“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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“I’m going to make the crying face blue because tears are blue. When I see water coming from the sky it’s blue.”

Phew! We have been so busy with all this color mixing that I’m not really behind on blogging— sorry about that!

A couple of weeks ago, 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.

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Victor: I made grey. White and black made grey. The sad face is grey.

Autumn: Peach is a silly color.

Luca: When someone makes you mad your face get’s red.

Elijah: When someone’s making a really silly joke, you might laugh really hard and cry at the same time.  I don’t know what color to make that face, though.

Naomi: There’s black in the story and it was a mad page. I’ll make the mad face black.

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Amen: It’s making it grey. Daniel, you’re right, it’s making grey. Dark grey. You mix up all the colors to make it.

Dafnee: That face feels exhausted.

Eva: I make the happy face pink. It’s my favorite color.

Elliott: I’m using blue for the sad face. Because blue is the color of tears.

Amal: That face feels shy. And that’s a love face.  This is a curious face.

Nydelyn: The face with the hearts is purple because purple is my favorite color. I like purple.

Cora: A smiley face with tears? I loved something so much that I cried.

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Frances: Heart eyes, he’s in love. Pink or red are good love colors.

Elizabeth: White is confusing because then you can’t see the face underneath.

Kai: I’m putting more mad. It’s getting so mad.

Alden: The laughing and crying is a rainbow face. Because I said so.

Eli: Look at this one. I made the sad face pink because I don’t like pink.

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Mileena: The sad face is red.  I don’t like red.

Waju: I made my mad face super duper red. Some peoples face look red when they get mad. I made it super duper dark.

Jayde: Pink for heart for red for aaawwww. Love.

Isaac: I’m going to make the crying face blue because tears are blue. When I see water coming from the sky it’s blue.

Konone: He’s smiling and crying at the same time because he’s so happy. My mom smiled and cried at the same time because she was so happy.

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Eden: Yellow is for happy, for the happy face. Yellow makes me happy. And it looks like a happy face sun.

Drew: This one looks silly. That’s why he’s a clown with a red nose.

Kwame: He’s making a happy face. Do you see he has a beard. He has a ginormous beard. He’s a little embarrassed that he has a beard.

Siah: Happy is pink like in the book.

Dylan: I’m making mad. Red and blue, it look like a rainbow. Look, Siah, I made a rainbow. Because it’s beautiful.

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Julita: The heart in eyes is purple.

Anders: I’m putting yellow and white, haha. I feel surprised about that color.

Sammy: I made a wolf color for mad.

Kimi: It’s like your eyebrows are like up, up, up, angry.

Julian: This face is red because he’s angry.

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“I need to take a little break… mixing colors is making me tired!”

Last week, friends began learning about colors and color mixing as we kicked off our long-term color study!  We started by reading Monsters Love Colors, a very silly book that introduces colors and color mixing to young children really well.

Daniel: Red monster!  Blue monster!  Yummy colors!

Elizabeth: I can’t wait to mix so many colors for the monsters.

Felipe: Will red, yellow and blue make a rainbow?  The monsters will be so happy!  We made new colors, too.

Next, I introduced some new materials, such as a palette.  Children learned that palettes are a tool that artists use for mixing colors.  They were very excited to hold it in one hand and their paintbrush in the other.  For the first week, each palette was prepared with the primary colors (red, yellow, blue) for children to mix new colors with.

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Leonel: We’re going to paint with Colombia colors… red, yellow and blue.

Sebrina: A palette holds the paint.  It’s important.

Finally, it was time to paint.  Children began mixing colors that they thought the monsters from the story would love!

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Autumn: Look at how I made it…  I mixed red and blue and it’s purple!

Phoenix: That color looks like the color of Ethiopian food.  My mom likes that food!

Luca: Red is the color for love.

Dafnee: Daniel was right!  Red and blue makes purple!

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Brandon: I’ll mix red and blue and let’s see what happens!

Isabella: How did you make that kind of purple, Elliott?  Does it have more blue or more red?

Cameron: I mixed all the colors… let’s see what happens!  How come when I did all the colors it made brown, not rainbow?

