Showing posts from June, 2010

Cyanotype how-to

I had a few requests for instructions on how to make the sunprints, or cyanotypes we worked with this year at Sabot. I studied photography in College, so I do have some background knowledge, but I think this is a very easy medium anyone could use. It was easy for the children I worked with this year, especially the group of three-turning-four year olds from the Garden room.
Here is some background information;

I have never had any trouble with the chemicals in cyanotype printing. Of the two, (according to Wikipedia), one (potassium ferricyanide) can be mildly irritating to the eyes and skin, and the other (amonium ferric cirtrate), is a food additive present in the drink irn-bru. This is quite a coincidence since by older daughter is in Scotland and just told me about how good Irn-bru is!

Now, the easiest way to start would be to buy a sunprint kit, which has ready to expose paper or fabric. Sometimes these are sold as blueprint kits; it is all the same thing. For…

The last day of school picnic

Each year we have a final circle on the last day of school and then everyone packs off to a park for a picnic.

This year we travelled from the preschool over to our other campus for the party/picnic. Students had been growing sunflower seedlings in their preschool classrooms, and teachers brought them over to plant in a circle in front of the Stony Point main building. It was lovely to see the children, parents, and teachers working together to plant this little garden.

When we return to school, there might be bright, yellow sunflowers blooming to welcome the children to their new school home!
It's good to know staffers Sara, Marty and Irene are always there with a beautiful idea to bring us all together.

Summer Art Camp

This week we had an 'Art Camp' over at the Stony Point Campus. My daughter Zoe G. helped as we made giant masks inspired by the Easter Island figures, many prints in a 'stationary factory', and played with clay, paint and other materials. We also made "art bots" (see artbots on Teacher Tom's blog), and messed around with the little motors and battery packs from radio shack.
Toshi, with his engineer's mind, and Sammi, a new friend, tried out many inventions that could move. In the end, Toshi decided he liked a simple construction of just a motor and propeller. I will be sure to keep these machine/materials around in the future for messing about and tinkering.

(masks; Mouse, Giant Bug, Horse and Dragon)

What I've been doing

Packing up the pre-school getting ready to move across the river to Stony Point.
It was sad to take eveything down and say goodbye to the rooms and forest where I learned so much.
I am so happy that movers will carry it all across the river, and glad I've learned to pare down the materials I keep (though it still looks like too much to the minimalistic people, it seems). I hope all this stuff fits over there!

Robot and Photographer Play

Some of the Garden Room guys have been interested in Robots all year. They came to the studio recently to make Robot costumes for a robot dance/play. I played them Robot Parade by They Might Be Giants, and they danced a while (sadly, my video camera is busted). Then, they made the costumes and wrote this story. It is neat that Cooper, who did not like the feeling f his robot mask, decided to be a photographer in the play instead of a Robot. This is the group that has been exploring cameras and photography. There can't be many preschool classrooms where 'Photographer' is a common place role. THE ROBOTS AND THE PHOTOGRAPHER By Lucas, Cooper and Oliver May 24, 2010
Once there were 3 Robots and one Photographer. They danced along a parade. The Robot parade got too close to a volcano! The Photographer got too close to the volcano and fell in. “Help me!!” he said. The Robots would try to save him. They yelled “Photographer, climb out of the volcano! Climb up the side! We’ll try to ca…

Family Stories Exhibit in the 3rd and 4th grade class

The third and fourth graders exhibited the Family Story projects they have been working on this semester. I enjoyed seeing the wide ranging learning that came out of this investigation. The idea was that through investigating their own families and sharing what they were finding out with each other, a bigger picture of immigration and migration would emerge. Learning varied from geography, military and British history, ideas about transportation and the beginnings of settlement in Virginia and the U.S., and what it was like to live as a farmer or be an immigrant in the early days of this country.
The biggest challenge was to decide how to represent an aspect of their family, a 'family story', that could show something integral to their research. I especially enjoyed supporting children in finding the symbols that could represent the main idea that they wanted to show about their family. The collaborative process was immediate -students shared surprises and wonderings from the …