“There’s love in your heart.  And your heart is under your skin so you don’t need to draw it.”

Last week, friends added finishing touches to their self portraits!  Children used additional drawing materials to draw on top of the liquid watercolors once they had dried.  Friends studied their faces in mirrors and compared them to their self portraits.  Many children realized that they forgot important features and added them to make the portraits even more realistic!

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Asa: I forgot to paint all my face!  I’ll color the rest in.

Anival: Why do I look like a monkey alien?  Oh well.  But I did make my beautiful legs.

Leah: Mouth? I forgot my mouth!

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Amie: I added some pink around my mouth.  The color red is on my shirt so I’m making it red.  And I made two sleeves.  I made Jessica with me.  She’s my sleeping friend that I brought to school!

Adrian: I forgot to do my legs, and my underwear, and my pants, and my shoes.

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Adele: My hair is light brown with golden.  And I need to add light pink to my mouth.

Ava: I love my face.  See?  This is my face!

Nanahi: I add a little bit of skin.

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Hope: First I did my hair blue, but I actually need to make it dark.

Ahmari: Brains are under our skin.  Let me make my brain.

Nora: I drew my pink pants and I changed my pants to white because I’m wearing white pants today.

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Connor: There’s love in your heart.  And your heart is under your skin so you don’t need to draw it.

Dayana: I’m drawing a rainbow dropping on me.  It feels like wet rain falling on my head.

Frances: I can make “WW” for my Wonder Woman shirt.

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Kaylee: I’m making my dress red and sparkly.

Bella: I forgot to add my hands!

Theo: I see a small part of red in my eyes.  And white on both sides around the blue.  Now… my buttons.  They are brown and grey.  My shoes… wait, where are my shoes?  I forgot them but they are grey and green.  I didn’t draw my feet because they’re inside my shoes.

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Africa Grace: I need to use white to make my leggings.

Emely: I’m making me in my own color!

Maya: I forgot to leave my teeth white.  And I only drew my bottom teeth!

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Kyrie: I have to make my eyes darker brown.  And I need to add white to them!

Uhura: I need more peach on my cheeks.

Jax: I need my eyes to be brown.  And my boogers.

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“I love it.  I love this place!”

This week, children began coming to the Studio for art groups… FINALLY!  New friends were excited to explore the Studio, and returning friends were eager to be leaders.  Friends had many noticing and wonderings about the new space…

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Jahir: What’s over that wall?

Abbie: I hear the air conditioning blowing loud.  It makes me feel calm.  And soft.

Maya: I didn’t know you were over this wall!

Briana: Where did this room come from?

Ethan: Do you have beds in here for nap time?

Nanahi: I hear Ms.Holmes singing “Sally the Camel!”

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Khyrstian: Lots of good art in here!

Kennedy: What’s that sound?

Noah: It sounds like people?

Elena: I love your house!  It’s nice.

Yanelis: I hear that.  What’s that sound?  It sounds like niños.  And I hear Mr.Christian?

Matthew: I like the flowers.

Leah: Why does the sink make noise?

Jayden: I love it.  I love this place!

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We began by painting together at the front table with liquid watercolors!  Children practiced putting on smocks, safely passing glass jars with paint and putting wet work away on the drying rack when they were finished.

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Uhura: I see flat brushes, and round brushes.  And big ones and little ones.

Aria: I’m getting so tired from painting.

Dayana: That’s a ginormous skinny brush!

Nora: First the paint looked black, but then it dried brown.

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Adele: Keep the glass on the table so it doesn’t break or spill.

Asa: If you put the brush in the wrong jar, it will change it wont ever change back.

Eva: I’m painting a house for fish!  It even has a spot for the fish to put her clothes.

Hailey: Blue paint… like the color of smocks!

Anival: If you want to mix a rainbow, mix it on your paper.

Sallie Chapel: I’m wearing a smock like you.  We’re artists.

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Once children were done painting, they could self select other centers in the Studio to continue their work.  At the sensory table, there were mung beans and materials for scooping and pouring.

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Yanelis: I’m making a little tea party in here.

Vanessa: I love sensory table.  It feels so weird!

Kennedy: I love it.  I want to play so long!

Isaiah: Don’t eat the sand for real.  It’s not really ice cream!

Javi: Don’t spill the beans.

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At the easel, there were dry erase markers and erasers for collaborative drawing.

