A Birthday Committee for Remy
This week, Bea, Cate, and Luke have been working together to prepare a birthday portrait for their friend Remy.
As a part of our Rainey Room birthday preparation process, we dedicate a morning meeting conversation to begin discussing what we as a class know about the birthday child. Our friend Remy also shared some ideas with us about her favorite things.
What types of things does Remy like?
A slinky! For the stairs. And rainbows. All sparkly things and all rainbow things too. - Remy
And she loves going in photo booth. - Wilder
Yeah. Dancing. - Remy
You love to dance in photo booth? - Bea
Yeah and we pretend we’re getting married (in photo booth). - Remy
Small Group Committee Work
Bea, Cate, and Luke
To begin the birthday committee process, we reflect on the information discussed as a class and shared by the birthday child. Our reflections and continued dialogue help the committee determine how to proceed with the first steps to begin portraiture work.
What do we recall Remy telling us about things she likes?
A toy. - Bea
Oh right, she mentioned she had a slinky at home. - Sam
I don’t have one. - Bea
I don’t have one either. - Luke
Me either. - Cate
Well I think she mentioned she likes other things. - Sam
Sparkles! And rainbows. She likes sand!- Bea
That’s right, she told Bea when we were outside that she likes playing in the sand. - Sam
We could take sand and we could do like how you guys did those like kind of like how you did for my birthday when I was turning three here in Brown Room and there was some sand on it (her birthday present). - Bea
That’s right, you did have sand on your birthday present. - Sam
*Bea’s 3yo present was a clay camel placed on a sandy base*
If we are taking a portrait photo of Remy, how do you think we could get sand in the photo? - Sam
Yeah! See, that’s the question! Hmm, we could bring a box of sand? - Bea
So maybe we could bring sand inside? What if we brought the photo outside? Do you think we could take the photo outside? - Sam
Yeah! - Bea
Outside in the sandbox. - Cate
Maybe that could be our setting. Do you know what a setting is? - Sam
Like setting up a present. - Bea
Like we can set up the area where we will have the photo shoot. - Sam
We could draw the rainbows. We could do anything like drawing or painting. - Bea
We could make it like this (“drawing” a rainbow arch shape on the table with her finger). So it will fit in the box. The birthday box. - Cate (pointing to the picture frame for the birthday portrait)
Remember when we talked about foreground and background when we learned about Finlay’s birthday portrait?
Finlay had legos. And Michael had trains. - Bea
Right. What should Remy have? - Sam
A rainbow! - Bea
At this point in the conversation, both foreground and background terms were revisited. The committee referred to Finlay's birthday portrait to use as a reference point for observing how foreground and background items are placed in the portrait setting. Ideas about the proportion and size of the materials needed to create potential foreground and background objects were shared. It was agreed that the background is larger than the birthday child so that "you can see it behind them" (Cate).
We could do it like this so Remy can be in the middle. The rainbow could go around her - Bea
(after observing that Finlay sat in the middle of his portrait background)
Bea then suggests an idea to draw rainbows. The committee can then begin to generate ideas for the rainbow background by using their drawings as inspiration.
Let's go find some shiny stuff now! - Bea
The committee decided to use the atelier (an area of the school that we are becoming more familiar with) to search for materials that Remy would like. The focus was to collect items that fit into a category of "shiny, sparkly, and sand".
Next, the committee asked to visit the sewing table in our hallway where we gather and store many types of fabric in hopes of finding rainbow colors. Bea, Cate, and Luke began selecting different fabrics that "fit" a rainbow palette. After some disagreement on which shades of color fit the rainbow vision best, it was decided that the fabric should be "shiny" because that's what Remy would like most.
Painting a Rainbow Background
I’m gonna make this color. - Luke (adding white to his blue jar)
Oh, what will happen if you add white? - Sam
It’s gonna turn light. - Cate
I’m starting with red because purple has red and then blue. - Bea
We need orange. - Cate
How do we make orange? - Sam
I don’t know. - Cate
Would you like to check the color chart? - Sam
We need yellow and red. - Cate
I need to make light purple. I need red and blue and red and blue and red and blue. - Bea
We need green! That’s it. There’s different kinds of green. - Bea
Blue and yellow make green. - Cate
Luke, could you make green for us please? - Sam
Blue and… (grabs yellow bottle) - Luke
I need more yellow. - Cate (adjusting shade of orange)
If we want a color to be lighter, what could we use? I remember Cate said that a certain color makes “light” - Sam
White! - Cate
That’s what I actually needed. That’s what I did last time. - Bea
I did! Make green! - Luke (mixing colors)
It looks like a heart. - Cate
I kind of made it like a heart because I wanted to shape like a heart because I love her (Remy). - Bea
Wearing a Rainbow
When are we gonna sew the rainbow? - Cate
Did we decide what type of rainbow we’re going to sew. Yesterday you mentioned a dress. - Sam
A rainbow dress and a unicorn horn. - Bea
And unicorn hair. - Cate
Looking through the fabric collected during the committee's search for materials, a discussion began about what the rainbow dress should look like. If all of the fabric was sewn together in it's found shape and size, what would that look like? Did any of the fabric need to be altered to better fit the costume design?
We need it to be smaller. At the end of this (base piece). - Bea (indicating that the selected fabric needs to be cut to size to match the size of the body of the dress)
And how wide should each piece be? - Sam
I don’t know… - Bea
As big as the base. - Cate
It’s too big. - Luke
If it’s as wide as the base, I don’t think we will be able to fit all of the colors you’ve chosen. - Sam
I think this long. - Bea (spreading fingers out to show width)
We can get a ruler out to measure that. - Sam
*Measure width ~ 3inches*
If we want each piece to be the same size, we can measure each to be 3 inches. - Sam
Yeah. All the colors. - Bea
Once all of the colors were cut to size (width and length) to create rainbow strips, then it was time to sew the rainbow onto the body of the dress!
Once the body of the dress was assembled, it was time to create the unicorn "crown" complete with hair and a horn.
How did the children decide to incorporate a unicorn into Remy's portrait attire?
"Because she has a unicorn on her shirt. She likes unicorns." - Cate
Modeling the Finished Costume
Finishing the Background - Adding Embellishments
Maybe we can fill in all the white space with shiny stuff and sand. She (Remy) likes shiny rainbows. - Bea
*after looking through collection of shiny paper*
Or… match the color on the rainbow. The red can go here. To fill in the red space by the red (places red piece of paper next to the red painted arch in the rainbow). - Bea
I think she’s gonna love it! She’s gonna be so proud of us. - Bea
The Photo Shoot!
It's good! I just love sparkles, you know?! - Remy
Remy seemed more than pleased with the work that the committee had collaborated on to put together an incredible birthday photo shoot for her.
You could feel (and hear) the excitement, energy, and love between Remy and her committee friends throughout the process. Happiness abound!
You look so pretty! - Bea
The Final Committee Work
Process of Elimination and Editing the Birthday Portrait
Observations made by the committee as to why we should not choose certain photos:
She’s looking sidewards. - Bea
She’s looking down. - Cate
Not good because her closing her eyes. - Luke
No… too blurry. - Cate
We can’t see her body! - Cate
How to select a "good" portrait:
It’s good. She’s not covering the rainbow and her eyes are open. - Bea
She's smiling so pretty! - Bea
Happy! - Cate
I think it's perfect. - Bea