“Scissors are so powerful. They really can’t stop paper!”

Over the past couple of weeks, friends have been practicing with scissors and different types of materials to build the muscles in their hands.  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.

Autumn: Scissors are dangerous for babies.

Diego: My mom, she cut my hair.  Not cut hair in here.

Isabella: Go to like, a hair salon or a beauty salon for a haircut.

Nydelyn: You could cut plastic with scissors.

Eli: I know, you can braid your hair but don’t cut your hair.

Trebor: If you cut your finger it’ll so hurt.

Eden: We could cut fabric and flint.

Drew: We could cut pictures of cars.

Frances: We could cut ribbon!

Samantha: We could cut crabs so we can eat them.

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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Kwame: Scissors are so powerful.  They really can’t stop paper!

Gionni: We have scissors in our class, that’s why we know how to use them.  We can cut our drawings out.  How can Isaac cut so good when he’s 3?  Good job, Isaac!

Stephanie: I did it.  I’m happy.

Joelle: Good job, Joelle.  I did a good job!

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Bella: I did it!  My first time using scissors!

Jax: If you can’t do it, you just practice.

Aurora: These scissors make a big mess with the paper.

Kimi: Open, shut, open, shut.  You did it, Anders!

Elliott: You could make a truck with these shapes.

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Nydelyn: I’m practicing so I get better.

Mileena: I could make a unicorn with this shape.  I like scissors.  I like cutting things.

Katherine: I cut the diamond!

Leonel: Open, shut, open, shut.  I love cutting them small so they are small like babies.

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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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Belen: What? Playdough scissors?

Jax: Cut the snake?  I don’t want him to be dead guys!

Torin: Cutting the playdough feels like snow because it feels squishy.

Brandon: Ouch, poor little snake.  I cut the big snake to make little snakes.

Julissa: It’s so harder to cut playdough.

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Eli: I’m pretending to give the snake a haircut.

Anders: I can roll a snake.  I can roll a ball.  I can cut a ball.  I can cut a snake.

Eva: It’s soft to cut playdough.  Sorry snake, I don’t want to cut you but I’m practicing.

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Elizabeth: Playdough is harder to cut than the paper.

Mateo: The snake broke and now there are two!

Frances: I’m cutting the snake up because he’s poisonous.  I’m cutting you up forever!

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“Is it a bag of snowballs?”

By this point in the year, all children in Pre-K have had an experience working with clay!  It is one of my favorite materials to work with and I always love introducing it to children.  We began by examining clay in a plastic bag… friends felt it, poked it and attempted to lift it.  There’s always a sense of mystery around it, and we brainstorm what we think is in the bag.

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Belen: It feels like softy.

Amal: I think it’s a ball that’s pretty.

Bennett: It feels cold.  Like snow or ice.

Cory: Is it a bag of yarn that can roll around the school?  It’s heavy, so that doesn’t make sense.  I don’t know what it is!

Naomi: Is it a bag of snowballs?

Victor: It sticky.

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Once friends learned that it was clay, they began to work on their clay sculptures!  We had some different tools available… rollers and hammers for making it flat, clay scissors for cutting, utensils for mark making, etc.  Many children chose to work with friends and created dinosaurs and monsters, while others pretended they were chefs in the kitchen.

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Christian: It’s hard to peel plastic off the clay.  It’s making my hands grey!  Hey, you can use the roller to make it flat like a sandwich.  Who wants a krabby patty?

Alli: That tool looks like that thing you use to flip with when you’re cooking.

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Elijah: I watched Master Chef Ramsey and he tells people to cook a lot and he uses tools that look like that.  I’m gonna pretend I’m on Master Chef Junior and make a duck.  I’m gonna make the duck feet but I have to cut off the nails before you pretend to eat it.

Siah: I made a dinosaur.  He’s a t-rex, but I forgot to make his teeth.  I can just add them now!

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“The pipe cleaner looks like a person wrapped up in a towel at the pool!”

Over the past few weeks, Thursday art groups have been using a variety of materials to create sculptures!  Friends will continue to create three-dimensional sculptures in the Studio throughout February.

We began by creating “Crazy Line Sculptures” with Model Magic, pipe cleaners and beads.  Friends explored line, shape, balance and rhythm through manipulation of Model Magic, as well as by cutting, bending and twisting pipe cleaners to create different types of “crazy lines!”

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Alberto: Careful, pipe cleaners are sharp!

Amaya: It looks like a roller coaster.  It has hills that go up and go down.

Kofi: The pipe cleaner looks like a person wrapped up in a towel at the pool.

Elmys: It say “boing boing!”

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Maceo: Lines can be crazy.  They can be straight or twisty like a twizzler.

Andres: It look like a spring and sound like a slide.

Emely: It’s like a wiggle worm!

Ezekiel: Model Magic feels like marshmallows.  It looks like marshmallows, too.

