Thursday, April 16, 2015

Author-Illustrator School Visit + Kinder Authentic Art Response!!!

"You're Wonderful" Authentic Kindergarten Art in response to picture book

Making a "return" Author/Illustrator School visit is my FAVORITE! 
I am always THRILLED to make plans for a school visit, 
but returning to a previous site? 

That's so much easier and all the more exciting. 
This is my third annual visit to Mr. Greg's school {I'm sure you know him as Kindergarten Smorgaboard
and every time I got his text beforehand, I was all the more thrilled! 

Take a look at this first image that arrived to my phone! 

Kindergarten Authentic Art Exploration in Preparation for Author-Illustrator Visit

If you have ever visited here previously, you may remember that I'm a former Elementary school Art Teacher. {That was a chapter many moons ago in an earlier century.} There are so many things I LUV about this photo! The kinder-students have all of the materials they need and are then left to their own interpretation -- to create their own response to my first picture book. 

I didn't realize, until I downloaded the photo above from my phone to the larger screen of my laptop, that RIGHT in the kinder-child's lap is my book, "You're Wonderful" -- how brilliant is that? 

Now take a bird's eye look at a majority of the 'mustache menagerie' as they work comfortably on the floor. Is that an absolute advertisement for open-ended Art exploration, or what? Look how engaged everyone is! Look at all of the effort! Look at the energy! 

Yes. They are working on the floor! Mr. Greg removed the majority of his tables this year. I think you can see how much kinder-fun it is to sprawl and create!

Kindergarten Authentic Art Exploration in Preparation for Author-Illustrator Visit

Now if you look closely. Right in the middle of the whole group? 
There it is again! 

Greg's copy of "You're Wonderful" for quick consultation and inspiration! 

Kindergarten Authentic Art Exploration in Preparation for Author-Illustrator Visit

Finally our day arrived! 
I got to school earlier than we thought, so the two of us got to have a couple of minutes to catch up out in the hallway. 

Yup. That's Mr. Greg in his traditional "Tall Giraffe" hat!
A perennial favorite! 

Mr. Greg (Kindergarten Smorgasboard) WELCOMES Debbie Clement

His classroom door is truly incredible. 
A puzzle of all his student's aspirations for the year, 
intertwined with the goals from their parents! 

I knew you'd want to see the other side of his door as well!

BTW: The school mascot is BEARS! 
I enjoy a good acrostic! 

I need to add this one to my earlier acrostic collection. 

Here's a look at his classroom library! 
I was ready to curl up with a good book myself! 

I know that you like to look over my shoulder and see how other's organize their space! 
Here's his personalized tool box of goodies. 

After my quick look around the Kinder-classrooms, 
I went down to the cafeteria to get organized. 

That's where I was greeted with ALL of the Art!

Author-Illustrator School Visit Welcome in Kindergarten

Author-Illustrator School Visit Welcome in Kindergarten

Author-Illustrator School Visit Welcome in Kindergarten

Author-Illustrator School Visit Welcome in Kindergarten

From my first book on to the next! 


and look at these drawings!!!

Author-Illustrator School Visit Welcome in Kindergarten

Author-Illustrator School Visit Welcome in Kindergarten

Now to close this glimpse into creativity. 
Look at my wardrobe, 
as seen by the kinder-eyes! 

My books and songs are available on my own website: 

and also in digital form at TeachersPayTeachers

My song of affirmation, "You're Wonderful" makes a terrific End-of-Year performance song..... as does my newest picture book, "Red, White and Blue." 

Now's the time to begin planning my visit to YOUR school! 
Email me for some specifics! 

Here's an earlier article where I addressed the differences between 
AUTHENTIC Art and Crativity. 
Just click the image below. 

AUTHENTIC Art versus Craftivity: Examples, Opinion and Insight at RainbowsWithinReach

Monday, April 13, 2015

#TeacherFriends Chat: Ask an Administrator

Embedded image permalink

Time to get ready for our weekly 
#TeacherFriends Twitter Chat!

This Tuesday we are chatting in a whole new direction! 

"Ask an Administrator!"

