“We could share our bags with our families.  We could even share it with your family, Ms.Cushner!”

As friends began learning about markets in their classrooms, we realized that we needed reusable bags for our school garden market! We began by observing a variety of bags and noticed that most had words, images or both.  Friends also shared with each other where their families had used reusable bags before and what they carried in them.

Kourtney: You could put snacks and food in them.  I do that to go to my grandmas house.

Dayana: You could put things in them to go on vacation.

Declan: I think that bag says “strawberries are sour.”  Or “strawberries grow.”  They put pictures of strawberries so I think the words are about strawberries, too.

Elijah: We should put our names on them.   It could say “Elijah is the best” with no pictures, just colors.  And rainbows.

Africa Grace: We use bags to bring things home from the store or to someone else who needs them.

Cesar: That bag has recycle symbols.  The recycle symbols are the leaves on the tree!

Isaac: Our bags could say that strawberries are healthy, and they’re red.  And that I think hyenas like to eat them.

Theo: A recycling tree!  I think the words say “I recycled your trash into a bag.”

Mina: Sometimes my family uses them to carry a little baby potty for my sister.

Brandon: If you’re going to the park, you could put food and toys inside.

Naila: That bag is from Whole Foods!

Elizabeth: You could put groceries in it.  You could put junk in it and give it to someone to build a monster truck with.

Mason: You could put a lot of books in it.  Or a small lamp.

Kendul: I went to Walmart to get a Shimmer and Shine doll and they gave me a bag like that and it says “Walmart.”

Connor: I want my bag to say “when you go to the strawberry field, you don’t want to pick the rotten ones, you want to pick the good ones to take home.”

Kendul: But we learned a lot about peppers.  It could say “let peppers grow… let the sun let them get juicy.”

Luca: I use those to get food and to give presents to people.  And to carry my beach stuff.

Mariyah: I use bags for putting my clothes in the bag to take to my auntie’s house.  My brother takes soccer stuff in bags.  And you can use it for carrying lasagna stuff.

Sammy: I think the bag could say “you can kiss your family and you can play and go out somewhere with your family… you could go on a field trip with your cat.”

Julian: We know a lot about strawberries.  It could say “you can plant them but you can’t eat them when they’re green.”

Daniela: Bears eat tomatoes, so do persons.  We should tell people that.

Mateo: My mom always tells me to eat my tomatoes.  I want the bag to say that!

Julian: We need to tell people about daffodils.  Let’s say “daffodil colors are not just yellow, they could be white or orange.”

Uhura: I put toys in them.  You can carry them to a far away place if it’s too heavy.

Nazeer: We could share our bags with our families.  We could even share it with your family, Ms.Cushner!

Scotland: Let’s tell them that some peppers are spicy and some aren’t!

Asa: If you want to carry heavy things, it’s a good thing to use!

Ali: My grandma has a bag like that.  It’s orange and green.

Amie: My dad got a bag from a drawer in the kitchen and put my swimming suit in it!

Jax: We could say “we’re tomato experts… when tomatoes turn brown, don’t eat them and that tomato seeds grow in the plants!”

Joelle: We can write “no picking flowers or they will die and the roots won’t grow again.”

Abbie: Strawberries have seeds and they have a stem.  And a little flower that’s white.

Irvina: I want to tell families that tomatoes grow on vines.  They don’t grow on trees.

Phew! Once we began brainstorming about our bags, we decided it was best to share information about the plants in our courtyard garden that each class became “experts” on.  Children came up with slogans and then voted on their two favorites at Morning Meeting!

Elijah: Peppers grow on vines.  They all start green but when they grow they turn to different colors.  They can grow upside down.

Africa Grace: We made strawberry jam.  It’s good on crackers.

Isaac: Strawberry jam is kind of delicious and kind of not.

Theo: Ketchups made from tomatoes.

Leba: Daffodils don’t move.  They’re not animals.

Mina: You can make sauce with tomatoes.

Kate: Peppers look like teeth.

Luca: Strawberries have 102 seeds on them.

Mateo: It’s OK to eat the tomato seeds.  Nothing bad will happen.

Briana: Some strawberry seeds are yellow and some are black.

Amie: Tomato seeds look like raindrops.

Friends began doing observational drawings of tomatoes, strawberries, peppers or daffodils to add to our garden market bags.

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Mason: I want to try to draw this daffodil.  It’ll be hard for me.

Julian: Count the petals so you know how many to draw.

Nazeer: I see a little curve, a little circle and another curve.  There’s a down line next to it.

