K 3’s from last year transition into a leadership role as a Pre-K 4 this school year.  One part that has been particularly interesting for me to see is the progress they have made with their self portraits.

Self portraits are a key part of Pre-K portfolios.  Children add to portfolios throughout the year and share them with their families at their final conference of the school year.  During the first few weeks of school, children observe their reflections in a mirror and draw what they see.  It’s exciting to compare their portraits at the end of the year with those from the beginning, and to revisit work from the previous year.

Above are Darian’s self portraits, beginning with his work from Fall 2012, followed by Spring 2013 and finally, his most recent self portrait from Fall 2013!  He was just as proud of his growth as I was.

Edwin studying his reflection for his self portrait

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Edwin studying his reflection for his self portrait

As we are learning about our new space, we are also learning more about ourselves! We began by reading The Colors of Us by Karen Katz and sharing about what makes us unique and special. Next, children had fun observing themselves in the mirror and began their self- portraits with colored pencils and crayons. These self-portraits will be part of Pre-K portfolios that we will continue to work on over the course of the year!