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And at the back table, there were drawing materials sorted by color!

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Jax: Put the tops on so the smelly markers don’t dry up.

Theo: If you twist this too high, it’ll break.  If it breaks, we won’t have it.

Adele: This marker color is metallic.  That means it can glow in the dark.

Nanahi: Twist only a little bit.

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“The Light Lab makes it look like a party in here!”

The Light Lab is officially OPEN in the Studio and friends have loved mixing new colors with light and comparing it to all the color mixing they recently did with paint!  Again, a HUGE thank you to everyone that made generous donations during GoFundMe’s “Teacher Appreciation Campaign” last year!

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Elijah: Wow, the Light Lab can glow.  It mixes colors just like us!  It’s like were scientists.  I found out how to make purple.  Twist blue an red to make purple!

Santi: I found my favorite color at the Light Lab.

Isaac: By putting all of the knobs up, I made a color that matches the wall.

Julian: I love you, Light Lab!

Theo: I didn’t know that light could change colors.

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Daniela: Twisting the knobs looks like I’m driving a car.  I mixed a fire color!

Bella: The Light Lab makes it look like a party in here!

Alina: Pear, pear, pear… I made pear green.

Betsegaw: It’s round like a pizza.  Look at this… the wall is pink now!  When I get close, I turn pink.

Ahmari: It’s on the wall.  And I see the color on my shirt.

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Brandon: All the colors together make white.  This is the coolest thing in the world!  I’m so happy I get to play with it.  Look at all these rainbow colors I can make.

Kate: I didn’t know this was here.  It’s so cool, like a DJ.  Or like your cooking.

Connor: My shirt is the same color of this blue.

Luca: It’s like diamonds in the sky!

Mateo: I want to try to make grey.

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Julian: It’s like a party… an art party!  Party in the art group!

Alden: I’ll always turn on blue first, because it’s my favorite.  Did you know blue is the color of ice?  And water.  And red is the color of lava.

Nazeer: This is so color-y.  This color blue looks like fish could swim in there.

Asa: Whoa, this thing is so crazy.  If you mix these colors, it makes new colors!

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Daniela: I want to hug it.  I want to tell it “I love you!”

Geo: I make blue.  My favorite color!  I want to make pink.  That’s Hailey’s favorite color.

Stephanie: I see green on the ceiling!

Joelle: I was wondering what was happening in here.  I could see the colors over the wall!  It looks like there’s a party going on.

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“We can paint with our friends special colors? Wow!”

Our color study has come to a close, and children put the final touches on their work last week!  Children signed their name under their painting, came up with unique names for their colors and shared a story about their final painting.  Friends looked at the Pantone book (for kids) for support if they needed help naming their colors.

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With the leftover cups of paint, friends worked together on collaborative paintings at the easel, and at the table during Service!  Children were excited to try out the special colors their friends made.

Avery: We can paint with our friends special colors? Wow!

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Last Thursday, Capital City hosted it’s 1st Annual Pre-K to 12th grade Art Exhibition, titled In Forced Proximity.  16 Pre-K students had art work displayed at the opening and shared their work with family and friends.  It was wonderful to watch children share their art work with pride, as it took a lot of courage to explain art work to adults and older students.  Looking forward to the tradition of this at Capital City!

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“I only made two colors because they were cool… the coolest colors I’ve ever made!”

Last week, friends returned to the Studio eager and excited to use their special colors of paint for a cohesive painting.  It was a tricky challenge, and children used their imagination or changed their idea once they had time to observe and reflect on the colors of paint they mixed the prior week, as those were the only colors available for their final painting!  As children worked, they shared stories about their paintings with their friends.

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Briana: I’m making something brand new.  It’s hard work… hard hard work.

Joelle: I mixed a color that looks like mint ice cream.  I’m using it to put on the finishing touches.

King: I like that.  It cool.  I make a house for me!

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Uhura: I made a microscope looking at a sunflower seed.  The microscope is on the boat and that’s me and my sister on our boat.  Those spots are yogurt drops falling on us!

Frances: I want to make grass, but I don’t have green.  I know… I can use gold!

Ahmari: This color looks like garbage from the trash truck.

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Kaylee: I make orange.  This color looks like the orange art group!

Kendul: The dark red is my favorite color that I mixed.

