Projections for the week of May 2-6, 2022
We have an exciting and busy week ahead of us! We are especially looking forward to celebrating Saul's birthday on Wednesday, our Classroom Stories Night on Thursday, May 5 at 6:30pm and for some of you to join us for a special Teacher Experience after school on Friday, May 6, 12:30-2:30pm!
Right from the start of the birthday committee process for our friend Saul, we knew this birthday portrait would be different. Why, you may ask?
Because we have never taken a "night time portrait" before!
We're gonna make a special present for Saully! - Michael
Carefully considering the information we gathered during our interview with Saul, the birthday committee decided on creating a night time setting for his birthday portrait, which would incorporate Saul's love for owls and the night. Cape and Frannie explored the idea of Saul and Owly taking a nap together in the portrait and made the plan to sew two pillows, one for Saul and for for Owly, in Saul's favorite color RED. As we remembered from our time in the Brown Room how to use a sewing machine to create projects out of fabric, we began gathering the materials needed...
I see some pink fabric that would look great but we need red! - Frannie
We need a square! - Frannie
A triangle? I have a hexagon pillow. We should ask Saul [about his favorite shape] - Cape
Saul excitedly shared with the committee that his favorite shape is a circle!
We can cut a circle. - Cape
In addition to his favorite shape, we wanted to incorporate another one of Saul's favorite things into our pillow design...
A truck design because he likes trucks. - Cape
We can put on wheels and a long thing on to the middle and that's how you can make a truck pillow. A circle like this just like my fire truck wheels. - Michael
We need the engine. It should be small and it goes right on the front. - Cape
After we took turns sewing the truck design onto the fabric, we sewed the two round pieces of fabric together by following along the edge of the fabric with the sewing machine. We left a small space open in order to fill the pillow with stuffing material. Once the pillow reached the children's desired plushness, we closed it up with another line of stitches along the opening.
We need to make it puffy. We need stuffings. - Frannie
Saul will love this pillow. - Cape
Because we're putting so much fluff in it. - Frannie
That's why I made it so big. - Cape, referring to drawing the outline of the circle onto the fabric
Can I test it if it's good and sleepy night? - Frannie, resting her head on the finished pillow
While creating the night sky for the portrait background, the committee shared their ideas and thoughts about night and day. Why is it dark at night and light during the day? Where happens to the sun at night? What objects can we find in the night sky?
They're different darks. That will be good because it's even darker. - Cape
Black and blue. - Michael
Purple. - Cape
Because it's night time because people need to go to sleep. - Michael
There's two different colors of blue. - Frannie
The sun make it lighter. - Cape (pointing to the light blue sky outside)
[The sun] is all around at day time. At night it disappears. - Frannie
You have to make a magic wand to disappear. - Michael
It goes up and then it goes down. - Cape
A moon! - Frannie
What's a moon mean? - Michael
They're different. (moon and sun) - Frannie
The sun makes the moon brighter. Because the stars are behind the moon and they shine on the moon. You guys know about shooting stars? They're stars that shoot. Like they're bumps together and then they go "boom". - Cape
My dad takes a picture of one! (a shooting star) They're yellow. - Frannie
And stars are white. - Cape
Creating yellow and white stars, shooting stars and storm clouds using various materials to complete the dark night sky.
Look at the sky, Michael! It's so beautiful. Look at the shiny stars. - Frannie
The children's idea on how to best create a moon for the portrait's background, was influenced by Tucker Room's recent interest and work about day and night. Jen introduced us to the new technique of creating a mold out of clay to create a unique and solid form out of plaster. Noticing, that Tucker Room had created two separate halves with the intention to join them to one large sphere, the children reflected on our own plan for the committee. Cape thought it would be best to create only one half as it can then be turned into a half moon or a full moon (by turning it sideways), depending on how we would like to later display it in the portrait.
I think astronauts could land on it. I have astronauts at my home. - Michael
Maybe we can trace one of yours and put it on the moon? - Frannie
I have three astronauts. But they can't stand on it. - Michael
I think it will be a lot of work! - Frannie
And indeed, creating a plaster moon includes multiple steps:
1. preparing a clay mold which resembles the surface of the moon by adding texture and depth to clay slabs, which then get attached to each other inside a spherical shape (we used a metal mixing bowl)
2. Mixing plaster powder and water with a 1:2 ratio (one cup of water and two cups of plaster) to create liquid plaster (**We wore masks to protect our bodies from the plaster dust**)
3. Pouring the plaster into the clay mold and swiveling it around inside until the clay surface is fully covered with plaster
4. Layering pre-wetted plaster gauze strips on top of the liquid plaster to increase stability and strength
5. Letting the plaster dry for multiple days before gently removing the clay mold to reveal the finished plaster moon
After the plaster dried for a few days, we removed the layer of clay to reveal our impressive moon!
Here are some of the possible portraits we took during the photo shoot:
In the end, the birthday committee decided on the following image:
That's my favorite because I can see Owly's face. - Cape
It's a silly face and it's funny. - Frannie
So that's Owly saying "Saully's eyes are open." - Michael
We noticed, that even though we had turned off all the lights in the classroom and had closed the blinds, the image still seemed to be too bright. In order to enhance the feeling of "night time", the children digitally altered the image on the computer by adjusting the contrast.
"When it's dark, Saul is turning red!" - Cape
Creating this meaningful and unique portrait for our dear friend Saul has been at times challenging, always fun and the most rewarding process! We can't wait to celebrate together on Wednesday!