Thrilling Thursday it was!  We began our day moving through morning centers which included a color mixing station and a shaving cream table.  The color mixing table was a hit, at children learned how to use the eye droppers to move the colors into their personal cups.  They spoke to one another as they noticed the colors change and intensity based upon how much of each color they added.  They even learned to hold their cups of mixed colors up to the light which altered the way they viewed their colors.  So much language was exchanged as they talked about what colors they were adding to their cups and what they would call the new color they created (“root beer popsicle”).

Of course shaving cream is fun, however our goal was to encourage the awareness of spirals.  The children were encouraged to use their fingers to create observable movment in the shaving cream.  They were shown how they could move their hand/arm to create a small spiral at first and then larger and larger.  This was an introduction to the art piece we would examine later in the morning.

As the children moved through morning centers, Ms. Newman worked in the hall way with the children on more letter A work.  Each child echoed the sounds that letter A makes as well as practiced writing/tracing the letter, based upon their skills.  They also cut out small apples with pictures of objects that begin with the letter A.  They selected those specific apples from several options, many that did not begin with the letter A.   Once they cut their paper apples out, they glued them onto a picture of an apple tree, cleaned up their work materials (a skill we are working hard on) and returned back to the classroom.

Today’s group lesson was the exploration of Henri Matisse’s “The Snail.”  We reviewed the spiral shape of an actual snail shell and then compared that to the movment/placement of collage pieces in Matisse’s work.  We looked at the body of a snail and described how a snail uses it’s body to move.  We then used clay to create an initial snail.  Each child selected a color/piece of clay and used their hands to heat the clay and manipulate it into a long, snail like shape.  When they were satisfied with the length/thickness of their snail, they used their fingers to pinch small pieces and try to form antenna.  Finally, they used a large pasta shell to represent the shell of the snail.

The second interpretation of Matisse’s work was more literal.  Mrs. Lozano let the children through the observation of the work, examing color, size and placement of pieces of paper in the spiral motion.  She demonstrated how to tear paper with intent, layout different colors and sizes on the pre-drawn spiral and observing the placement before gluing the pieces into place.  While the children were given a small stack of paper to use in their work area, they were also given the option to go to a common paper bin to gather additional sizes and colors of paper, as they desired.  Children worked for varying amounts of time.  Some tore tiny pieces and create very intricate spirals while others were more challenged by the fine motor work and made large tears and used little variation of color.  All finished pieces were unique to the children’s ability and willingness to push their skills and stay engaged in the process.  They uniqueness of the creations are as diverse as the children’s personalities….pretty fantastic to observe!

Next week we will continue to expand upon this unit, learning how to manipulate the intensity of paint color, beginning with white and adding small amounts of a single color.  We will learn about snail slime, create slime and even do some snail science!  Thrilling Thursday!