Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Twitter Tuesday PRACTICE Chat: Critical Thinking with Jen Jones

Twitter PRACTICE Chat Continues!

We have safely migrated from northern WI to tropical FL! 
We arrived last night: 
swapped our pine trees for our palm trees. 

Exciting news? 
{our cable TV? not-so-much} 
Of the two, I'm MOST delighted to be connected to my 
in time for our weekly chat, tonight! 

I personally will have to shift time-zones to participate now. 
Here's the quick reference map. 
We begin weekly, officially at 9:00. 
*At 8:30 we start with newbies who want additional support.
We have #TeacherFriends who pop in at 8:30, for whom the hour exceeds their bed-time, too! 

Like an 'open-house' the lights are on, the welcome mat extended and come when you are able. 

Our guest tonight is the famous Jen Jones of "HELLO" fame. 
She will focus the chat on the topic of her excellence: 


Isn't it *AMAZING* that what was born from a desire to help 'connect' teachers to each other and familiarize all of us with the power of the Twitter network, would grow into this powerful and incredible and ever-growing chat? 

It is somewhat 'counter-intuitive' that what was born to help support newbies has grown so much, that the speed of the actual chat is now at a lightning pace.... which can totally 'drown' the newbie. 

I know. I know. Who knew? 

The best news is that we have an archive version for you to read at your leisure. 

Here's last week's chat, where the spotlight was on DIFFERENTIATION. 
You can read and click through to all of the links! 

Big shout out to Kim from "Educator's Spin on It" for her editing powers! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Dr. Jean: Mentor and Moments -- NCaeyc

Dr. Jean Inspiration through the eyes of Debbie Clement at RainbowsWithinReach

This is my 19th year of happy-music-lady-wearing-polka-dots-

This is also my sixth year of blogging and sharing my travels, experiences and insights. I am making a conscientious effort to do a better job of 'reporting' from the amazing places I get to experience. This past weekend was my 31st state for a professional presentation!!! Yeah, North Carolina! You're with the majority now! 
Which makes me so happy!!!!! 

Friday. Dateline: Raleigh, NC. 
Raleigh Convention Center.

That's me playing my own version of "Where's Waldo." 
I like to call it "Defining Debbie." 
Did you 'find' me? 

The public art in the building was seriously AWESOME! 

Now here's a sneak peak into my first workshop presentation. 
We are discussing {and acting out} 
the concept of "proprioception." 
We are freezing frozen, working on balance 
and learning where our bodies are in space: 

Do you think it looks like some amazing early childhood professionals live in North Carolina? I'd be happy to let my WonderPeeps in any of these classrooms! 

It 'used' to be I was over-the-moon when a participant left feedback on Facebook. 
Sometimes there would be a happy post to my personal page, and occasionally folks would make their post to my FB Fanpage! 
BTW. I just hit 5,000 followers over there! [I have to give a whole big bunch of thanks to my daughter for helping me keep that network 'alive' and growing. TY Sarah!]

I think this is the first TWEET where someone has given a shout-out! 
From a conference. With a picture anyhow.
How awesome is that?

Glad that I'm growing on Twitter, too! 

My goal for the conference was to get a picture with Dr. JEAN! 
Immediately after my presentation on Music and Movement, 
after I am ab.so.lute.ly melted, I leapt at the opportunity.

This was just moments before her conference keynote. 
Can you spell: standing-room-only?  

Dr. Jean and Debbie Clement: Together at NCaeyc in Raleigh

I was DILIGENT in taking notes while Dr. Jean spoke. 
I have three specific 'take-aways' for you. 

Here's number 1! 
"In our efforts to give children the things we never had....let us remember to give them the things we DID have." ~~ Dr. Jean

Dr. Jean told the poignant story of asking her graduating kindergarten grandson if he had gotten to play "Farmer in the Dell" during his kindergarten year. 

His answer? "What's a dell?" 
No he had not. 
Dr. Jean went on at length about giving children what we DID have growing up: 
Experiences. Songs. Rhymes. Finger plays. 

She spoke of our need to help the pendulum swing back to play. 
She received resounding applause! 

The title of Dr. Jean's keynote? 

"Kids Just Wanna Have Fun (And teachers do, too!)
There were 1200 people in attendance. 
Everyone got two paper plates.  
You do the math! 
Now imagine Cyndi Lauper's pop-rock track thundering. 
Dr. Jean had 'all the smart people' standing. 
She led paper-plate aerobics. 
Crossing the midline. 
Following directions. 
Positional words. 

