Going Far Together

“If you want to go fast, go it alone. If you want to go far, go together.” ~ African proverb

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Dear Friends and Families,

Second graders are learning a lot from the artists and from one another. “When two partners pair up together they can do teamwork,” one student declared today. One of the mainstays of our program is to give kids the opportunity to make decisions in tandem – and to do so in the context of something they feel passionate about.

From the start students realized that partnerships presented new challenges. How would they winnow down their ideas and agree upon just one? Would they be successful at negotiating? What would happen if they got stuck and didn’t agree?IMG_9106It didn’t take long for them to get the hang of it. And today they saw the fruits of their labor. Circling up first thing this morning, kids shared their insights about yesterday’s monoprints. It was apparent that they were both invested in their own work and fascinated by others’.

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“It takes a lot of work!” “Sometimes when you make a ghost print nothing shows up.””Ink is not just black.” “I noticed that it was very hard to put the details on because you have to press so hard.” “I like Nathan’s cat. The food’s right here and he’s happy.” “I noticed something too. When you first flip it around it trades spots!”

Sandy reminded us at the end of our conversation that it’s good to look at other people’s art. “When you think about it you realize that you could do something different next time.” With print stations all around, kids were ready to see what would happen when they applied ink to their plates. IMG_9066

Teammates had a choice of papers – “One way to add style!” Alexis suggested. Once again there were decisions for pairs to make.

Using the brayer, students covered every bit of their compositions with ink. Next their plates went into the press, and kids stomped on them to make an impression. They were astounded at what emerged!IMG_9087
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While some were printing others were journaling. Kids understood the complexity of the process and conveyed their discoveries at morning’s end. “I discovered that writing and art go together.”  “It’s hard to decide what you want to make and what you don’t.” “The art is really, Really, REALLY beautiful!”

We couldn’t agree more! Tomorrow will be our final day, but we’re planning an art show at the town library where you will see how collaboration led to some incredible work! More specifics later.

Nancy, Alexis, Sandy, Susan, Sarah, and Lizzie

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