“Your room is adorable!”

It was a very busy week in the Pre-K Studio as friends began coming for art groups this week!  For children that were Pre-K 3’s last year, they acted as real leaders in showing new children around the Studio.  We spent some time noticing, wondering and asking questions about different spaces and materials that children noticed in the new space.

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Cory: I hear those teachers.  I hear Mr.Duque.  He’s in the wall writing his name.

Maia: Your room is adorable!

William: My sister be here in your classroom before.  Can I stay here for a long time?  Can I sit on your carpet?

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Sylvie: Wow, we’re here!  We’re at the Art Studio!  Guys, you just have to see this!  There’s a rainbow on Ms.Cushner’s table.  When it’s really sunny out the rainbow’s come out from the window!

Luke: The Studio has a hole in the ceiling so it’s next to our class.  The wall attaches to our classroom.

Garumma: I can hear people!  Other kids!  They are under the wall?  This is so interesting.

Once we explored the new space, we came together and learned how to work with watercolors! It was exciting to paint with watercolors after learning about tempera paint because it allowed them to explore their similarities and differences. Friends enjoyed mixing their own colors on palettes and experimenting with making colors lighter and darker.

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Jose:  Why do they love water?

Marley: The water is turning green.  It’s from the green paint.

Claire: Always clean the brush first.  Oops, don’t forget!

Mouhammadou: That’s not nice to the paint to not wash the brush.  That’s not kind.

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Maceo: Are you ready for bath time, brushy?

Mae: You can’t trick us.  We’re smart.

Justin: Give the brush a bath to get clean.  Kids do that too.  Dip it in the water, then put it in the paper, then put it in the water again.

Once friends were finished with their paintings, they had the opportunity to observe and draw a large flower arrangement that were leftover from an event this past weekend.  The flowers are beautiful and had many different smells, textures, patterns and colors.

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Daniel: That plant goes up and down like a hill.

Luke: They are so soft… when I touch them they feel nice.

Alberto: I found another match.  This crayon matches that flower.  I see little flower seeds on the table, too.

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Roman: They smell like roses.

Justin: The flowers smell like vinegar.

Amaya: Are there bugs on them?

Florentina: Are there bees in there?

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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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