READ ACROSS AMERICA! Author-Illustrator School Visit
Once a year and once a lifetime! That's what's been happening for me over the last week. My heart is full! My brain is full! My memory card is way beyond full! Read Across America happens once a year. Coming to AZ to see the Grand Canyon, make a school visit and spend two days in SEDONA (including a JEEP VORTEX tour and a helicopter ride over the Red Rocks!)
Let's start with the school visit. MEMORABLE! Take a look at this mosaic welcome outside of this amazing Elementary school! That's my kind of welcome!
I walked into the front hallway and look what was on display in and around the school showcase. Immediately I knew this was a building with an incredible art teacher! A former art teacher can recognize excellence while standing in the vestibule. These 'polka-dot' painted flowers caught my attention within the first ten seconds! LUV!!!
Right around the corner, still in the front entry way were these canvas collaborative class paintings.
So awesome. Hmmmmmm. How big were the canvas?
Maybe like 12" by 18" -- not huge.
Each student's image was on what looked to be rice paper/tracing paper.
They were then something like modge podged together.
Back to READ ACROSS AMERICA!
Also in the front hallway were hand painted 'chairs-for-charity.'
Note-to-self: I need to have a whole RoundUP of chairs.
I've seen quite a few awesome ones lately.
Down the hall? Outside the library.
Hand painted Seuss!
Then there's a classic welcome bulletin board a la Chicka-Chicka!
Luv the 3-D look of the palm leaves!
I have an earlier Chicka-Chicka RoundUP and must move this beauty over there.
Finally, I have reached my hostess' classroom!
Which is actually the first room on the hall.
Meet Jennifer of blogging fame, "Simply Kinder."
We have been cyber friends for ages.
We met in Vegas last summer at "I Teach K" -- where I got to be Diva Debbie and give the opening keynote.
We have been cyber-conversing about my visit for years. Literally.
I was able to arrive an hour before my first presentation, so that meant I went zipping around her room to capture some goodies to share here. She has her anchor charts all laminated and hanging ready for their use.
Since we had flown west from our home in FL, for my day-long presentation to the ECE community of Denver at their annual JCCCA day, we'd brought along our new WOBBLE SEATS! To say that Ms. Jennifer's students were adoring this innovation in seating is truly an understatement. They were so excited to each get their own WOBBLE turn!
It was awesome to have a captive audience in 'test-drive' mode for our newest project. I just blogged all about them for the first time earlier this week. Here's the link to our Wobble site, with specifics for ordering your own.
Real quick I popped across the hall to grab up some additional pictures for you of excellence in early education! Take a look at the organization of these MANY manipulatives. Be still my heart!
Each bucket of goodies had a photograph on it's end of the materials inside. On the shelf is a laminated picture and label of the bucket that belongs there. BRILLIANT!
Yes. It would take quite some time to get this system set up and organized, but once it is up and operational students know for all time where things belong and can work independently to clean up and put things back in order. As much as I LUV color -- having the buckets in one 'non-color' (white) certainly simplifies the whole look and makes the photos of the materials POP! FIVE STARS!
I need to move some of these photos into my Top 10 article on classroom organization.
Teachers have LUV LUV LUV'd this earlier RoundUP.
Then it was on to my shows!
I can have this smiling face on-line, because this good lookin' cherub is the dear son of our Simply Kinder author. It was literally his birthday on the day I was visiting. So the two of us had prearranged that I'd ask for a volunteer having a birthday to help me. Here's Mr. Birthday holding my quilt -- as we compare it to the picture book version of the same design.
This image is from my first picture book,
|My picture books are available directly on my website or at Teachers Pay Teachers.|
My goal in each of my author-illustrator presentations is to 'sing & read' each of my three picture books and share the original quilts I created as the book illustrations. When I have at least 45 minutes for the program, I am able to intersperse one of my active/jumping brain break songs -- between each of my books. This has the kiddos up and down, up and down, and up and down for a third time. Ta-Dah!
The BIG ENDING of my presentations is my newest picture book,
"Red, White and Blue."
Here we are looking at the quilt and book versions of the fire fighters who responded first on September 11th.
I make sixteen small quilts to create a 32 page traditional picture book.
My dear husband Allen has my quilts professionally scanned,
in preparation for the book's print being added on the computer.
Here's Jennifer's anchor chart for community helpers,
those first responders whatever the emergency.
Jennifer took 252 pictures of me in action. She sent them to me via Dropbox. I have to figure out how to get them out of that format to crop and add them over here. Technology. I'm learning all the time! She really got some amazing shots!
Are you following me on Instagram?
I was able to upload these Seuss decorated doors in real time.
They were an 'insta-hit' with my IG followers!
After all the singing and dancing and reading was accomplished, I did make it to the amazing art room for a quick intro to the incredible mind and effort behind all of the delightful student art I'd seen through out the building. Take a look at all of this imagination in UPcycling 'craft tubes.'
I just loved these beauties! The paint pots looked like happy polka-dots in my eye.
Here's the link to my song "Glad I'm at School" as captured in the above video.
These next images are part of my travelogue.
We started a week ago at home in FL. We flew to Denver for JCCCA.
From there we started south in our rental car.
Here are a few of the happy clouds above New Mexico.
Then it was on to Arizona!
Let's find us some Red Rocks!
Monday: The GRAND Canyon!
I have learned how to take 'panorama' shots on my new phone.
I have also learned how to get them into the clever 'frames' of phone aps!
Tuesday: Glendale for the author-visit day.
We got to travel thru the land of the stately Saghura cactus.
Day #3 of AZ!
We took a VORTEX Jeep tour up and through the rock formations.
Highlight of Day #4?
Helicopter tour above, around and through the formations,
In making the quilt illustrations for "Red, White and Blue" I wanted to show the diversity in our LAND as well as our people. I wrote this song immediately after September 11th and wanted to show as much as possible the great amazing country that is America.
To that end I created a 'purple mountain majesty' quilt and wanted to then contrast it to the RED ROCKS of the Southwest. This is my first visit 'back' to Sedona since my book came out. So this is the first 'posed' picture of me holding my book IN Sedona! While in Glendale, I had one of the first graders shout out, "HEY! That's Sedona!" and my heart skipped a beat.
I am so very grateful for each and everyone of you that 'shares' my posts.
Every single pin, tweet or + brings some additional visibility to this self-published author and I'm so appreciative.