Nydelyn: I made red, like a strawberry red, because I like them.

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Trebor: I want to make rainbow.  Wow, I did it actually!  It’s because I’m an artist.

Cora: I can’t believe red, yellow and blue can make all of these colors!

Frances: I made turquoise with a lot of blue and a little yellow.  Now look, when I put a lot of yellow and a little blue it makes light green, like slimy green.

Bella: I made the color of ducks!

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Elizabeth: When you mix colors, the paint is loud.  When you paint, the brush is quiet because it’s busy.

Waju: I made dark green!  Now I have two types of green.  This one is darker because it has more blue in it.

Eli: I made green because I thinked about it and remembered that blue and yellow would do that.

Kwame: I mixed all the colors and it made brown.

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Siah: I made tropical blue, how did I do that?

Katherine: Blue and yellow I told you made green.

Anders: I was right… red and yellow did make orange.

Joelle: A little bit of yellow and a little bit of blue makes a little bit of green.

Sammy: I need to take a little break… mixing colors is making me tired!

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“This is like a tiny paint… stadium!”

This was the first week that children came to the Studio for art groups, and we had an absolute blast!   Friends had many questions about the space and materials which made for enthusiastic and busy art groups.

Friends noticed and wondered many things about the Studio…

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Mariyah: Who’s making that sound over that wall?

Belen: You got a new carpet?  And an easel?  Wow!

Yuri: I hear Ms.Holmes.  Is she in that white box?

Dafnee: I wish there would be a wall so it’s more quieter.

Kaleb: Is this your house?

Brandon: You have a dee-doo dee-doo in your room for the fire drills.

Elliott: You got a new rug just like our class!

Nydelyn: Your bell sounds like the tooth fairy.

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Alden: Hey, that’s my classroom over that wall!

Eli: Why you got two boards now?

Gionni: This is like a tiny paint… stadium!

Kwame: That’s Mister Skinny Legs skin… do you remember him?

Frances: My very first time in this room!  There’s rainbows in here and now I’m turning into a rainbow!  And seashells! And a magical sink that makes a “bump bump” sound.

Anders: I just stepped on a rainbow!  It was on the floor.  Now it’s on my pants and my pants are actually my pajama pants.

Julian: I love it in this place.

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At the front table, children were introduced to liquid watercolors and used them to fill more pages of their sketchbooks.  We discussed mixing on the paper (not in the jars… for now…) and how to safely use and pass the glass jars.

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Luca: Glass breaks when you drop it.

Amen: I’m putting the brush in the green.  It stays green that way.  I’ll put the red on top like an experiment.

Mateo: Don’t break the glass so you don’t get a cut.

Isabella: Pass it gently and keep it away from that edge of the table.

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Naomi: Are the jars made out of concrete?

Amal: This is red like red blood on the bandaid.

Trebor: Phew, this painting is hard work!

Jax: Don’t hurt the brush.  Don’t bang it or the brush will die.

Elizabeth: This brush is big, but the one in the pink is small.

Isaac: I can’t believe it… I’m painting with blue!

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Once children were done painting, they could self select from the other centers in the Studio.  This week, friends could use markers at the back table, draw and erase at the easel, or build with shape and color puzzles on the carpet.

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Katherine: Let’s do this together because the board is really, really big.  It’s an ice cream cone with chocolate chips.

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* I have many group photos of children working that couldn’t be posted due to the confusion with media releases this year.  Looking forward to getting those lists updated so that more photos can be posted on the blog! 🙂

“I’ll go sad when they go to Kindergarten and I’m gonna cry so loud!”

How is it already June?  This year really flew by!  One of my favorite parts of the year is when I split PK3’s and PK4’s so they can create gifts for their classmates who are either going to Kindergarten or staying in PK for another year.

This year, the PK3’s created their own colors of paint to send to Kindergarten.  The idea is that when children open their easel the first week of school, they will have special colors waiting for them and reminding them of their friends in PK.  We read My Many Colored Days by Dr.Seuss and brainstormed what types of colors friends might want to incorporate into future paintings.

Trebor: Let’s make them pink.  They like it and they be happy.

Eli: Let’s mix the paint and make it like chocolate milk.