The following week, friends were so excited that their sculptures were dry and that they could take them home!  However, before the sculptures were ready to leave the Studio, children worked on an observational drawing.  This process helped friends reflect on the color, line and shape that they observed in their artwork.

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Luke: I see loop de loops.

Maia: It’s a great idea to draw and paint your sculpture.  Then we can look at it again!

Ronan: So many crazy lines.  They go up, and to the side and loops.  Drawing what you made means you have to look at it closely.

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“Beautiful Junk is the most beautiful things in the world!”

This week in the Studio, friends began working with recycled materials, also known as Beautiful Junk!  Many people in the CCPCS community have been donating materials to the Studio over the past few weeks and we were very excited to sort, build and create with these open ended objects.  Thanks to everyone that has donated to us… and please continue to drop off materials in the bins in front of the Studio!  Within the next couple weeks, the bins will be clearly labeled so families will know where specific materials go 🙂

What is Beautiful Junk?

Daniel: Instead of throwing it in the trash, you keep it and think it’s beautiful so you turn it into something new.

Jose: Junk means like a junk yard.  Like trash.  Beautiful means like it looks nice.  It’s beautiful trash.

Noah: It’s for you to get stuff to build like a human, or a mouse, or a house.

Mae: Junk is something that’s empty that you can use.  You can make things with it but don’t break it.

Florentina: Beautiful Junk is the most beautiful things in the world.

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Mouhammadou: I like this Beautiful Junk.  It’s not stinky.

Roman: This is stuff for you to do your projects with.

Kofi: Beautiful Junk is things that people didn’t want to use that we can use for materials.  They put them in the box.

Abdoul: It’s recycled.  Then we can use it again.  They’re good.

Rayyan: Junk is like ew.

Once we talked about exactly what Beautiful Junk was, it was time to get to work!  Friends collaged and sculpted with the materials, while others were interested in sorting similar materials together.

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Luke: I found more bottle caps.  I’ll put them with the ones Daniel found.

Garumma: I’m making something.  It’s a tractor that’s driving a tiger.  The tiger needs a blanket.  Cardboard is a paper from paper towels.  It’s hard to cut.  It’s not hard to cut fabric.  I’m going back to my project now.

Marley: These are so soft.  Soft like a soft part.

Jose: If you snore so loud, you can put those (corks) in your ears.

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Adrian: This is for closing things like bread.

Zuri: This is like a collection.

Abdoulaye: One time I used Beautiful Junk to make a skateboard.  I used tops for wheels.  I used an egg carton for the board.

Alberto: If you see things that are the same you can put them together.  It’s like if you need some spare parts for your project, you can find them together.

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Josie: Perfect, I found just what I was looking for.

Maia: That (yarn) looks like rope for a cowboy!

Maceo: I know I used Beautiful Junk to make a plane, and then I broke it and made it into a barn.

Andres: Did the eggs hatch?  Where the eggs?

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“The Helicopters” by Angel

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“The Great Wall of China” by Alberto

Finally, we had a very special guest join us in the Studio today!  My dad came by and spent the morning making sculptures with us!  Friends were so excited to meet him and to learn that he was also an art teacher, just like me 🙂

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“You don’t go to the Art Studio to get a haircut, you go there to make your art!”

Over the last week and a half, friends have been practicing with scissors and different types of adhesives.  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.  Children were very excited to finally have scissors available in the Studio and practiced how to use them correctly and safely.

Luke: We don’t cut houses because we need them to live in.  Scissors do “open and close” like this.

Daniel: If you cut the table, the legs will break off and you’ll need a new table.

Sylvie: Ms.Cookie cut my hair but we do not cut our own hair or our friends hair.

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Sasha: You don’t cut your hair with scissors.  You go to my mom’s salon for a haircut.

Garumma: When I was a baby, I cut my finger.  I didn’t know how to use scissors.

Zavier: I open them.  Then I close them.  Clip, clap, clip, clap, scissors!

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Zuri:  Cutting is like magic.  If you snip around the paper, it’s like a hula skirt.

Yonathan: You don’t go to the Art Studio to get a haircut, you go there to make your art.

Logan: We should call squeeze scissors squeezers!

Once friends had lots of shapes of paper, they began assembling a collage.  Children worked with wet glue, glue sticks, tape and staplers as they experimented with adhering tissue paper, foil and card stock to construction paper.

Mouhammadou: It’s easy to make a rectangle.  Scissors are good at that.

Justin: I’m gluing it so I can put it all back together.

Vivian: This is going to be a bowtie.

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Ronan: Glue sticks look like lipstick.

Miles: I cut this shape and it looks like a shoe.

Alberto: The foil sounds like metal.  I can squish the metal.

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Jariel: Tissue paper like “achoo, achoo!”