Dr. Jean Take-Away #2: 
"Learning takes place on your feet, not your seat!" ~~Dr. Jean 

I know. I know. I'm a "music-lady"........... 
but I was an elementary school Art Teacher first! 
Fine motor and Fine Arts go hand in hand. 
I have FIFTY articles on my thoughts on that matter. 

Here's the Golden Anniversary Summary Issue Article

50 Editions of Fine Motor Meets Fine Arts at RainbowsWithinReach

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

"Red, White and Blue" Honoring September 11th with Children

"Red, White and Blue" September Eleventh: Patriotism 

Every year at this time those in the Early Childhood community start conversations such as this: "What do you do with your young students for September 11th?" Some will just carry on with ABCs and 123s, in that the entire event and aftermath are WELL over their heads. Very true. 

US Flags in Kindergarten from Tissue Paper at RainbowsWithinReach

Details of Tissue Paper US Flags in Kindergarten at RainbowsWithinReach

I am honored to have a contribution for your honoring the day in a developmentally appropriate way. Sing. Sing together. Sing together about our flag. Join your voices with others in honoring Old Glory. Take a look at what some fantastic programs have created in response to my picture book, "Red, White and Blue" -- based on my song by that name, written immediately after that fateful Tuesday. 

Monumental Construction Paper Quilt by Carie's Kindergarten Class in Response to "Red, White and Blue" by Debbie Clement

"Red, White and Blue" Collaborative Quilt by Kindergarten students using Marble Painting

"Red, White and Blue" by Debbie Clement at RainbowsWithinReach

"Red, White and Blue" by Debbie Clement {Quilted Illustrations from Fabric}

  Patriotic Wreath made from Cut Hand Tracings at RainbowsWithinReach "HAND" RoundUP

Traced Hands Create a Patriotic Wreath via RainbowsWithinReach

USA Patriotic Collaboration: Creating an American Flag via Debbie Clement

USA Patriotic Collaboration: Creating an American Flag via Debbie Clement

USA Patriotic Collaboration: Creating an American Flag via Debbie Clement

Artist Residency: Patriotic Response to Picture Book, "Red, White and Blue" (Quilt Squares)

Artist Residency: Creating Art in Response to Picture Books with Debbie Clement

American Flag of painted handprints

Patriotic Kindergarten Response to "Red, White and Blue" by Debbie Clement

Patriotic Kindergarten Response to "Red, White and Blue" by Debbie Clement

Patriotic Flag Art in Kindergarten in Response to "Red, White and Blue" by Debbie Clement

Kindergarten Art in Response to "Red, White and Blue" by Debbie Clement

Patriotic Stars using Scrapbook Paper Collage via RainbowsWithinReach

Patriotic Children's Art Collaborations in Response to "Red, White and Blue" by Debbie Clement

If you have read this far.
I am happy to share my digital file with you. 
Enter your name and email on this form before 9-11 and I will send it! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Twitter PRACTICE Chat on Differentiated Instruction!


We continue to learn a *LOT* about Twitter together! 
We continue with new 'authorities' in the spotlight each week. 

This week we invite Marsha McGuire to share her expertise on: 
Differentiated Instruction. 

***Double check the map. 
This week I'll be in the Eastern Time Zone. 
I'll have to keep pinching myself to remember! 

Here's our line up for the coming several weeks! Mark your calendars now...... I hope that you're as impressed as I am as to the caliber of our upcoming #GuestEduCelebrities! Each will be sharing from their unique perspective and expertise. ALL while we learn to connect with one another! 

Marsha has a GREAT article on the basics from her perspective. 

I know that she'd be grateful if you come to support her! 

If you've been with us for a while now, 
this article may be just the type you're looking for: 
"10 Twitter Hacks to Help you Rethink your Social Voice." 

Last week was Dr. Danny Brassell.............
You can still read the storify version of the entire chat. 
[That's our archive of the entire conversation.] 

It would behoove you to check to see how you can still 'earn' his newest book, 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

"Reggio Style" Documentation Approach in Early Childhood

"Reggio Style" Documentation Approach in Early Childhood

REGGIO EMILIA, ITALY & ETSU [Eastern Tenn State University] 
I present at a LOT of early childhood, kindergarten, literacy conferences. I've seen some incredible events in the last nineteen years. One this summer REALLY took the cake! Annually at ETSU there is an early childhood conference that rang true in every possible aspect -- from organization and outline to presenters and tracks of focus. If you are a proponent of the Arts then this is the event for you! 