Jax: Special red orange.  Really special.  Best day ever.

Cameron: Elijah likes green, let’s make him that.  And Sophie likes purple!

We narrowed it down to two colors per group to create and got to work on our color experiments!  Friends took turns adding colors to jars and mixing until they were happy with the color.  Finally, they assigned each color a name.

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Autumn: I’m just gonna cry about them.

Jax: I’ll go sad when they go to Kindergarten and I’m gonna cry so loud!

Dafnee: I won’t tell them what we  made for the surprise.  I’ll just say we make a flower!

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Fatima: We can call it lettuce… we grew that.

Amen: It’s turning to dark blue.  It’s turned to dark pink.

Dafnee: It’s getting lighter.  It’s mixing colors.

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Dafnee: This pink is pink lemonade.  It takes like sweet lemonade and it’s my favorite color.

Belen: C’mon purple, you can do it.

Waju: The stick is gonna turn purple.  Let’s write the names, like broccoli, on the stick so they know!

Kai: I put just the right amount of white.

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Below are some shots of the finished jars of paints and the sticks that show what children chose to name each color.  Along with the paint , we will include a sweet letter that friends wrote.

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Dear Friends,

We will miss you when you go to Kindergarten.  Be nice.  You are our best friends but you have to go and make something new.  We’ll miss your singing, I like playing with you and thanks for playing with me.  Don’t worry, when you go to Kindergarten, you will see all our friends.  We could visit you and we could play out back.  Will there be babies in our class?  We’re gonna be in charge of the little teeny tiny kids.  We will be kind to the new friends, and we can help take kids to another classroom so they can find their teachers.  I’ll be a leader, leading them, like you showed  us.  I’ll share with them and show them how to freeze.

We hope you like the paint.  Can you paint one thing for us so we can see the colors we made?  We can’t wait to see what you paint.  

Love, your PK3 friends

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“I look good. That drawing is an impostor.”

As the year is winding down, friends in Pre-K work on end of the year portfolio additions, as well as reflecting on their year and their hard work.  For me this means… self portraits all week long!  I love working on self portraits with children because it’s always so exciting to see the amount of growth from fall to spring… and for Pre-K 4’s, they will have 4 portraits to compare!

Just like in the fall, we began by reading The Colors of Us by Karen Katz and discussing the different shades of colors and shapes that make up our faces.  Children observed themselves in the mirror and matched colors based on what they saw.

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Ra’Maya: My tooth is loose.  I’ll draw it!

Elijah: I’m the color of honey, but don’t eat me!

Christian: My skin is like chocolate.  My eyes are dark brown like night time.

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Nneka: My eyes look like football shapes.

Sophie: I’m drawing my hair sticking up in one spot because it’s really doing that.

Zavier: I’m looking fancy in this mirror.

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Zeina: I’m drawing my flower earring.  I noticed last year I didn’t have earrings.

Mae: I see five different colors on my face.

Zoe: I wasn’t even trying and it looks just like me!

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Andres: My eyes look like potatoes.  They are mostly round.

Elijah: All of these colors together look like myself.

William: I see three colors on my face like cinnamon, tan and chocolate.

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Waju: Look what I did… it’s me!

Reese: My hair is curly so I have to draw bumps.

Marquis: I look good.  That drawing is an impostor.

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Kavalli: A mirror makes another you that’s doing the same stuff you’re doing.

Naomi: Stop copying me, Naomi in the mirror!

Jariel: My skin is a little bit brown, like peach brown.

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William: Whoa, Reese’s self portrait looks like the real her!

Iris: I’m making the little freckle next to my eye.  That’s a detail.

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Below are a handful of self portraits from the fall and spring… check out all those details!  Apologies for scanning them in backwards, so fall is on the right and the most recent ones from spring are on the left!

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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!

“It’s a home for seeds. Cover them up with soil and they grow flowers!”

Last week in the Studio, all children in Pre-K learned how to make seed balls!  Friends had so much getting messy while fun rolling air dry clay in soil and wildflower seeds.  Once they dry, you can dig a little hole in the ground, plant and water them, and wildflowers will grow!  Seed balls will be available to purchase at our Pre-K Market this Friday, May 20th,  from 2-3:30!