We have Twitter rock star Jay Billy taking the spotlight. 

The only "RULE" for joining a Twitter chat is to use the hashtag in every tweet. So in the case of our chat, that is to remember to use the hashtag: 


Here's a glimpse into the five questions that I will be asking those in attendance, so you have some time to consider your answers. 

#TeacherFriends Q1: What do you see as the 'main job' of the principal of a school?
#TeacherFriends Q2: How do you promote the good things happening at your school? {Pictures + links please!}
#TeacherFriends Q3: What or who has been the greatest influence on you as a school leader/teacher?
#TeacherFriends Q4: What is the biggest challenge that schools face in the 21st century?
#TeacherFriends Q5: If you had one wish for your students what would it be?

Bring a friend! 
Let's share the good news of schools, teachers and administrators. 

There are prizes! 
LOTS of prizes! 
 One lucky winner receive a year's use of ESGI software. 

If you can't wait to win and want your own license, 
you can use my affiliate code and save $40 in the process: 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

GiveAWAY! Seth Godin's New Book: It's Your Turn!

Who is your favorite thought leader? 
Who do you read for their insight, perception and vision? 

I have received Seth Godin's thoughts in my inbox daily for quite some time. 
Maybe a year or two? Maybe longer?

He spoke of his latest book and the process of bringing it to fruition. 
The different format. 
Something of a cross between a high end magazine and a coffee table book. 

I was intrigued. IMMEDIATELY. 

The most amazing part of his original offer? 
If you purchased one book at the pre-release price, 
he would ship two books! 

GRASS ROOTS marketing:
Horizontal distribution. Way beyond word-of-mouth. 


As a visual learner, with a seemingly ever-shorter attention span, 
this is EXACTLY how I appreciate reading! 

Pithy {but significant} thoughts, 
presented with plenty of graphic eye candy. 

I realized that I had gotten my second copy into an appreciator's hands.

Let's change that! 
EASY-PEASY give-away! 
Just leave a comment and let me know that you'd like to add this to your collection.  

I will tell you that it is PERFECT for a flight from Orlando to Nashville. 

I'm half way through and will finish it on the return trip! 
So much insight.

Just leave a comment and we'll have Rafflecopter choose the winner! 

Take a look at this back cover! 
How awesome is that? 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

#TeacherFriends Twitter Chat Pinterest for Education: Resources + PLN


That means time to chat on Twitter 
with your #TeacherFriends! 

Tonight promises to be both a LOT of fun and also hugely informative. 
We welcome Kim Vij, Pinterest rockstar and former Kindergarten teacher, in the role of #GuestEduCelebrity in the spotlight! 

Kim has written a VERY insightful and comprehensive article on her own blog, 

She has oodles of Twitter tips + insight. 

Tonight she will be giving away an hour consultation on how to use Pinterest!
Valued at $100, such a consultation is probably MOST useful to a teacherprenurial eduprenurial, small business minded individual. 

If you have a TpT-type store, this would be a brilliant prize. 
There will be other goodies in the give-away department. 

As soon as chat gets underway at 8:30 PM EST for the Early Bird portion of the evening, a link to the evening's prizes will be tweeted repeatedly. You just need to sign into the Google doc one time through the whole chat, to be eligible for ALL prizes. Make sense? 

We added the Early Bird portion of the evening, to truly offer support to the absolute new-to-twitter folks. The pace is slower and we just visit informally. 

At 9PM the formal chat gets underway and I will tweet out our official questions! 

Bring some of your favorite pins, board and collaborative boards to share with your peers tonight! 

 I will be offering my twin-pack of "End-of-the-Year" performance songs to a lucky winner! They are available in digital format over at TeachersPayTeachers.

Follow me on Twitter! 

Keep an eye out for ME to tweet out the questions! 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Blessings of Easter: Praise Report!

EASTER weekend. How will you celebrate? 

Since today is Saturday, this is my time to stop and reflect on good that has come my way over the last week. Life is filled with so many blessings. I am appreciating the discipline of taking the time to enumerate the good I've experienced. 

A gratitude list. My gratitude list!