Isaac: I’m making something… something very specific.  I don’t have yellow to make the sun, so the sun can be dark green.  The plant is burning up.  The plants are in trouble!

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Africa Grace: I only made two colors because they were cool… the coolest colors I’ve ever made!

Santi: This is hard work to make the painting with all the colors.

Mina: I made beautiful colors!

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Avery: I like this color… it’s a monster color!

Theo: I think I used pink and purple and black and mixed them together to make this dark color.

Anders: This color looks like it’s burning up!

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Mason: I’ll make the grass… red… because I don’t have green.

Drew: Blue is a good color because it’s the color of Earth so it comes with all the powers!  My other colors are camouflage colors.  I like them very much!

Aaron: I got three greens like Gecko.

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Kourtney: I made the sun purple… I wish it was really purple, not yellow.

Gerson: Challenge accepted! I can do it!

Mateo: This is a Minecraft color.  And this looks like a goo color!

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Alden: I’m up for the challenge!

“Red can be a sad color because it’s the color of blood when you get hurt.”

As children continued to learn about mixing colors, 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! They also enjoyed trying to mimic some of the sillier expressions 🙂

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Kaleb: I’ve seen these emojis before.  This face looks happy because maybe he’s having a balloon party!

Ali: Use peach and white to make a “love” color.  And that face looks like a robot so he can be grey.

Betsegaw: The silly face can be blue, yellow and red mixed together.

Abbie: When my baby pulls my hair, my cheeks get so red and I cry.  It makes me mad.

Luca: I used all the colors to make the heart eyes because I love all the colors.

Mariyah: The love color (purple) reminds me of Ms.Berger because I love her and she loves that color.

Avery: This one is mad.  He has a mad face like Mufasa.  Mufasa is always mad at Simba.

Mina: That face looks like he’s sweating!

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Kate: I’m really busy here being a painter.  Blue for the crying face… like tears.

Alina: I’m gonna put purple on the happy face because I love purple.

Stephanie: He yellow because yellow is a happy color.  Pink is happy too!

Joelle: Dr.Seuss thinks purple is a sad color.

Amie: When I add a little bit of yellow, it mixed to green.  He’s sad because he doesn’t like green and want to be another color, like purple.

Cesar: Love is for red… I think so!

Gerson: I made silver.  That’s my favorite color!  When you mix all the colors, it makes grey, like silver.

Bella: When I cry, I get cries that are blue so the sad face is blue.  And that face looks confused… like he’s thinking about what made me sad.  He’s like “hey, what happened here?”

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Daniela: That face feels confused.  What happened!

Asa:  The sad face can be blue because it’s the color of tears.

Adele: Do you like this camel color? It’s for the silly face.

Nazeer: This color looks soapy.  He’s surprised he’s covered in soap.

Alden: Sometimes my face turns red when I get mad.

Julian: Hey… grey, grey, grey! Three different greys.  I can still see his little emoji eyes and surprised face!

Elizabeth: The happy face is green, a kind of green that looks like cabbage because that’s my favorite color!

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Drew: Dr.Seuss said pink was a happy color.  You could make the happy face pink, but you don’t have to.  And this face is silly, green is the color that fits the silly face.

Connor: I was thinking… maybe we could put some colors together.  They can make new colors!

Kourtney: Look at this color, it’s a little bit pink.  It’s for the smiley face because it’s my favorite color.

Kimi: That face feels like it’s alone, awwww.

Elijah: This emoji looks sleepy, and this one looks curious!

Declan: Red can be a sad color because it’s the color of blood when you get hurt.

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Luca: Faces can turn red when you get angry.  But Dr.Seuss said black is an angry color.  I mixed black and red together to make my own angry color.

Africa Grace: I’m making this one so pink because there’s so much love.  She has so much love on her.

Isaac: This face feels… annoyed!

Santi: I like this color.  I’m putting it on the angry face because it’s my favorite!

“I used all the colors and it made “rotten sandwiches in the trash can” color. Like garbage.”

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 last 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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Amie: That book is so magical!

Connor: I have magical powers… I made all the dots disappear!

Luca: That book is terrific.

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Next, friends began mixing their own tints and shades.  As they worked, they continued to make connections between new colors and objects of importance in their lives.

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Declan: I made dark green.  I mixed blue, yellow and black for that!

Elijah: I’m making a color with the Washington flag colors.  Red and white made pink.

