Art Journal Work
On our last afternoon together, children enjoyed playing outside in the beautiful sunshine. We worked on a "thank you" book for the Lantern Book Store and children painted at the easel. Elena, no surprise, painted a picture of her family. Enjoy these images and have a wonderful Spring Break!
A Special Thank You
There has been so much excitement about the wonderful visits we had to The Lantern bookshop and our book art since, we knew we had to take a moment and write a “Thank You” message. Before lunch we asked the children what ideas they had about materials and the format of our thank you message. The children had many ideas which related to the work they have been doing with books, ultimately deciding to make a small book that all of the children could add to in order to show our appreciation.
Here’s a peek into what the children have created so far. We plan to continue the work with our other KW friends next week!
Building and Book Art Continues
The children have spent many days preparing their altered books for a day like today. Using glue to strengthen the pages and adhere multiple pages together, the children had prepared their pages to withstand heavier media such as paint! So today we brought out the paints both for use in our altered books and on the easel. Children were able to use hairdryers as a tool to help speed up the process, allowing the children to do more in their books during one session. The hair dryers were very popular today as children used them to dry pages in their book so they could turn the page and continue working. Also available today were glue sticks, Elmer’s glue, collage materials, and fibers.
Tommy, Lily, Hugh, James, Abby, and Cate all worked in their altered books. Will and Abby painted at the easel. Lily and James worked at mark-making in their books, Hugh painted in large blocks of color, and Tommy created his ink-blot-type paintings in his book along with experimenting with mixing colors. Abby and Cate worked for an extended period of time mixing colors, creating layers, and adding multimedia to their books. Many of the children noted the letters on the book pages showing through the paint.
Cate said, “I want to make it lighter,” as she painted a layer of white glue over her work. She also added some foil she had saved in her book pocket beneath a layer of paint. She studied these areas of the page where she had “hidden” the foil as she dried it with the hairdryer. She also lightly rain her finger overtop as if feeling the difference in texture the foil and paint created. Abby started with white paint on her paper then slowly added one color at a time and mixed the colors slowly, describing the changes as she went. She dripped a few drops of color then mixed it in. Toward the end of her work she also used a small tear of paper, running it overtop of the paint, watching the way it caused a sort of swirl effect in the paint. Abby and Cate added felt fibers to their pages, then added more paint overtop.
Today every child showed interest in engaging with all of the opportunities presented. Even in our building workshop, where only two children could work at a time and the children had to wait for a turn, a large group of children were found engaging with the experience in one way or another. Though many children realized they would not get a turn building today, they remained observing, asking questions, and sharing ideas about the experience. And, once again, the children were intent on going straight to building structures with the hammers, nails, and pieces of wood despite obstacles like difficult wood to nail into. We made plans for future structures to be built and ideas about what types of materials we might want to achieve the children’s ideas. We’re looking forward to giving more children the opportunity to build next week and after the break.
After another fun and engaging trip to the Lantern Book Store yesterday, children's work in their altered books really took off today! Dagny, Caleb, Louise, and Tegan all started working on new books. Many other children worked in existing books, using drawing and collage to create beautiful pages. Along with creativity, children's capacity for problem solving is also on display. Maisie drew a series of shapes on one page. As she turned the page, she discovered that the marker had bled through and left a series of dots on the next page. Instead of being frustrated, she was delight with the possibilities these dots presented. In prepping their books, children are gluing pages together to strengthen the pages. Hugh glued some pages together and then changed his mind. He pulled the pages apart, which left a cool, textured effect on the pages. He dried the glue with a hair dryer and kept working. The group discussed the fact that in these books, there are no real mistakes, just happy accidents!
What's that pounding that I hear?
Wood working! Today we expected to just explore tools, with a focus on hammers and nails. We thought it would be good practice. This competent group of children had other ideas.... they were ready to start building things..... TODAY! We had to overcome some minor obstacles, like most of the school's nails were too short for the structures that the children wanted to build. Nevertheless, some building was done. Hugh plans on making a double bridge, and he was able to complete phase one today. Tommy's building? "It's a house for my toys." Tegan built a table for Saoirse, with a pretty pink flower nailed in the middle. Grace liked that idea, and also built a table. Lily explored nailing down fabric, and thin materials that our nails could handle. We will have longer nails tomorrow!
Children built in other ways as well. There was indoor building with blocks, wooden people, and wooden animals. Outside, several children collaborated to build a home in Palm Beach, complete with furniture. Enjoy these images and check back tomorrow for more from this creative and competent group!
After we shopped for our books, we spent some time reading and got to know Chris and Caroline a little. Caroline read a couple of books to us too! We had a delightful time at the shop and Caroline and Chris told us they hope we come back soon.
Literacy in Table-Setting and Building Plans
Literacy emerged as a common theme across all our work today including parts of out daily routine and the work children did back at school in preparation for their building workshop.
During table-setting, children have many opportunities for real-life uses of math and literacy skills such as counting how many people we have, making sure we have enough chairs, and figuring out which place-cards we need for the day. While Grace and James set the table for lunch today we realized we needed a place-card for Jessica Kuhn as she was joining us for lunch and the field trip. Grace offered to write it. She wrote the letters as Jessica M. read them out loud. She explained to James as she drew on the purple place-card, “This is for another Jessica. I’m writing wings for her.” When Jessica Kuhn came into the room Grace asked her, “Do you like the color purple?” Jessica said, “I do. How did you know?” Grace replied, “I know because I noted it.”