Holy week is THE week of focus and reflection. From Sunday's Hosanna palm waving, through yesterday's darkness over the dramatic loss brought on by our humanity and failing, and now from here on to the vigil tonight for the dawning of Easter's GLORY! 

Where do I start? How do I begin this week's list? 

1. My biggest blessing is a life of faith. My parents blessed me from before my first breath. From the very beginning of my first winks and blinks they were certain to shape my life by immersing me in a world of faith. Their world of faith. As my life story has brought a variety of "train wrecks" to my Earthly experience, I have the best great gift of knowing that the cocoon is not the end of the story. The tomb is not the end. 

This photo that I took years ago, was the beginning of my experience of treasuring the gift of having a camera in my hand. I've told it before. My falling in love with that specific flower in Door County during a pause in my bike ride, that brought me to full and complete attention. 

I stood there basking in the contrast of the blue sky against the delicacy of the petals on that specific flower. I stopped. I thought about everything I ever heard anyone say about taking a picture. Sun behind you. Squeeze the shutter button slowly. EXACTLY at the moment I got myself all organized, that monarch came and posed. When I think of Easter miracles, I think of that monarch. Sent from heaven. Treasured forever. 

The butterfly is THE image for Easter and I'm grateful for my divine encounter.

Make-over painted angel in memory of friend in heaven from Breast Cancer

1.B. After my family, on Easter weekend, I think of my dear friend SAINT. The life she lived. The faith she exuded. Her premature angel status. Our fun times together. Our tears together. The miracle of her extra innings despite the doctors best insight and predictions. Her leaving Earth on Easter weekend. Me painting the weathered angel over Good Friday to Easter, to give it new life. {She supervises me still from her polka-dot perch. She will forever be "my people."}

The fact that I heard from her dear husband today just makes my heart sing. Literally. That we remain friends. That he will trek up to our place 'up nord' this summer so that we can reconnect and share the latest chapter, the newest people. I know that Pat will be laughing her head off over our antics and the stories that we will share. It is a fitting time to take a minute of silence for those we miss. It is fitting to rejoice over her place in heaven. It is fitting that she left us on Easter.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 

2. On April Fool's Day, my nephew {the kindergarten teacher in Paraguay} announced that his dear wife is pregnant AGAIN. In quiet demeanor he mentioned they were having twins. Much of the world thought that he was joking, what with it being April first. NOT! It seems that twins DO indeed run in our family. What an amazing time lies on the horizon for them! Wrap them in prayer. 

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD. Psalm 127:3

One of my favorite bumper stickers! "She who laughs..... lasts!" 

3. Since this is the week that started the new month, I have written an article over at our collaborative blog, PreK+K Sharing. I did a WHOLE lot of research on the value of laughter, as it relates to the classroom, to teaching and to behavior management. I have dozens of terrific links to studies, suggestions and insight! Plus a couple of terrific YouTube videos on the value of play and laughter as it relates to creativity. I hope that you can click over and pin the article for your later edification.   

Then our mouth was filled with laughter And our tongue with joyful shouting; Then they said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them."  Psalms 126:2 

4. Last week I told you that a powerhouse in the ECE world recommended me for a speaking presentation next fall. WOW! The details have been confirmed. I will be giving the KEYNOTE at an event in October! Since my expressing my appreciation? She's sent my name on to two additional event planners. Thank you God. 

"Therefore, whatever you want people to do for you, do the same for them, because this summarizes the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 7:12

As my way of sending that gratitude forward? I had a planner reach out to me for a date on the calendar that was already spoken for. You bettcha! I gave her the name of one of my peer's that's hungry for an opportunity. We hold each other up. Planting seeds. 

5. "The RAINBOW Times." Goodness emerging from challenge and struggle. Difficulty teaching new lessons. Triumph over tragedy. This is the true measure of our character.

I've thought more than once this week about the clash-of-absurdity of this GeeGee WORKING to grasp the opportunities of technology that avail themselves. This week I'm grateful for the discipline of sharing on Instagram. Because of asking myself to post something daily on IG, I 'posed' this ceramic plaque above that I've had above my desk for a very long time. It is from the talent of Mary Anne Radmacher. Because of one of my IG followers asking, I visited Mary Anne's website for the first time ever. Little did I realize. She's written NUMEROUS books. What an inspiration! Wow. Thanks IG. Thanks Mary Anne. Thank you heavens for being just a click away from inspiration. 

