Friday, April 28, 2017

WIN A REGISTRATION to Frog Street SPLASH!

YES! You read that headline correctly. I have permission to give away a registration to this summer's SPLASH Early Childhood Conference!!! I hope that you've always wanted to attend. This could be your lucky weekend! 



I have posted the opportunity on my FB RainbowsWithinReach fanpage just now on Friday, April 28th.  You'll need to make a comment on my post in order to be entered to win the registration. I will draw the winner on Monday, May 1st, {before I go to bed} I will use a random number generator to select the lucky winner!!! That simple. The 'fine print'? Your travel and lodging would be your own expense..... but what an opportunity! 

Now let's get a little more personal. See why I am so excited! 



YES!!! That's me as one of the three presenters for the Make-It-Take-It part of the weekend. Every Early Childhood teacher worth their salt LUVS a M/T session! 

Earlier this month I wrote an article at PreK+K Sharing on what this line-up means to me....

Twenty-one years ago, I was an administrator at a private preschool for young children with special needs in Columbus, Ohio. I was in charge of designing a day of professional development for our staff. One of my peers suggested that I bring Jim Gill to inspire our team. I had never heard him speak. I called him. He came. He was amazing. 

Jim had us singing and dancing. We laughed. We cried. I was indeed inspired. Jim changed my life. For!ev!er!

I wanted to be like Jim when I grew up. I wanted to sing and dance and inspire. So without a whole lot of consideration, very soon after his day with us, I wrote my letter of resignation. I finished out the last couple of months on my contract and I walked away from all that was familiar. I walked away from health insurance, snow days and a retirement account for the unknowns of contribution, adventure and creativity. 

One day of professional development and my life changed forever. Twenty-one years ago. Fast forward a couple of decades. 

One of the very first presenters to welcome me to the 'circuit' (after Jim) is a fellow Hoosier, Mary Jo Huff. Over the years we have become not just cheerleaders of one another's work but also of one another's families. When the phone rings and I see MJ, I know I'm likely to be on the phone a l-o-n-g time. The woman has talked me down from the ledge MORE than once. 








Sunday, September 25, 2016

Professional Development Opportunity with Mr. Greg + Debbie Clement


 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

I am truly honored to be joining my friend "Mr. Greg" in a day of professional development on the horizon. We are just about a month out from my joining the great traveling Smorgasboard of training. 

Over the last several years I have had the great good fortune to make annual author visits to Greg's school(s). We have established a mutual admiration society for each other's work and approach to working with children. 


These next several images are some of my favorite EV!ER! I have shared them previously and they have made their way into my power-point presentation and I shared them again this weekend, while speaking at FL-AEYC in Orlando. 

If you follow Greg's blog, you're aware that he opened up his classroom quite a while ago -- and his students often can be found working on the floor and other less traditional manners.

Here you see his squad working on preparing their own AUTHENTIC ART responses to the graphic illustrations from my first picture book, "You're Wonderful." {If you look carefully at the top of the classroom rug, you can see my book.... being used as reference material.} 





Here are six of the original responses. 
Each unique. 
Each special. 
Each original. 
Be still my heart. 


There is still time to join us. 
As I type, there is still space available. 
Greg's first such day sold out! 
Don't wait a whole lot longer. 
WE WANT YOU TO JOIN US!
Find a friend and come together!!! 


Take a peek at the outline of our day together. 
I'm going to get things started in the morning.
My goal is to motivate and inspire. 
I will be sharing ALL three of my picture books: 
their songs, the sign language to support them 
and encouragement to pursue your own AUTHENTIC responses. 

Click picture to learn MORE! 
You need to register at Mr. Greg's. 
Click any of the photos
to learn more on his blog. 
To register directly, go to this link


If you missed seeing us in VEGAS, 
you're not too late! 
MARK THE DATE!
October 29th!!! 



Sunday, September 11, 2016

Remembering September 11th in Song + Children's Patriotic Artwork

SEPTEMBER ELEVENTH

Fifteen. Fifteen years. Fifteen anniversaries. Fifteen. 

I know I remember the specific shade of blue of the sky on that Tuesday. 
I know where I was. 
I know what I was doing.
Our annual Artist-in-the-Schools open house was cancelled.  
I know that you remember as well. 
I know you remember connecting with loved ones the first time after you learned. 
Every memory is etched into our collective memory. 

