“This wavy line is the hardest one yet.  My heart was moving so fast.  And then I focused a lot.  And then I did it!”

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.

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Mina: You can cut flowers in the garden if you want to have flowers in your home!

Jax: I think you can cut playdough.  And kinetic sand.

Frances: You could cut cobwebs to make Halloween decorations.

Theo: Cut tape… and string!

Kennedy: Scissors might get stuck if you cut tape.

Sallie Chappell: Things that are fuzzy we can cut.

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Jair: You can cut chicken with scissors in the kitchen.

Kyrie: Hold the bottom of the scissors when you pass them to teachers or friends.

Bella: Don’t cut toys.  They would break.

Anival: Don’t cut flowers.  They are beautiful and then they wont grow!

Farah: We shouldn’t cut hair.

Anival: Do not cut credit cards or else they don’t see what card it is.

Uhura: Don’t cut your hair.  It’s not a hair salon!

Noah: Don’t cut toys or they get braked.

Tahj: I just got my hair cut at the barber shop… not here!

Nanahi: Don’t cut clothes or they be broke and mom has to fix it.

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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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Kyrie: I’m cutting a shape that looks like a cowboys lasso.  An oval.

Africa Grace: You can cut pictures out of picture frames.  Like art!

Betsegaw: I’m so strong.  I can even cut paper!

Isaiah: The circle might be tricky for me.  Hey… I’m doing it!

Aria: I’m focusing.  I’m cutting the paper into an oval.

Connor: It takes forever to cut out these shapes.

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Jameson: I’m getting sooooooo tired.

Dayana: This kind of line looks like grass!

Kaitlyn: Open, close, turn.  Open, close, turn.

King: I did it.  I feel so good!  I’m doing it.  I’m really doing it!

Jahir: I’m almost there.  I’m doing it!

Hope: I told you I could do it.  I did the wavy line!

Soleil: It’s so hard for me.

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Ava: Yeah… I cut out a rectangle.  This is for my mom.

Ethan: I’m so tired.  Scissors are exhausted.

Katherine: This wavy line is the hardest one yet.  My heart was moving so fast.  And then I focused a lot.  And then I did it!

Eva: That line looks like the top of a castle.

Asa: It’s hard to cut out the bumpy line.

Crystal: Open, close.  I made it!

Savannah: Yay! I did it! I did the square.

Sebastian: Open, shut them.  Open, shut them.  Like the song!

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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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Jax: I can cut playdough.  Even a big piece!

Jayden: I try my best.  And I’m doing it!  I’m feeling so the best.

Amie: I’m already focused.

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“The carrot looks like my brother with a fade on his head!”

Currently sitting in jury duty, and it seems like the perfect opportunity to blog about another canvas bag design process as we gear up for Friday’s Market!

There was so much enthusiasm around printmaking from the Sunflower and Fern groups after learning the processes during our figure drawing study that it seemed like a no brainer to incorporate these skills into our Expedition!  Friends began by observing details of fruits and vegetables under a magnifying screen or with magnifying glasses.  As friends observed the produce, they sketched what they saw onto pieces of styrofoam, creating their own stamps!

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Zoe: Whoa, these strawberries are huge!  Look at all the seeds.

Luke: Look at those big things.  The magnifying screen makes the beet look ginormous!

Briana: It makes them look so big!

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Elijah: The parsnip looks like the carrots cousin.  One is taller but they smell the same.

Mae: The strawberry is a “V” shape.  Let me check if there’s anything I missed.  I’m looking closely at the leaves.

Nayeli: Do beets have dots or just lines?

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William: People are going to flip out… the drawings are so good!

Elijah: The carrot looks like my brother with a fade on his head!

Mae: The pepper has little lumps on it and some little dots.  My stamp looks like a pepper party.

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After two weeks of creating styrofoam stamps, it was finally time to print on our canvas bags!  Each child chose which of their stamps they wanted to use, the color of fabric ink that accompanied them and the layout of the bag.  Friends are so excited to shop with their bags at our Market, as well as outside of school with their families!

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Trebor: My tomato is on my bag!

Miguel: You have to push hard so it goes on and is bright.

Zeina: I want to make mine a pattern.

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Sarah: This is my bag.  I can buy the focus spray and the seed balls and put it in my bag.  It’s gonna be mine and I’m gonna keep it forever and ever.  My own bag!

Reese: This is going to be my perfect bag.

Marquis: The carrots look cool on here.

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Ryan: My bag… oh yeah!

Carlos: I’m making my strawberry green so it’s not ready to eat yet.

Mae: This stamped the best because I pushed down hard and it made the brightest red.  It worked!

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Nneka: It feels like I’m ironing.

Carlos: I can already see the red pushing out when I roll on my stamp.

Zavier: We’re doing like teamwork to make the bags!

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Rayyan: The fabric ink makes a scratchy sound when you roll in it.

Ayub: Ink looks like toothpaste.

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Here is a small sampling of bag designs… Enjoy! See you at the Market from 2-3:30 on Friday!

“The okra looks like a flower!”

As I shared in my last post, friends have begun working on designing canvas shopping bags for families to shop with at our Market on May 20th!  Lavender groups have spent the last two weeks exploring fruit prints and have had a blast stamping with various produce!  Between the two weeks, we tried printing with 15 different fruits and vegetables so that we could narrow it down to the shapes, sizes and patterns we wanted to incorporate into our bags.

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Cathy: The okra looks like a flower. Celery makes likes like foot prints.

Kavalli: I got a seed from the apple.  We can keep them to plant.

Naomi: The grapefruit is the biggest, and broccoli looks like popcorn.

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Jariel: A green lemon… I mean, a lime!

Issabela: It makes bubbles! Poppy, poppy, pop!

Kai: The potato went splat.  I want to try this again!

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Siah: Broccoli makes little spots.

Jax: Like Mister Potato Head!

Isabella: Celery makes marks like the shape of a moon!

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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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“You can bend wire so it looks like a house!”

Monday art groups are continuing their sculpture work and worked with a new material today… wire!  Children have had experiences with pipe cleaners and have enjoyed bending and twisting them to make different lines and shapes.  We compared wire with pipe cleaners today and incorporated both into our three-dimensional sculpture work this morning.

Claire: You could make letters or bend it like an octagon!

Adrian: You could bend wire so it looks like a house.

Phoenix: If you bend wire it makes the buttons not be able to move.  They get trapped.

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Jose: Pipe cleaners twist like wire but they are hairy.

Mae: I made a slide for my bear.  It’s a school for bears and it has a playground!

“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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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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