“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.

DSCN9093.JPG

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!

DSCN9080.JPG

DSCN9067.JPG

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.

DSCN9095.JPG

DSCN9099.JPG

DSCN9077

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.

DSCN9085.JPG

DSCN9089.JPG

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.

DSCN9119

DSCN9120

DSCN9121

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

DSCN9117

“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.

DSCN9037.JPG

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.

DSCN9060.JPG

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.

DSCN9056.JPG

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!

DSCN9048.JPG

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.

DSCN9036

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.

DSCN9045.JPG

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.

DSCN9043.JPG

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.

DSCN9052.JPG

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!

0346_0010347_0010348_0010349_0010350_0010351_0010352_0010353_0010354_0010355_0010356_0010357_0010358_0010359_0010360_0010361_001

“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!

DSCN8874.JPG

DSCN8878.JPG

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!

DSCN8864.JPG

DSCN8877.JPG

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?

DSCN8869.JPG

DSCN8880.JPG

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.

DSCN8949.JPG

DSCN8953.JPG

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!

DSCN9018.JPG

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.

DSCN9020

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.

DSCN9023.JPG

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!

DSCN9000

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!

DSCN9028.JPG

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

Ayub: Ink looks like toothpaste.

DSCN8997

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!

DSCN8977

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!

DSCN9012.JPG

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!

DSCN9014.JPG

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!

DSCN9004

“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!

DSCN8895.JPG

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!

DSCN8884.JPG

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

DSCN8894.JPG

DSCN8935.JPG

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!

DSCN8900.JPG

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!

DSCN8939.JPG

DSCN8933

“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!

DSCN8722.JPG

DSCN8670.JPG

DSCN8718.JPG

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!

DSCN8719

DSCN8665

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!

DSCN8667

DSCN8674

Kavalli: Whewwwwww, the ball rolls.

Cathy: I balanced it!

Isabella: Wood feels cold, smooth and hard.

DSCN8729.JPG

DSCN8716

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

DSCN8779.JPG

DSCN8741

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!

DSCN8732.JPG

DSCN8788.JPG

DSCN8797

Isabella: Victor, yours balanced!

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

DSCN8745.JPG

DSCN8791.JPG

DSCN8749.JPG

Jariel: The paint dried.  It dried fast.

Kai: Look at me.  I did this.

DSCN8737.JPG

DSCN8783

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.

DSCN8830.JPG

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.

DSCN8827.JPG

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

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

DSCN8825

“You guys got to show me when you’re done. Whoa, it’s me!”

Children in the Sunflower and Fern groups have been studying the figure, while also learning about the process of Gelli printing.  I have shared a bit of the figure drawing work, as well as the into to Gelli printing, but I am so excited and proud to share the work that came as a result of combining the two.

To refresh everyone’s memory, every child had a turn (or two) to be models for their peers.  When it was their turn, they would stand on the stage (milk crate) and on the count of three, strike a pose.  Children were encouraged to think about different ways to make interesting shapes and lines with their bodies.  Once we got into the routine of modeling, friends began coming into the Studio week after week asking if they could pose first, or share that they came up with a pose that they hadn’t seen a friend do yet.

Incorporating the Gelli plate into this routine proved easier than I thought.  One child would be the model and come to the stage, while the other artists would prepare their Gelli plate at the table.  Artists at the tables were invited to use the back of a paintbrush to represent the figure on their Gelli plate.  When the timer went off, they could use the finger stamps to add detail to the background.

DSCN8679.JPG

DSCN8711.JPG

DSCN8703

Carlos: This is something so new!

Andres: I can see Trebor through the paper!

Nayeli: You guys got to show me when you’re done.  Whoa, it’s me!

DSCN8707.JPG

DSCN8704

DSCN8705

Sophie: That’s a hard pose because he’s on one leg.  He looks like a bird.  I want to pose like a flamingo, too.

Ryan: It’s hard to balance when I do a karate kick.

DSCN8690

DSCN8709

Ra’Maya: Remember, just a spot, not a lot, or you wont see the person.

Ayub: Are you ready, artists?  Here’s my pose!

Florentina: I had fun posing up there!

DSCN8689

DSCN8774

Even Ms.Berger came in to give it a try!

DSCN8776.JPG

DSCN8777.JPG

Below is just some of the fabulous work… enjoy! Hoping to post about the VERY special visitor that came into model for some classes this week.  I’ll save that for tomorrow 🙂

“When is the special guest model coming? Is it your dad?”

Over the past few weeks, Sunflower and Fern groups have been continuing to study the figure in a variety of ways.  Children began by modeling for their peers, who quickly sketched their poses.  The following week, we reviewed figure drawing by reading a book called Louise Loves Art.  Friends immediately made connections between the book and our figure drawing exercises from the previous week.

51c0JGA9vVL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Ra’Maya: We did some poses like the kitty.

Luke: Last week we were the models and we were drawing the poses.  I like drawing models very much.

Nneka: The cat is staying like a statue so she can draw him.

Selwyn: The cat is posing like we did on the stage.

Next, I shared with friends that a very special guest was going to come and model for us!  Children were so excited and many had ideas of who the guest was going to be.