Another opportunity for children today was to draft plans for possible building structures. Previously several children had suggested making a type of home and today Lou Lou said we should make a home for Shelly, a rock children, especially from the Rainey room, are especially fond of caring for in the outside classroom. So we invited children to draw their ideas for building. James drew a house for his stuffy, Hedgie and several children drew homes for Shelly and signs for Shelly's house. Louise made a floorpan, drawing around Shelly, "Shelly fits inside!" Children showed their knowledge, interest, and growing confidence in literacy concepts while they worked. After drawing, children spent time building with wood and loose parts.
Altered Book Work
The altered book area the classroom was buzzing with activity today. Elena and Lou Lou created new books while other children added to the books they had previously created. A variety of materials and techniques went into the books today including collage and printing. Each book also contains an envelope that contains items that can be included in future book work.
Speaking of printing, children used black printer's ink to make a new kind of print today. Using a pencil, they drew into a piece of foam. he design was rolled with black ink and then transferred to paper, resulting in an image of the drawing. Several children also played the printing game that Lily developed last week. They did a fantastic job of matching the printed item to the resulting print. Tommy vowed to develop a more challenging game in the future.
Today we started to think about what structures we would actually like to build. Here's our thought so far:
Hugh - The museum of the declaration of independence. Actually, I'm thinking of a zoo. I'll build a zoo.
Cate - I'm thinking of an apartment.
Dagny - I want to do the seal area of the zoo.
Lily - A horse run.
Will - A castle.
Cate - I want to build a castle.
Children went on to draw their ideas. Although actual construction will probably happen after Spring Break, we will be exploring tools later this week. Children also spent time building with blocks in the classroom. Perhaps not surprisingly, there was talk of building the FBI (again).
Visiting the Book Store!
The children's interest in making altered books has taken off! We have used books for most of the children, but not quite enough for everyone. With this in mind, a small group walked with the two Jessicas to the Lantern used book store today. The store had kindly set aside some books that we could use in our work at school. While there, children explored the different areas of the store and sat in front of the sunny window to read. Jessica Kuhn read a Fancy Nancy book, a Pigeon book, and "Pokey Little Puppy." The group bought one book to bring back for Rainey Room:
Grace - A book all about trees. The leaves turn colors. I gave it to my classroom because it's very special.
We also set aside some other books to purchase when we take another small group in the future. A big thank you goes out to Jessica Kuhn for walking with us and reading to us!
Hugh, Tegan, Lily, Maisie, and Tommy all preferred to stay together in the classroom today and walk to the book store another day. Their interest in building with wood continued. Today, we added wooden animals and wooden people to the mix. Lily, Dagny, and Tegan worked on animal enclosures. Tommy and Hugh worked as FBI "bosses," who are allowed to have pets. At this point in the year, we see children weaving literacy into almost every activity. Today, several children wrote "FBI." After all, it's pretty cool that the way to spell "FBI" is F B I! There were also more opportunities to make prints. Lily carefully created a series of prints that we will use as a matching game next week.
Enjoy these images and have a great weekend!
Wonderings about Wood
This afternoon we reviewed, (or revisited for those who were here yesterday,) our projections for March. This of course included the introduction of our Wood Workshop and continuation of work with book art and painting. Children once again had the opportunity to share thoughts and wonderings about the Wood Workshop. Children examined samples of wood as they talked:
After the discussion, many of the children chose to build with the wood pieces, further exploring their ideas and concepts about wood and what can be made with wood.
Lou Lou and Louise also worked with handmade books. Instead of each working on their own book, the children chose to work together on Louise's book. Louise noticed the photo of her Rodarte drawing had fallen out of her book. So she devised a way to fix it. She and Lou Lou decided Lou Lou would add some writing on the back of it. Louise didn't want to cover Lou Lou's writing by gluing it down on the page, so Jessica showed Louise a way of taping the drawing in that created a new page of sorts to Louise's book. Lou Lou continued to make messages to include in Louise's book.
Print-making was offered as another option today, specifically bubble wrap and dendritic printing for those who hadn't yet the chance (or wanted to again!) try these forms of prints. The children gathered around with great anticipation to see each print come to life when the glass or paper was lifted.
Welcome to March!
Here's a look at our March proposal. The projection included launching our wood workshop, and we started today. We are also realizing that there are more printing and paint experiences that we want to include, so that work will also continue.
Today's introduction to wood included a conversation. At St. John's, we often begin experiences with conversations. These allow us to determine what children know and what possibilities interest them. It gives children an opportunity to ask questions, form theories, and construct knowledge as a group. We often frame our conversations with pre-determined questions. Today, we started with two rather simple questions: What do you know about wood? What do you want to know about wood?
As children talked, they examined various pieces of wood. After our conversation, children were eager to jump in and build and play with the wood. Their ideas were creative and fun. Dagny started with a small town, but later joined in with Tegan and Lily, who made wooden beds that they reclined on while they played video games on their wooden phones. Hugh and Caleb collaborated to make a boat for the FBI. Sam started building a two story hotel, and Tommy came over later to give him a hand.
"I was thinking we could print with wood!" Hugh
What a great idea! We can combine the various materials that we explore in a multitude of ways. We jumped on this idea, and went right to printing with wood and bark. Children also worked in message center, and there will be many thoughtful message discoveries in mailboxes tomorrow. Friday's enthusiasm for altered book continued. Cate and Maisie started their books today, and Lou Lou and Tommy are looking forward to this work in the future.
Thank you Abby and Carla!
We're so excited to see how our altered books progress!!
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