Joelle: I have a really challenging one.  There are so many daffodils to draw!  It’s like I’m at work and I have to focus really hard.

Abbie: I’m adding a flower because I see a flower in the picture.

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After children voted in classrooms, we began writing the words to accompany the pictures on the bags.  Friends chose if they wanted to write in their regular handwriting, or if they wanted to try writing with fancy letters.

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Connor: I only have to write three letters and the “s” is so easy.

Luca: I gave the “r” a little hat.  That’s silly.

Montre: Fancy letters are like if you want to give a letter a mustache.

Amie: I put sleeves on the “L” and that’s silly and fancy.  And I turned the “S” into a bear.  I put ears.

Alina: I made ponytails on my letters.

Kaleb: I turned my letter into a tomato head!  And I made the “M” in tomato into a rainbow.

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Next, we transferred our text and images onto a piece of styrofoam to use as a stamp!  Friends mixed ink, rolled it onto the styrofoam stamp and pressed it onto their market bags.  We hope you enjoy using them to shop with at the PK Garden Market on 5/17 from 9-10 am!

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Declan: Ink feels soooooo sticky!

Kourtney: Wow… it’s on the bag!

Mina: It’s kind of hard to roll ink but when you roll it, it turns smooth.

Naila: Oh, I think I know… it’s gonna stamp on the bag!

Aaron: Ink is so messy.  But it’s so good.  I’m working really hard on it.  That is a big, big, big stamp.

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Kendul: Roll, roll, roll… roll the ink!

Luca: I can’t wait to take the bag home after the showcase to use at REAL markets!

Katherine: The ink gets very scratchy.

Gerson: The stamp is getting so covered.  It’s like a bulldozer.

Julian: I know it’s going to go on the bag.  It looks beautiful!

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Adele: I saw someone paint a wall with a rolling tool like that.

Geo: My mommy… she gonna like this!

Asa: Rolling the ink sounds like a lawn mower.

Briana: It’s hard to make the ink flat.  It’s easy to make it have lines.

Amie: It sounds like a cat is walking around and scratching with his claws!

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Additional market bags, tea towels and seed balls will be for sale at the PK Garden Market tomorrow (5/17) between 9-10! See you there!

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“It looks like bones because the people are white lines!”

To finish up our exploration of the figure and figure representation, the Sunflower and Fern groups learned how to make styrofoam prints!  We began by passing around large sheets of styrofoam and tried to figure out what they were, what they could be used for, and what they felt like.

Nneka: Feels floppy and hard.

Trebor: Softly!

Zoe: Why is it so fragile?

Nayeli: I like how it feels.

Sarah: It feels like a plate.  It’s flat.

Mae: I really thought it was real paper, but it’s not.  It’s foam.  It’s squishy.

William: It feels like it could pop.

Next, I invited a friend to come to the stage and strike a pose.  With the back of a paintbrush, I modeled how to represent the pose onto styrofoam, just as friends have been doing for weeks with figure drawing on paper and on the Gelli plates.  Since the styrofoam was large, we were able to combine all poses from each art group into one image.

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Trebor: We’re going on the stage, oh yeah!

Zavier: I want to make one hundred million little people on here.

Adrian: Zoe did such a good job.  It looks just like me!

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Luke: I see movements on the styrofoam.

Iris: How do you draw in it? What do you use? Your nails?

Elijah: You know this is just how I stand so I could pose like this for an hour.

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Miguel: I see Briana has a little tiny button, even smaller than my button.

Destynee: I see it now!  The sun is on so I can see the people on the styrofoam.

Florentina: It feels really like a fabric sponge.  We capture the movement on it.

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This week, children created their edition of prints!  Friends picked a color of block print ink, rolled it out on plexiglass into a smooth layer, rolled it onto their styrofoam and printed it on large paper.  This is the first time we have ever done such large prints in the Studio, and they came out better than I even could have imagined!  Post Spring Break, this work will be on display in the PK hallway 🙂

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Andres: Why wont it go into the white part? Is it because we pushed down to draw?

Trebor: It’s on the paper.  Wow!

Nneka: Push down hard to get it on the paper.  I’m so strong.

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Maia: Sticky.  Ink is sticky.

Siena: I like how it sounds.

Rayyan: Rolling the ink sounds crunchy like a cookie or wood chips.

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Destynee: The ink doesn’t cover the hair.  Why?

Sophie: It looks like bones because the people are white lines.

Elijah: The blue ink looks like my toothpaste.

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Cameron: The paper is blue but the people are white.

Abigail: Don’t forget to roll on all the sides.