Zavier: When is the special guest model coming?  Is it your dad?

Elliott: Is it your mom?  Is your mom coming?

Trebor: Is the cat coming here?

In the future, maybe my parents can stop by to model!  Unfortunately, they couldn’t make it for those days, so Mel the wooden mannequin came by!  I showed friends that Mel could move his body in many ways to create all types of shapes.  Children noticed that he could hold very tricky poses that would have been too hard for us to do.

Mae: I really like Mel.  He’s so cool.  He can touch his toes to his head and put his arms behind his head at the same time.  His legs must hurt after.

Ryan: Mel looks like he’s kicking a soccer ball!

DSCN8430.JPG

DSCN8438.JPG

DSCN8553.JPG

Zoe: Is Mel short for Melvin?  When you said a model was coming I thought it was going to be your dad.

Justin: He arms look like he an airplane.

DSCN8439.JPG

DSCN8456.JPG

DSCN8426.JPG

Andres: Wow, you’re the greatest poser, Mel!  You stand so still.  I tickled his feet and I hear him laugh but not move.

Zeina: Mel is doing a pirouette.

 

“It’s so hard to pose… it made my foot fall asleep!”

Sunflower yellow and Fern green art groups have just begun an exploration of gesture drawing, which has brought a whole new level of excitement and laughter to the Studio this winter!

To kick off this work, friends learned that they would have two very important jobs… to be an artist, and a model.  Children brainstormed with each other to try to figure out what those two words really meant.

Zavier: A model is like an action figure or a figure majiger.  A model is in a magazine.

Maia: A model is like a sculpture and a sculpture could be of a spider or a princess so that’s what the model is.

Miguel: A model is a person you draw.

Nneka: Artists make things that are really nice.

Trebor: If you want to be an artist, you have to think about your work.

Andres: Model is like a type of play dough.  Like Model Magic.

William: A model could look like a sculpture.

Destynee: Some people like artists hold their palettes.

Zoe: I want to be an artist when I grow up but I don’t know if I can because you have to work and practice so much.  Sometimes artists make things but they don’t know what it is for a long time.  You just make and make and then you decide.

Next, I shared that when it was your turn to be a model, you would carefully stand up on the stage (milk crate), and after a countdown, you would strike a pose that you could comfortably hold for 20 seconds.  We talked about different ways you could move your body to create shapes, curves and lines.  As you were modeling, the rest of the children were the artists in the audience, quickly drawing your pose.  (Side note: It was “Dress Like Your Favorite Character Day” and “Pajama Day” during these two classes, hence the costumes, which really added to the work!)

DSCN8318

DSCN8332

DSCN8340

DSCN8384

DSCN8354

Ra’Maya: It’s so hard to hold a long pose.

Zeina: I was smiling while friends were modeling so that they felt comfortable.

Nayeli: You got to stand still and the artists draw how your hands and legs look.

DSCN8324

DSCN8330

Friends enjoyed posing for each other.  Most groups ended up doing three rounds, with 20, 40 and 60 second poses.  As they had more time, children added details to their gesture drawings, such as the stage, clothes, and background.

DSCN8387

DSCN8353

Iris: Briana should be proud of herself because she was scared to model but then she was brave at the last round.

Andres: Mister Skinny Legs is a really good model, just like us.  He can stay really still, even more still then us when we pose.

DSCN8336

DSCN8331

DSCN8321

DSCN8341

Zeina: It’s so hard to pose… it made my foot fall asleep!

Iris: I’m looking at Selwyn’s paper to focus so I don’t move.

After our gesture drawing rounds, Miguel and Selwyn were motivated to draw their own poses and then try to model from the illustration.  This sparked some interest that we might explore further in the coming weeks!

DSCN8361

DSCN8363

DSCN8365

“You have to look really hard. Diggers do that to find the bones.”

Before the Blizzard of 2016, friends were working on a collaborative weaving in the Studio!  All children in Pre-K contributed to our weaving over the course of two weeks.  After a substantial amount of work was done, children began observational resist paintings as they noticed how lines differed, based on the type of yarn that children selected.  Friends began by drawing different types of lines (straight, wavy, zig-zag, curly, etc.) with oil pastels, based on what they observed.  Next, children add liquid watercolors.  Some friends painted on top of their drawing, and were excited to see that the pastels were still visible.  Other children chose to paint between the lines, filling in the background.

As the year progresses, children will begin longer term projects.  When finished, children will be asked to create observational drawings and paintings of their work.

DSCN8286.JPG

What does it mean to observe an object?

Mae: You have to look really hard.  Diggers do that to find the bones.

Carlos: You take down what it looks like.

Selwyn: Observe is when you look and know more about what you’re looking at.

Florentina: You draw what you see!

DSCN8270.JPG

DSCN8277.JPG

DSCN8280.JPG

Ryan: When you paint on it, it looks like fire.  It shines.

Ra’Maya: I can see my drawing, but I don’t know why!

Douglas: I see yellow lines that go up and down.

Zeina: The red lines are wavy and the red brown is a curvy line.

DSCN8297.JPG

DSCN8345DSCN8346