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Alli: It’s a home for seeds.  Cover them up with soil and they grow flowers!

Christian: Seed balls look like Oreo cookie crunch, but don’t eat them because they are dirt balls.

Siena: Making seed balls is fun.  I like getting messy!

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Autumn: You can cover all the seeds up with clay.

Isabella: The seeds go in the clay and then you plant them in the ground and then flowers will grow!

Belen: A baby seed ball.  So cute!

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Elmys: Seed balls. So hard.  Like rocks.

Jariel: Don’t throw seed balls.  They are too hard.

Waju: Wow, flowers will grow from them?  But they feel like rocks!

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“It smells like soup… delicious!”

As children in their classrooms are learning about gardens and markets, friends in the Studio are also working on creating products to be used and purchased at our market.  Last week, all Pre-K friends learned that they would be in charge of designing and making reusable canvas bags that families could shop with at our Market Showcase on May 20th.  Rose Red groups began this work by observing jars filled with different colored dyes made from beets, spinach, raspberries, carrots, tomatoes and pomegranates.  Friends enjoyed making predictions about what they thought were inside, because each one had a very distinct scent!

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Belen: It smells like a vegetable.

Amy: Smells like juice.

Christian: It looks like paint, but it smells like raspberry.

Amal: Strawberry juice?

Felipe: Yuck!

Esther: It smells like soup… delicious!

Alli: Can we eat it?

Sophia: Tomato juice!

Next, we practiced folding, twisting and rolling fabric.  Then we tied it up with rubber bands!

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Friends put on rubber gloves and began dipping their fabric into the natural fruit and vegetable dyes.

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Christian: How do we make blue dye?  Maybe with blueberries?

Belen: Could we make purple with grapes?

Adriana: Let’s use strawberries to make it pink!

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This week, children took the rubber bands off their dry fabric and observed the different lines, patterns and shapes that they created.  We also began brainstorming about what fruits and vegetables we would like to use when we begin dying our canvas bags next week!

Bennett: Isn’t it weird that it’s purple on the outside and yellow in the middle?

Leonel: A circle and lines.

Eli: It’s all brown!

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“This… is art!”

The Rose and Lavender groups have been hard at work in the Studio on wooden sculptures. Friends spent a week exploring wooden shapes and trying to figure out which pieces worked together and which didn’t.  Children noticed that round shapes had a hard time balancing on flat shapes, but if both sides were flat, they could easily stick together.  Next, friends used wet glue to adhere their pieces to create one or more sculptures!

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Eli: I can mix the glue.  I can spread the glue.

Jax: Wow, so cool.  See, it can stand up!

Konone: I don’t know what I made!

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Christian: The ring and the ball look like a planet from outer space!

Bennett: I’m going to make a little kid.  It’s my sister.  No, no, I made a dinosaur with a spike on the back!

Naomi: This piece looks like a bracelet!

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Kavalli: Whewwwwww, the ball rolls.

Cathy: I balanced it!

Isabella: Wood feels cold, smooth and hard.

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The following week, friends were excited to see that their sculptures were dry!  Children used liquid watercolors to paint their wooden sculptures.

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Cathy: My sculpture looks like Mars.

Darby: This… is art!

Christian: My 3 headed monster!  I missed him!  I’m an artist because if someone is an artist, they just paint their sculptures.  Yep, I’m correct.  I’m an artist because I have to make him detailed.  It’s so crazy, the paint is drying so fast!

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Isabella: Victor, yours balanced!

Siah: I’m painting it gentle so it wont break.

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Jariel: The paint dried.  It dried fast.

Kai: Look at me.  I did this.

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This week, friends worked on adding collage materials to our sculptures.  Children collected feathers, buttons, googly eyes and other found materials from the Studio to add to their sculptures.

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Kavalli: It’s an experiment.  An eyeball fox man.

Naomi: Cathy, look! This material is shiny.  It can be the chocolate in the cookie.

Phoenix: The glue is rainbow.

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Siah: A star! A sprinkle star! So pretty.

Jariel: Mamma mia, stop sticking to me, you feather.

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