Watching the news coverage.
 Being unable to move away from the unfolding details. Disbelief. Shock. Horror. 

I remember all too well the sense of helplessness I felt. 

photo of: Elementary School Children Waving the American Flag for Author Visit with Debbie Clement
Picture from Clyde, OH. Thanks to Principal Peggy Stickney for this extra-ordinary welcome! 
Friday of that week, fifteen years ago, I was leading worship for Tot Shabbat at the New Albany, JCC preschool in central Ohio. 
I had a bag of flags. 
I had the four year old children wave them, 
while we stood together on the steps of the synagogue. 
Everyone gathered sang: 
'Red, White and Blue.... I love you.'  


It took me a couple of years to flesh out a full arrangement of the simple phrase. With the help of Tom Martin's arrangement and my friends at Amerisound Studios, it became a full fledged song. The first time I heard our arrangement, was driving around the outerbelt of 270 in the midst of fireworks of the Fourth of July. 

Fitting. Tears. Gratitude. 

As soon as the song was recorded it could be performed without my participation. With the simplicity of the arrangement and the repetition -- even very young children can sing it and pay honor to this day. 


Today and all of this coming week, I have put the digital download version of the song on the DEEPLY discounted, reduced price of one dollar. 

My hope is that offers you sufficient incentive to go to TeachersPayTeachers for a copy for yourself. I hope that you can use it to honor this day. I hope that it offers you a new resource for your young children that can be used throughout the year to instill a sense of patriotic pride and for you to reflect on this day. 

"Red, White and Blue" Patriotic Song for Digital Download

Once the song began to have a life of its own, I began to think about bringing it to life in picture book format. Soon I began gathering the fabrics and designing the quilts. 
It takes 16 quilts to create a 32 page picture book. 

It took years to bring the project to full fruition. 
It was interrupted twice by my diagnosis with Breast Cancer. 
In the end I was fortunate to persevere and bring the project to fruition. 



Once we got the book into print format, I submitted it for consideration for awards and received the Indie Award for Excellence! 


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


About that same time, as a result of my being able to take the book to NAEYC in California, I received an invitation to travel to Europe to visit a series of our Army bases in Germany and Italy. 
I taught my simple patriotic song to the children of our troops stationed abroad. 

photo of: Debbie Clement's European Tour for "Month of the Military Child"

And since then, I have been able to take the quilts and the book format to schools from coast to coast, teaching the song.  
I have included some of the classroom responses below. 

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

There are times when thoughtful teachers send me a memento of our time together. 
I am so grateful to receive snail mail with quilted patriotism. 


photo of: Quilt Response to "Red, White and Blue" by Debbie Clement

photo of: "Red, White and Blue" Collaborative Quilt at RainbowsWithinReach


photo of: Author-Illustrator School Visit: comparing Quilt to Picture book Illustration with Debbie Clement






photo of: Cooperative Painting with Young Children, Toddler Patriotic Painting

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


photo of: Project Based Learning in Kindergarten via RainbowsWithinReach
















Just a reminder. 
My digital download of the song will be on the deeply discounted price of one dollar 
for the week ahead.
 Visit TeachersPayTeachers to get your copy.  
My legacy at this point is having my work used at schools near and far. 

"Red, White and Blue" Patriotic Song for Digital Download

Last week I was the guest Author-Illustrator for a day here in Door County. 
I had the opportunity to work with the children in preschool through 5th grade. 

The day was well documented and we were on the front page of the local newspaper. 
***Mom. You can read the whole article here on line. 


When I arrived at the school the entire front bulletin board, the length of the hall,
 was festooned with the artwork of the First Grade. 
They learned that my favorite thing about Door County is our amazing sunsets. 
So they created sunsets for me! 
Each first grader created their own silhouette to stand in contrast to the sunset. 


Our day together launched a year long thread of patriotic activities in the elementary. 
The students will be writing letters to our troops. 
My song "Red, White and Blue" is slated to be be used in the Veteran's Day program 
and at other times of year as well.

As usual, I run around the building and take photos during my lunch. 
It was awesome to see some of our "Wobble Seats" already in their classrooms. 




You can read more about how I got involved as a distributor for WobbleSeat.com 
in this encyclopedia of an article about Alternative Seating. 


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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