Dayana: I made my grey darker with black.  To make it lighter, I can try white.

Julian: Mixing with black makes it look like a shadow.

Amie: I made dark pink with red and a little white.  Now I’m really happy!

Jax: I made a new color with black and white.  I like this color.  It’s my favorite… grey!

Ahmari: I’m doing it… I’m doing it… I’m making pink!

Marcus: Yellow and red make orange.  White made it lighter.  How could that be?

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Isaac: How do I mix a metallic color because that would be so awesome!

Africa Grace: I made light green with blue, yellow and a lot of white.  No black.

Mina: I mixed a little bit of yellow in the black and it looks green.  Dark green.

Avery: I’m taking my time mixing these new colors.  I’m so busy.  This is the color of mud!

Hera: I used yellow and blue to make this color.  It’s green.

Cesar: I’m making colors more darker with black.

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Theo: I want to try to make grey.  All kinds of grays.

Naila: My pink looks like raspberry, Bella’s pink looks like strawberry and Mason’s pink looks like pink cupcakes.

Anders: I used all the colors and it made “rotten sandwiches in the trash can” color.  Like garbage.

Bella: This color is perfect! I love it, it’s so pretty! I made purple, but it’s not the same as Lizzie’s.  Mine is more lighter.

Drew: If I put a little bit of black here, it will make it darker, I think.  Wow!  That’s so cool, it’s so slick!  That means it’s so so cool!

Cesar: I didn’t know I could do magic.  I made golden!  How did I make that? I guess it was just the magic?

Sammy: Luca, that green looks nice!  It looks like spinach.

Julian: I like this color.  It looks like a bumblebee color.

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Elizabeth: I made a color called “dog waste.”

Nazeer: I made light blue with a lot of white and a little blue.

Adele: I have a plan.  I’ll mix some white with red.  Let’s see what happens… I mixed pink!  Light pink like Uhura’s sweater.

Christian: My hands are hurting from all this mixing.

Luca: The white is making it lighter.  Boom!  I made broccoli green! I want to eat the paper it looks so yummy.

Mateo: Black and white makes grey.  That’s almost like silver.

Leba: Looks like the color of candy… yum!

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Briana: I made brown by using all the colors.  I thought it would do that!

“I went to a special place to cut my hair and it wasn’t at school!”

This week, children were introduced to scissors in the Studio!   We began by talking about materials that were appropriate to cut with scissors, as well as materials that aren’t ok to cut with scissors.  We also practiced how to use them correctly and safely.

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Materials that are safe to cut:

Frances: You can use scissors to open fruit snacks if you need help.

Kate: We can cut paper, yes!

Irvina: Like, you cut paper and tape.  And how about you could use it to cut meat?

Elijah: The scissors told me that we can cut tape, but they said don’t cut friends with scissors.

Santi: We can cut rainbow paper and brown paper.

Theo: You can cut your nails with special nail scissors.

Sammy: You can cut chicken with scissors.  My mom uses special types of scissors to cut meat.

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Materials that aren’t safe to cut:

Abbie: Don’t cut butterflies… just don’t!

Irvina: You can’t cut your hands because the blood will come out.

Ahmari: Not our hands… no!

Marcus: Moms can cut hair, like Leba’s mom can cut her hair, but we don’t cut our hair here.

Julian: My dad take me to get a haircut, but it’s not here.  Don’t cut your hair here.

Avery: We cut our hair at the barbershop!

Alden: You use fingernail clippers, not scissors, to cut nails.

Adele: I went to a special place to cut my hair and it wasn’t at school.

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Next, friends practiced cutting paper with assorted shapes and lines provided.  Depending on their age and experience, children snipped around the outside of paper, were able to cut through the paper, or successfully cut out shapes.

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Adrian: Papi have scissors at home to cut the paper.

Betsegaw: I did open, close, open, close with the scissors.  I’m practicing!  I tried!  I have muscles!

Kaitlyn: I have cut at my home!

Kaylee: Open, shut them, open, shut them.  I did it!

Bella: My mom is going to be so proud.  I tried so hard.

Elizabeth: I cut out an “E” like for Elizabeth.

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Naila: I feel a little proud of myself because I cut with scissors, but my mom and dad will be really proud of me.

Connor: If I can cut out the circle I’ll be so happy!

