Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Colossal Community Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Grade


Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders


SUPERLATIVES! Exclamations! SUPERLATIVES!
As a visiting author-illustrator making school visits, I have seen some pretty amazing displays over the last two decades. I am prone to using superlatives. In every day conversation. Seriously, folks. I have seen THE most incredible display of community collaborative work, ever! EPIC doesn't even get us into the right ballpark. 

Last week I concluded my travels with my third visit to the Seven Hills school in Cincinnati. I have been fortunate to work with their Early Childhood teachers each time. Starting off with their wee-wittle teenies and their parents, then the preschool and culminating with their Kinders. Visiting a school that places a priority on the arts is thrilling for this old Art teacher. I have written about my previous visits numerous times.

Nothing prepared me for my 'hostess' eagerness to take me into their 'big-kids' building adjacent to where I had visited each trip. She said that the first graders had created a visit-to-Italy. I've been to Italy. What could be better. So we crossed the driveway, went upstairs and behold! The entire hallway. Both sides. Floor to ceiling. Collaboration.

I give you the GRAND CANAL of VENICE! First grade style.

Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders

I couldn't resist digging into my photos from my beloved weekend in Venice.
{{{YES! VENICE ITALY!!!}}} 
I am thrilled to relive our great European school-visit tour. 
All over again! 
ENJOY!!!


Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders

Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders



Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders

Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders



Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders

Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders


Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders

Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders

A few details that I think I have correct from my tour-guide, Julie. 
Every year for the last nine years, the entire first grade team has focused their study on a specific country. 
They have yet to revisit a country.
So yes. This is their first trip to Italy.
As you can imagine, 
this effort spanned several months of study and creation.


Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders


Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders


Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders


Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders


Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders

Yes. Venice affords LOTS of opportunity for shopping. 
Here's the only picture of shoes that I took in Italy..... 
yes, because of the polka dots. 
No. I didn't purchase them. 
They didn't fit. 


Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders

Look at this collection of Venetian GLASS! 

Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders


And now for the final and amazing three dimension detail. 
Yes. Venice is a city of foot bridges. 
Here's my collage of some favorites. 


DRUMROLLLLLLLLLL. 
I give you THE bridge. 
The RIALTO Bridge. 
Spanning the Grand Canal. 

Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders

What prompts this level of awesomeness? 
Epic awesomeness? 
What prompts teachers to this level of inspiration? 
How long will these six and seven year olds remember this experience. 

How many of them have added VENICE to the top of their bucket list?
How soon can I get back? 

photo of: Three Picture Books by Debbie Clement of Rainbows Within Reach

I have been the recipient of teacher-zeal.
I have been showered with teacher-excellence.
My blog is a record of that focus and enthusiasm. 
I have had numerous occasions where teachers have directed their students to respond to my work. 

Check out these two colossal community collaborations.
Each in response to my picture books. 






I have each of these two songs in digital download format at Teachers Pay Teachers. 


Would you be willing to pin from this amazing article. 

Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

#TeacherFriends Twitter Chat 5/19 Bridge to Parents: ClassDojo

TeacherFriends Twitter Chat for Beginners to build Professional Learning Network CONTINUES!

TUESDAY TEACHERS TOGETHER TWEETING!

What is it like to be able to connect to your professional peers from across the country and around the world, in a couple strokes of the keyboard? Click, clack and the right hashtag and you are connected to like-minded individuals focused on a common theme. 

Learning to take advantage of the power of 24/7 professional development and inspiration is the entire focus and goal behind our weekly Twitter chat at the hashtag #TeacherFriends. 


What I started very innocently as an effort to encourage some of my non-Twitter-tweeps, to give Twitter a try, has evolved into something much more powerful. Our 'beginners' PRACTICE chat has grown beyond my wildest imagination when I started this thought 11 months ago! 

I owe a HUGE debt of gratitude to my three 'hostess' and dear friends who have contributed so much time and energy to supporting the chat experience and individual participants. Be sure that you are following Kristen, Maggie and Kim on Twitter to get the most out of our time together. They are a wealth of knowledge a year into the evolution of our chat!!

I know you're overwhelmed as the year concludes, but that is just the right time to dip your toes in the water! No pressure. Just lurk. Get your name on our Google Doc for the prizes, though. Make that your goal for tonight! 


Tonight we welcome ClassDojo to our spotlight to share their insight and experience in building a bridge between teachers and parents. What a great way to conclude the year! PLUS they have some serious swag to give away! 

See you on the hashtag #TeacherFriends. We start at 8:30 PM EST with our EarlyBirds portion of the evening. Perfect for the true newbie-to-Twitter orientation. The chat itself begins at 9:00!



Saturday, May 16, 2015

Praise Report: The Arrival of the Butterfly, Seeking Support



Every year we take an adventure to Franklin Park Conservatory.
It has L-O-N-G been a favorite destination. 
This year on Mother's Day was palpably poignant. 

