“I’m making something pretty amazing!”

During the first six weeks of a new school year, children explore new materials in different areas of their classroom.  Learning about new materials is a great way to build relationships with both classmates and new teachers! 

By the third week of school, children were using oil pastels, crayons, markers, dot markers, rock crayons and twist crayons in the art area. It was exciting to compare and contrast these drawing materials, as they all have very unique qualities! Soon, children will begin coming to the Studio for art groups where they will continue to explore a variety of 2-D and 3-D materials.

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Soleil: Why are they called rock crayons?  Can we use them outside?

Hailey: I rubbed it with my fingers.  Now I can draw with my them!

Dayana: The black oil pastel looks like licorice.  This one looks like a minty color.  This one is a peachy color.

Asa: I made a plan for how to build an airplane. 

Africa Grace: When you use the side of the rock crayon, it makes you draw faster.

Nanahi: It twists.  I’m just writing.

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Savannah: I’m doing it.  I’m twisting it up high!

Jair: Can it twist to the ceiling?

Adele: It’s really hard to smudge black.  Maybe because it’s dark?  Look… I’m drawing with my fingers!  The more you smudge it, the lighter it gets.  I just turned red to pink!  You have to scrub it.

Kennedy: All the colors are making the rainbow.

Vanessa: It looks like lipstick.

Sallie Chapel: I’m making something pretty amazing!

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Johnny: I’m busy… busy!

Leba: The top goes there.  On the back!  Click!

Hope: Those are details that I made.  I added arms and a mouth to the ghost.

Sebastian: It turned my finger green.  It’s getting all the colors on my hand!  Look at all the colors on my fingers.

Isaiah: Can you draw with the back of the pastel?

Amie: Put the top on so it doesn’t dry up.

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As children in Mrs.Balk’s class were drawing outside, many began creating treasure maps of the playground.  There was a lot of enthusiasm around maps as children were studying the location of playground structures, the sandbox and the garden.  Children began trading maps with their friends and wishing each other “good luck” as they set out to find treasure on the playground!   

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Frances: I’m going to make treasure maps for Abbie to find the treasure.

Abbie: I’m making two treasure maps for at home.  Zach and daddy are on a team and me and mommy are on a team.

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Art groups begin in the Studio on Monday! Hooray!

“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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“I need years to do this big painting!”

Today, the Tuesday art groups continued to work on their large resist paintings!  Friends were so excited to paint standing up and were thrilled with the new liquid watercolors available today for their resist paintings.  Children enjoyed making drips with the liquid watercolors and discovered that when different colored drips intersected, new colors were created!  Below are some photos from today, as well as children’s words… enjoy!

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Braeden: The drip looks like a river… or a tunnel.  It’s an orange tunnel to the Star Wars city, wheeee!

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Phoenix: I’m gonna make a drip spot, a green drip.  It’s part of the roller coaster… the down part.  Hey, it dripped on my hands, too!

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 Haley: The tape is a shield.  It means the paint wont go through.

Jasper: This painting is outer space caught on fire and now the whole world is on fire.  The orange grass is eating everything.  When the sun turns red, it means it’s really, really hot.

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 Mouhammadou: This is my beautiful house… here’s my doggy, Nemo.  He lost his collar.  I need an “M” for my name.  Here’s two bugs… a family of bugs.  See my pets?  An elephant, see I need a house for it.  Nemo needs a house, too.  The bugs are my other pets.  And there’s my family, right there!

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Minna: It’s dripping!  The new colors can drip!  Lots of drips right here.  What happens when you put the wetness on the dryness?  I’m being a scientist, this is my experiment.  What’s gonna happen?  Huh?  Oh, you can still see it!  Ms.Cushner, this is the shark.  And those are the two mouths.  That’s his eyeball, it’s big… and there’s the big wave!  It’s dark blue.  The red on the bottom is blood.  The daddy shark was fighting the biting fish all the way at the bottom, but he’s okay now.

“Why’s the wall blank?”

Today, we started some BIG work in the Studio!  To make space for the paper, I cleared everything off of the bulletin boards and moved the tables around.  Many friends noticed the change right away and had many questions about what exactly we were going to be doing with all the space.  We began by reading Sky Color by Peter Reynolds and like Marisol in the story, children began by brainstorming what they wanted to illustrate for their large resist painting.

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Once friends decided if they wanted their paper horizontal or vertical, they selected materials from the table and began to draw!  Children used oil pastels, twist crayons, crayons, rainbow tape and blue painters tape to make their ideas come to life.  While some friends were inspired by the sky in the story, other children chose to focus on sea monsters, a skateboard with a nose and legs, and poisonous space plants!  

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Jude: A mural is a big, big drawing. Remember we did one last year and now it’s on the playground?

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Haley: One sea monster and then another sea monster.  Mine’s a lady one.  The seaweeds popping out… it’s green tape!”

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Mouhammadou: I’m making rainbow water like rainbow sky in the story.  It can be any color we want!

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 Jasmine: You have to be pretty tall to reach the top of the big paper!