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Zavier: I made all the creative stuff because I’m a creative kid.

Mae: I was right! It printed on the paper!

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“Mine looks like a masterpiece. It looks like the Northern Lights!”

Over the past few weeks, friends in the Yellow art groups have been continuing to learn about and experiment with different printmaking processes.  Children spent two weeks working with Gelli plates, which are durable, gelatin printing plates that allow you to create monoprints over and over again.  This is the first year that I have working in the Studio with this material, but am so happy that I was able to take a class on it and introduce it to Pre-K friends!

How does the Gelli plate feel in your hands?

Sylvie: Soft like the ground floor.

Sophie: Like peanut butter and jelly.

Mackenzi: Ooey gooey.

Zoe: Whoa, it feels like jello!

Nneka: Squishy wishy.

Justin: Is it a jellyfish?

Abigail: Don’t squeeze the Gelli plate or it’ll break.

Next, friends began by putting a few small spots of paint on their Gelli plates and then rolled the paint over the plate with a brayer.

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The first week that we worked with Gelli plates, children used different types of stencils to make patterns and images to transfer to their paper.

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Next, children laid down a sheet of paper and applied pressure with their hands to transfer the paint.

Chrishelle: I remember… what you stamp will be on the paper.

Ryler: You can never make the same thing again.

Sasha: It’s so pretty it’ll make my dad cry!

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While friends were learning about this process, Ms.Lewton, the Head of the Art Department, stopped by and children had the opportunity to teach her how to use the Gelli plate.

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The following week, friends used finger stamps to create marks and images on their Gelli plate.

Miles: The finger stamps are boinging on the Gelli plate.

Reese: I like how squishy the Gelli plate is.  The paper gets stuck to it because it’s sticky.

Zoe: Mine looks like a masterpiece.  It looks like the Northern Lights!

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This week, children signed their finished prints for their portfolios!

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What! Stamping with Legos?

This week, Tuesday art groups continued to learn about printmaking by creating Lego prints! Friends explored shape, line and pattern while stamping with these materials and enthusiasm continued to build around the process. For the next month, children that come to the Studio on Tuesday’s will continue to work with a variety of printmaking processes!

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Sophie: They make the same shapes!  Small and big rectangles.  It makes it look cool!

Mouhammadou: You can use little Legos to make little buildings.

Ryler: I made vegetable prints at home with my friend!  She thought it was so funny!

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Miles: You can use all three sides and they all look different.  They make different shapes.  I wonder how you can make clouds?

Chrishelle: What!  Stamping with Legos?

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“Celery looks like a beautiful paintbrush!”

Between selecting work for portfolios, and ice skating adventures, it feels like forever since we’ve been able to get messy in the Studio!  The week following winter break, children selected their favorite piece of art from the first half of the year for their portfolio.  At the end of the year, they will share their work with their families!

Today we kicked off a long-term printmaking study with the Yellow groups!  Printmaking is one of my favorite processes to teach, and I’m excited to try out some new techniques that I learned during my intensive study this summer in Greece!  We began by brainstorming what children thought printmaking was…

Abdoulaye: It’s like making footprints with something.

Florentina: A print is a stamp from a stamper.

Mackenzi: Is it like a printer?

Zoe: I think it means you print out pictures you already made.

Logan: You can print things that you love!

Friends had many great guesses and were excited to use different types of stamps to explore printmaking.  Children were curious about the process, especially when I brought over a tray of fruits and vegetables and explained that these would be the materials we would print with today!

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Ryler: It smells like celery in here!  Are we going to have a taste test?  Is that why we need smocks?

Bennett: Can you print an apple?

Friends got right to work on their fruit and vegetable prints.  Children explored shape through the organic patterns in the fruit, as well as color mixing.

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Chrishelle: You can stamp to make a picture of a snowman.

Sasha: You have to get the food dirty.  Real food!

Mouhammadou: I’m making a caterpillar out of celery.  Celery looks like a beautiful paintbrush.  It makes a different kind of painting.

Miles: I’ve painted before, but never with a juicy orange!

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Reflecting on my summer and gearing up for Tuesday!

The first day of school is right around the corner and I wanted to take a few minutes to share about my trip this summer, as well as post some photos of the new set up in the Studio! I hope that everyone had a fantastic summer and I can’t wait to see everyone on Tuesday.

This summer, I had the opportunity to travel to Skopelos, Greece to attend a printmaking workshop at the Skopelos Foundation of the Arts. I was lucky enough to travel with my dad, as he was teaching the painting workshop through the Foundation. This two week course focused on monoprinting, which is a process that every child in Pre-K experiences throughout the year. It’s a great way to work and the results are often quite surprising as every piece is one of a kind.