"I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth."  Genesis 9:13

6. We continue on weekly with our Tuesday night #TeacherFriends 9 PM twitter chat. What a crazy, brilliant, inspired idea that has developed from my "lightbulb" moment. Last summer I thought it would be FUN to bring other early educators to Twitter. Little did I realize what would unfold! 

This week I gave a SKYPE visit with BIG kids {third graders} in Pennsylvania, me in FL! How delightful that we can share the fun, without me leaving our dining room! The uncensored questions of children have to be one of my very favorite parts! 

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;”  -- Romans 12: 6+7 

7. This week we chatted about finishing strong, and celebrating and commemorating the "End of the Year" with tradition and style. Preparing for our chat reminded me that I had written this little dittie below.

This week we chatted about finishing strong, and celebrating and commemorating the "End of the Year" with tradition and style. Preparing for our chat reminded me that I had written this little dittie above. I like it better this year than when I originally wrote it. You can download it as a FREEBIE over at our 'Early Education Emporium.' {Go right into the middle of the page to get the download.} Print it and personalize it and share with your peeps! Thank you God for giving me a wordsmith mommy as an example of the power and permission of using the word. 

"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'  Matthew 25:21

8. If you are here regularly you may have read me blather on about the discovery of the "Painted Bunting" in our micro-backyard and the renaissance of spirit they have given me. This spring we are now up to at least three pair of bunting, visiting us daily. 

This photo is the first evidence that we have two pair visiting. These are the males. We have both seen three male Painted Buntings at once!!! They are rather skittish and they don't appreciate me screaming my excitement upon their arrival. I don't know if I will ever capture all three feathered rainbows sitting there in our midst, but it is exciting to consider the challenge. Serving a creator capable of hand-dipping feathers as we paint Easter eggs brings me joy! 

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.... Matthew 6: 25-34

9. I got an email from a kindergarten teacher in Chicago inquiring about my giving a SKYPE visit to her kinders. Little did she realize that we will be driving THROUGH Chicago later next month! Guess what? Guess where I'm going! YUP. You guessed it. Here's the way-cool part. In our talking, she mentioned that SOOOOO MANY of the bloggers that she respects have mentioned me and my work. What a blessing. I have been lifted up by others that I respect. They are introducing me to others. Thank you to my blogging brethren. 

"He who walks with the wise grows wise."  Proverbs 13:20 

10. This week someone on Facebook apparently shared one of my favorite spring-time ideas that I saw in Amber's classroom a spring or two ago. It has sent forth a ripple into cyber space. It has catapulted the article into the #10 spot on my top 10 list. Out of oblivion into the tenth spot! Do people realize that their voice changes the lives of others? Thank you unknown FB sharing person! 
The YOUNIQUE Team is Available to Create your Dream!

11. This is the week that my brand new recruit to our Younique team has signed HER first recruit! Mrs. O has given one of her friends a whole new opportunity for growth, development and financial improvement. We're looking for others that need a boot strap to pull upon. Here's the link to all the info you need to make the decision to join us! Ask me some questions! Thank you angels for this unique opportunity with YOUNIQUE! Our daughter is paying her bills and keeping the lights on as a result of her hard work.

12. My Fitbit step counter keeps me moving forward! I got a new badge for continuing to take one more baby step! I hit 500 miles this week! Does that make you start to break out in song? 500 miles: Peter, Paul and Mary or (I'm Gonna Be) 500 miles by the Proclaimers. Which ever song resonates? Just keep taking one more step. They add up in time! I have stayed at this 'smaller and more improved' version of myself and everything FITS better! 

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. " Proverbs 3:5

13. In my searching for material for my article on laughter, I unearthed this quote, with the concept of living "Happily ever Laughter." I plan to incorporate that into the fabric of my life. I'd like to live happily ever laughter. 

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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