Kofi: The wet glue looks like vanilla frosting.

Andres: Put it there, see it perfect.  Sure, it perfect.

This week, we also introduced the light table!  Children had the opportunity to work at the light table if there was time after they were finished collaging.  Videos to come of some of the work done at this area over the course of the week 🙂

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Finally, aside from a day of rain, it was a very sunny week in the Studio!  Friends continued to discover new prisms and crystals that were casting rainbows all over the classroom.

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“Is it a bag of snakes?”

By this point in the year, all children in Pre-K have had an experience working with clay!  It is one of my favorite materials to work with and I always love introducing it to children.  We began by examining clay in a plastic bag… friends feel it, poke it and attempt to lift it, among other things.  There’s always a sense of mystery around it, and we brainstorm what we think is in the bag.

Moses: I think it’s mud.  It’s smooth.  I like how it feels.

Roman: It feels really, really, really, REALLY good!

Justin: Is it a big rock?  Can you tell us already?  I can’t wait!

Phoenix: A brick?

Alexia: I think it’s gak.

Michael: Is it a bag of snakes?

Marley: It stinks!

Once friends learned that it was clay (and not a bag of snakes, phew) they began to work on their clay sculptures!  We had some different tools available… rollers for making it flat, clay scissors for cutting, utensils for mark making, etc.

Sylvie: I’m just making bird soup.  They can eat it outside.  I might even eat it for my dinner because birds said it was yummy.

Cole: I need something to add to my house.  It needs a roof so that my little fella doesn’t get lost.  These are the shades… if little fella is in the sun it keeps him cool and shady.  He has a secret hideaway spot but he’s bigger then that.  He zaps and this little hanging thing gets her into his home.  He hides from the bad guy.  The little fella roof is there just for the little fella to get out of in an emergency.  It’s hard to build a house.

Paris: A bear cave and a bear.  He sleeps in there in the winter.

Wallace: Clay can do so many cool things.

Elias: Did you know that clay is made from a cow?  Oh, that’s not clay… that’s actually milk.

Maceo: A choo choo train through the tunnel.  This is the track… a big track for trains.

Minna: I’m making Ms.Cushner a birthday cake!  This is her party and she just turned 5.  Blow out the candles!

Owen: My battleship is stronger because it has pipe cleaners in it.

Darian: Two hedgehogs.  Two hedgehogs that are friends.

Once sculptures were finished, we had to figure out a technique for getting them off the table if they were stuck!  Fishing wire is perfect for this because it’s thin, yet strong enough to slide under clay without breaking.  Children enjoyed working with the fishing wire… some friends made holes and tunnels, while others used it solely to remove their piece from the table.

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Jude: Is it floss that you put under to get it off the table?

Wallace: This is what you use to catch a fish?  That’s so cool.

Jasper: I’m putting the fishing wire through the clay to make tunnels for worms.

AJ: I got it off the table!  AJ saves the day!

Braeden illustrates “Snoopy and the Pilot!”

Friends have really enjoyed using liquid watercolors with oil pastels and colored tape this week!  It has given me many ideas for upcoming projects and I am so excited to get some of them underway.  Below is a conversation between myself and Braeden about his future career goals and his painting titled “Snoopy and the Pilot!”

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Braeden: Now I need another color to draw in the little triangle.  It’s part of the airplane wing.  Look Ms.Cushner, you just swipe the brush so we don’t waste the paint.  You’re the best artist in the whole world.  You know everything in the whole world.

Ms.Cushner: Wow, Braeden… thank you!  I think you’re a fabulous artist too, and you always take such good care of our materials.

Braeden: It’s because I went to the store, the art store, with my family.  I actually think I’m gonna be the best artist when I grow up.  I got some paints and papers from the art store with my dad so I can practice.

Ms.Cushner: Do you want to be an art teacher or an artist?

Braeden: Not a teacher, just an artist.  I’m practicing to be one now!  See, this is still an airplane… a Snoopy airplane!  Snoopy the Pilot… it’s kind of funny!

Artwork of the Week!

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Phoenix: This is a party airplane.  It has decorations.  This party is for myself.  I need another one for decorations so it looks like a real party.

Jude: Mine is a party helicopter!

Phoenix: Oooh, Jude… I love that party helicopter.

Jude: It’s a party helicopter for you, Phoenix.  There’s a pool party at my party helicopter.  You like swimming, don’t you?

Phoenix: Yeah! My party airplane has a movie party.  Boys and girls and kids can come to the party.  This square is for the movie theater.

Jude: Wow, that’s cool!

Phoenix: If the whole school came to my party, everyone would be so happy.  Happy like if the school had a big smile on it!

This year, I decided to use my newsletter board for an Artwork of the Week display that will change every Wednesday!  Here is last weeks collaborative collage between Jude and Phoenix.  New art work will be up by the end of the day!