There were three of us that shared the big stage and keynote track -- all of us in the music field. I got to spend some quality time with Michael Levin and Jack Hartmann. 

Yes. That fact alone would be sufficiently awesome to recommend a conference. The track that totally stole my heart was the one that focused from morning to late afternoon on a "REGGIO" approach to early education. There was an entire lecture sized room dedicated to sharing examples of program's 'documentation' of their Reggio-esque applications with young children. 

I was TOTALLY caught in the web of all things spider! 

"Reggio Style" Documentation Approach in Early Childhood

"Reggio Style" Documentation Approach in Early Childhood

Reggio Emilia Italy Childcare Center Foyer Devoted to Children's Art

From my personal scrapbook: that's the two story foyer of one of the new early childhood buildings in Reggio Emilia. A child's drawing has been ENLARGED by professional artists across the two story entrance to set a tone of child-friendly welcome as you join this new space. If you look closely in the large photo above, just below the large heart, to the right is the original child's drawing taped to the wall for comparison. What JOY!!!

Let me say that it has always been my understanding that it is the 'environment' that plays such a significant role in Reggio. Environment and Arts. These basics are one differentiation from a 'typical,' even outstanding  US educational classroom. This environment itself is considered the 'third teacher.' The classroom is designed as something of a 'studio.' 

In Italy there are often working artists involved in the program who have their actual studio space within the school setting. Arts are integrated at every opportunity. Children are not excluded from the 'professional' arts process, but available to it. Observing it in action. Integrated into it. Surrounded by it. Inspired by it and offering inspiration, too! The presentation of supplies, art supplies in particular, makes you feel like you are in an artist's studio. The materials are invitational in their organization. Beauty. Color. Light. Shadows. Holistic. Plants. Life. Sensory. Respect. Integrated. 

Reggio, Italy Signs within the Early Childcare Center

A Reggio Approach to Early Childhood Education

Let me preface today's article of visual insight with a little background. My degree is in Fine Arts and Art Education. I've spent over 30 years devoted to my passion of integrating the Arts into education. 
I now travel the country (and the world) sharing with educators and students just how that can be accomplished through weaving together music, dancing, story-telling, movement, writing, laughter and picture books as a foundation. A foundation with a 'hundred languages.' At least. I have had the great good fortune of spending a couple of weeks in Italy. It was the opportunity of a lifetime to specifically tour across the province of Reggio Emilia, visiting, touring and performing in schools for the children there. It's a delight to share from this perspective. 

A quick check on Wikipedia can give you an overview of the Reggio Approach. It is a philosophy that emerged after WW2 in response to the critical needs felt by parents on behalf of their children. Parents and teachers together. Teachers and parents together. Respecting the child. Arts. Documentation. Environment. Long-term projects. Arts. Integration. REGGIO!

"Reggio" Classroom Set-Up of Materials

"Reggio" Classroom Set-Up of Materials

"Reggio" Classroom Writing Center of Materials

"Reggio" Classroom Art Supplies

Reggio-Classroom using Clay

Reggio-Classroom using Clay via RainbowsWithinReach

Reggio-Art Project Preschool Painting

Reggio Documentation of Children's art via RainbowsWithinReach

Reggio Documentation of Children's art via RainbowsWithinReach

Reggio Documentation of Children's art via RainbowsWithinReach

Reggio Documentation of Children's art via RainbowsWithinReach

Reggio Style Emphasis on Natural Materials Available to Children at RainbowsWithinReach

Reggio Arts Projects in 3 Dimensions at RainbowsWithinReach

Reggio Arts and Literacy Connection and Extension via RainbowsWithinReach

Reggio Arts Infused "Jungle Classroom" via RainbowsWithinReach

Reggio Arts Infused "Jungle Classroom" via RainbowsWithinReach

Reggio Arts Infused "Jungle Classroom" via RainbowsWithinReach w/Mylar Waterfall

Reggio Rain Forest via RainbowsWithinReach

Reggio Rain Forest via RainbowsWithinReach

Reggio Emilia Italy Toddler Painted "Open-Ended" Media Exploration Transformed into Display Product via RainbowsWithinReach

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!
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