The butterflies have returned.
So much symbolism there.
From the depth of the dark chrysalis to the winged flight.
Faith. Hope. Trust. 
The unknown phase is where the faith journey begins. 
We had such an incredible romp through the beauty. 

I LUV'd seeing our WonderPeeps "share" their butterflies with other, younger children.
Trusting. Trusting. Trusting. 
Growing maturity. 
Hallelujah! 



It's been a CRA-CRA-CRAZY, Busy Glorious week!!!! 
These pictures are for you mom! 

We have been having such a great time together.
Mr. Long Lashes made ME the treasure box in Sunday School. 
We've been romping about the neighborhood! 
So exciting to see the new birthday-bikes in action! 



And there have been trips to parks! 
Near and farther: tree climbing and monkey barring:



                                         

Today we spent a rainy Saturday at a children's science museum. 
The intention was to return to roller skating,
but alas the rink was closed?!?! 
Thank goodness Sarah knows all of the child-friendly sites. 
This was a first for me. 

My favorite was this heat-seeking map. 
YUP. Looks like a rainbow-within-reach to me! 
That's three generations of good-looking-gals!



We were even able to get all 6 of us into one rainbow! 







I had two school visits in person this week here in Ohio,
and one via SKYPE back to FL.
That's a lot of delight to juggle.

There are so many blessings. 
So much to rejoice over and praise! 

I finally got to visit my Lamaze-friend-Betsy, 
in THEIR home. 
Our babies are 31. You do the math. 
How do I not have a picture of our reunion? 
Sometimes you just soak up time in your heart! 

Such a treasure to have a dear friend listen. 
I'm quite sure the visitor is to bring flowers, 
but my hostess sent me home with an arrangement.
Again. You do the math. 
There are angels in our midst.

Sarah appreciates the flowers, Betsy! 

That's the way of Lamaze buddies: listen-to-the-challenges. 
Listen with an open-heart. 

The truth of the matter? 
There are challenges at hand. 
On a daily basis. 
Reality is settling in. 
Change is a part of the calendar. 
Children are resilient in the end.
In the mean-time? 
 Adjustment. Confusion. Sorrow. Challenge. 

Your prayer support means the world to all of us. 
There have been any number of times when it is your prayers
that have kept me putting one foot in front of the other!

In our unexpected financial crush..... 
Our daughter Sarah had HUGE tidal waves of support 
for her initial efforts with her Younique business. 
Hallelujah indeed.
In the dead of winter your support was astounding!  
Her story is "on-going" in nature and she is searching for continued support: 
friends willing to host a cyber party for Younique cosmetics. 
If you're willing, it would mean the world to me. 
Just reach out and let me know. 
This week or next month. 

I have just opened a Younique party myself. 
You can order your goodies thru me
which supports her!



Our greatest 'influx' of new $$ has come through our distribution of Wobble Seats
This week was phenomenal on that front!
Every time you order from our website, 
some new $$ is generated
and we thank the heavens. 

This week has had numerous orders and NUMEROUS inquiries! 
Thank you angels. 
Hallelujah! 

This month promises to be my biggest on TeachersPayTeachers
I have the two digital download end-of-year songs
perfect for your concluding programs. 
Self-esteem tears of growth, or patriotism? 



Yes. Every extra five dollars is reason to celebrate. 
I have had 19 digital downloads and the month is hardly half over. 
I realize that number (19) is ludicrous small to the BIG sellers, 
but to me it is nothing short of God's manna from heaven.  

I thank you in advance!

***This week I got the contract for the US Army series of presentations in the Washington DC area just before Labor Day. 
If you want to get in on that tour, 
just let me know! 
How about launching your school year 
with an author/illustrator visit?
Our brown-eyed daughter is so thrilled that we're coming to her neck of the woods! 
HALLELUJAH!

***I also have a mini Ohio tour unfolding for November!
Where are my Buckeyes that need an author-visit? 

Let me conclude right now with my memory verse of late: 

"Vengeance is mine says the Lord." ~~ Romans 12:19

I've added a new memory verse: 

"For it is indeed just of God to repay with affliction those who afflict you and to give relief to the afflicted." ~~ 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7

Or here's another suitable verse to consider: 
"Thus I will punish the world for its evil, 
And the wicked for their iniquity; I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud, 
And abase the haughtiness of the ruthless."
~~ Isaiah 13:11

Or something especially pithy? 
"Assuredly, the evil man will not go unpunished, 
But the descendants of the righteous will be delivered." ~~ Proverbs 11:21


It is during seasons like this,
and I have outlived earlier such seasons..... 
that I turn to the ancient scriptures for insight and
"BLESSED ASSURANCE." 
{Please start singing that hymn here.} 

Just as the caterpillar goes into the darkened cocoon, 
so we await the emergence to a brighter day. 

In the meantime? 
We rejoice during this our time of austerity.
We are told to rejoice in all circumstances:
"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Romans 5:2-5
over the joy of the playground park, butterflies,
 your prayers and other heavenly gifts. 

"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you." ~~ 1 Peter 5:10

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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