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I also collaborated on a woodcut that was part of a book featuring a panoramic view from the balcony of the Foundation. Seeing as I hadn’t ever carved a woodblock before, I teamed up with my dad and our print turned out great!

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On our last night in Skopelos, we had an opening at the Foundation and people from all over the island came to check out what we had been up to and join for a night of eating and dancing!

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I’m so excited to incorporate some of these monoprinting techniques into my curriculum this year! Over the last couple weeks, teachers have been back to work preparing for the year. I spent a lot of time this summer thinking about ways to arrange the space in the Studio and am happy with how everything came together! Looking forward to seeing everyone on Tuesday!

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“They will think it’s so beautiful and they will just fall down!”

There’s just one day left until our Herbal Market and friends are getting excited to showcase all of their hard work!  Today in the Studio, children finished printing their herb greeting cards that will be sold tomorrow at the Market.

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Ezekiel:  Awesome, look at mine… it’s on the card.

Braeden:  I rolled the colors and they look like Barcelona colors.

Ebbisa:  The drawing is going to stay on the paper I think.

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Alexia: The roller sounds like the sound when I itch my head.

Jasper: All those people will fall down when they see our artwork.  They will think it’s so beautiful and they will just fall down!

Gabriela:  It’s harder to mix then I thought it would be.  When I roll it I can see my picture much better!  How did you get the amazing idea to do this?

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We hope to see you all at the Herbal Market tomorrow, May 6, from 11:30-1:30!

“Ah! A giant sage leaf!”

As we prepare for the Market at our Showcase (May 7 from 11:30-1:30), the Studio has been busy making products with herbs.  The Thursday and Friday art groups have just finished their herb stamps that we will begin printing for greeting cards next week!  We began by talking about different herbs and studying them with magnifying glasses.  Friends loved sharing what they knew about herbs, as they have been studying herbs in expert groups in their classrooms for the past few weeks!

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Matteo: Basil is sweet like candy!

Ezekiel: I love you, basil.

Ebbisa: Did you give these herbs some sunshine?  Herbs love sunshine.

Gabriela: It’s lavender with the flower.

AJ: Sage is a nice plant and it saved me for real.  I ate a little piece and it made me feel better after I ate a licorice plant.

Kofi: I see a bug in the basil because it’s his home.

After we used our senses, and small magnifying glasses to observe the herbs, I introduced friends to a magnifying screen!  Children loved making faces behind the screen and were able to get a closer look at the herbs on the table.

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Paris: It makes your face look gigantic!

Minna: It looks like Samantha is in the movie behind the magnifying scream.  I mean screen.

Next, friends sketched the herbs on sheets of styrofoam in preparation to stamp on cards next week!

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Jude: It’s kind of easy to push into the styrofoam… it feels good and looks cool when you make the little dots.  It’s like little bumps.

Jasper: I need the magnifying screen to see the herbs really well.

Haley: I’m putting dots on mine.  I see the dots in the magnifying glass.

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Minna: It looks bumps so it’s sage.  It’s sage!

Samantha: Ah!  A giant sage leaf!

Betsabe: Mine is cute.  Them cute.  I’m making little flowers.

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“I love what I did, I love what I did!”

Happy Monday from the Pre-K Art Studio!  It feels like we keep missing Monday art groups because of snow and it was great to be back today to catch up with the Orange groups.  

We learned a new monoprinting technique today and it was a big hit!  We began by painting a thin layer of tempera paint on sheets of aluminum foil.  While the paint was still wet, children used q-tips to scrape away parts of the paint.  Some friends made images of their families and pets, while others practiced writing their name, or just making abstract designs.  Next, children laid paper on top of the wet paint, rolled it flat with a brayer (the most popular tool in the Studio) and peeled it off to reveal their image.

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Daniel: I’m pretending that I’m making chocolate milk.  I’m mixing all the colors to make brown.

Phoenix: I don’t know what will happen!

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Emely: Do you love mine? It’s my family and a sun and a baby sun.

Miles H.: Go for it, Danny! I can’t wait to see what it looks like.

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Jaslene: When you roll it, all the paint will be on the paper.

Logan: Look, it’s sticking.  The paint is sticking to the paper!

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Albert: It stuck to the paper.

Daniel: I love what I did, I love what I did!

Asiah: The kitty sticked on the paper.

Noah: I didn’t know that would happen!

Ebbisa: Wow, that is so exciting!

Kofi: We need an audience for this.