Sammy: You just got to keep trying like… perseverance!

Cesar: I did the zigzag line.  It looks like a crown for a boy, or the top of a castle, or shark teeth.

Mateo: My mom and dad will be so proud that I can cut a heart for love.

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Julian: The heart was hardest to cut because the lines aren’t just straight like a square.

Christian: I did! I cut the circle, I did!

Nazeer: I’m focusing hard, that’s why I could cut the shapes.  Even the hard shape like the heart.

Jax: I’m doing my best.  I’m doing it!  I did it!  I made a cut through the line!

Joelle: I’m focusing on it so I don’t hurt myself.  My arms are starting to hurt.

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After friends practiced with paper, they were invited to cut playdough.  Friends practiced rolling playdough “snakes” and then using dough scissors to cut them.  Friends noticed a difference between cutting paper and cutting playdough right away, as both feel different in your hands.  Children are very excited to finally have scissors available in the Studio and in their classrooms!

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Katherine: Cutting playdough feels different than paper.  It’s harder.

“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.

“There’s rainbow rainbows… everywhere!”

After spending three weeks pushing into the art center in PK classrooms, this week children FINALLY began coming to the Studio for art groups!  Friends were busy exploring the space, learning about new art materials and collaborating with friends.

Each art group began with walking around the Studio and noticing things that excited them or that they were curious about.  Children that were in PK last year enjoyed noting similarities and differences between the Studio, as many areas are new!

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Elijah: I remember the easel was turned this other way and you had a rectangle table, not a circle table last year!

Betsegaw: I hear a teacher?  I want to see the friends.

Irvina: This room is so amazing.  It’s like a rainbow.  There are so many decorations in here!

Cesar: Why you don’t got no bathroom in here?

Declan: I see centers in here, like different art centers.

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Kendul: Your bell sounds like a musical instrument.

Dayana: I hear a baby crying.

Julian: I see the park!

Charlotte: Your room has windows.  A rainbow window.  And that’s aftercare over there.

Daniela: Everyone belongs in here!

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Naila: I’m looking around the room so I know what I want to paint.  I love the rainbow on that window!

Marcus: I hear the “popcorn on the train” song.

Drew: I remember making those bug stamps last year!

Luca: The easel turned to the side.  I notice so many new friends, but not the bell… the bell was here last year.

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Asa: There’s rainbow rainbows… everywhere!

Alden: I know, we made that a couple years ago about insects.

Julian: There’s a hole in the wall so we can hear them singing the fishy song!

Uhura: I hear friends behind that wall.  I think they’re doing a dance party!

Vanessa: I saw diamonds!  I love diamonds.

Jax: How do you have play dough in here?

Nora: Where do the smocks live?

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Next, children were introduced to sketchbooks.  We will be using them throughout the year to collect art work and individual stories.  Children will have opportunities to share artwork from their sketchbooks with others as we build a collaborative community.  Friends used liquid watercolors to begin designing and differentiating the covers of their sketchbooks.

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Aurora: How does the paint dry so fast?

Frances: I see paint.  Pink paint, hooray!

Ahmari: It looks like blood but it’s really paint.

Avery: I’m covering all the white.  It looks beautiful!  Look what’s happening… the blue is going away because I’m changing the color.

Kaylee: I’m painting so much.  I’m working so hard!

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Theo: Before you paint, you have to tap off some of the paint from the brush.

Kourtney: The jars are made out of glass.  If you drop it, it will break and it will make a mess.

Brandon: The outside of the sketchbook (spine) looks like a slinky.  It moves!

Elizabeth: Remember when I mixed garbage green last year?  I’m trying that again.

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Nazeer: I can teach you how to put on the smocks!  Just go and put your head through here.

Katherine: I’m being so kind with this… I’m sharing the paint.

Adele: I’m so an artist.

Christian: We can share the paint in here, but we can’t share our germs.

Daniela: Be gentle gentle with the glass.

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As children finished painting, they began learning about other centers in the Studio.  This week, dry erase markers were available at the easel and Slick Stix were available at the back table.  Friends are VERY excited for the sensory table to open up next week!

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Frances: These feel good but they feel a little sticky.

Ahmari: Pop the top back on it.

Kaleb: The erasers are super soft.

Kendul: These look like lipstick.

Theo: I like the Slick Stix.  They look kind of nice and sticky like glue sticks.

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