Thursday, June 2, 2011

I LOVE This Picture!!! Crossing the Midline!!

photo of: Crossing the Midline: Head Start Children during Debbie Clement Author Visit

I do. I LOVE it! I LOVE this picture!!! 
I am mongo-doodle, hyper-zippy, clap-your-hands-now, confetti-throwing, balloons-dropping-from-the-ceiling, champagne-cork-popping, extreme-unicorns-over-da-rainbow elated about this picture. This particular picture makes my heart sing!!! 

[Many thanks to Danielle who captured this image. BTW. My Author-Illustrator School Visit day in Danielle's class may be THE most documented visit of all times. In addition to the hundred pictures I took from my vantage point up-front, she took an additional 500 or so photos AND while she was busy snapping away, all the while she shot video footage of our morning together from a tripod! Five stars. Two thumbs up.] 

Top three reasons I LOVE this picture?? 
Drumroll, please...........

3. The children are all engaged in the activity at 'hand'!! 

(Get it? that's a pun..... cuz all of their hands are at work.... get it now? Yes, I know. I'm easily entertained as I blog in the extreme quiet of my own hiatus-home, up here in the great northern pines of Wisconsin. Yes, we will be transported to sailboat sunsets and daisies billowing in the breeze before you know it.... but for now: the hands.) Every child is participating! Every face is smiling! No one has any idea there's a camera in their midst! Every child is focused!!! Yeah Head Start classroom of eager children!!!!

2. All the children are involved by giving me their complete, undivided attention. 

The smiles are genuine. I didn't ask them to say cheese. This excitement is of the moment, the immediate, the participation-high of "Hey, I can do that! Watch me!" It's the very nature & essence of early childhood. This enthusiasm is what I get to gaze upon, all the time!! If you look closely at the perimeter of faces, you'll notice that some of the children are watching their peers. How cool is that? Once they know that they've 'got it', they can check out the crowd -- to see if they're having just as much fun. And then, there's that one little plaid fellow who is totally absorbed in watching what I'm doing. It's almost as though you can see the wheels turning behind his glasses. He's deep in thought. He's processing. He's considering. He's engaged. He's watching. He's thinking. He's completely absorbed in what we're doing. Yup. I've got him, too! The expression on his face is the evidence that he's part of the group experience.

photo of: Crossing the Midline: gross motor activities prepare young bodies for future reading

1. Most IMPORTANT: The children are each crossing their 'mid-line.' 

This is, after all, my educational goal with this particular piece of choreography. By scissoring one hand over the other and then reversing which hand is on top, they are wiring their brains and body is a kinesthetic movement that connects both hemispheres of their brain. By crossing their mid-line (the line that goes down the middle of your body -- from your nose to your navel as Dr. Pam Schiller would say), they are each in turn working on the brain wiring that will ultimately encourage their eyes to 'read' across a line of print and then 'swoop' to the other side again, tracking back & forth and back & forth. This choreography is a precursor to successful reading!!! Yet, here's the evidence that the children think this is fun! Which it is!!! It's also DAP as we like to say in da business. It's 'developmentally appropriate practise/play.' (See brilliant blog rant over at kindergarten blog on the tug of war between DAP and da very real pressures of the world-at-large. Brilliant Michale has all sorts of amazing insight & real life experience.)

If you were working with even younger children think 'wipers-on-the-bus' as a foundation skill needed for reading!! Toddlers + wipers-on-the-bus and you're working at brain wiring for future reading endeavors!!! Incorporate crossing the midline choreography in all of your singing, all of your fingerplays, all of your movement games!!

Yes, indeedie-do. Wow. I LOVE that picture!

This one's pretty sweet, too. Let's GROW! How high can you grow?
As we grow we 'snake' our hands back and forth across our bodies, growing higher and higher, snaking back and forth and forth and back. Just as those eyes will eventually track that print on the page. This photo is the grand finale of all of that snaking activity. 
photo of: Head Start Children 'Grow" with Music Choreography
Florida Head Start Children "Grow" with Music Opportunities

It is such an honor to get to come into classrooms across the country and stir in excitement by sharing my original songs, my 'style' of choreography-with-a-purpose and cap it all off by showing my books and the quilts I created to make them. 
Yeah Author-Illustrator School Visits!!!!

photo of: Author Illustrator School Visit with Debbie Clement: comparing original Art to Picture Book
Debbie Clement Shares Quilted Illustrations to her Picture Book "You're Wonderful"

Take a look at the grand finale of crossing-the-midline in action!! This is my Author-in the Schools visit to kindergarten in NY. We are singing my original children's song "Glad I'm at School Today." I am standing in front of THE most amazing collaborative piece of art ever created for my school visit. The 330 K students have each created one quilt square in reference to my picture book "You're Wonderful." 

-- Debbie--

Pre-K, Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth -

Editor's note from the future. I have now opened a little store over at Teachers pay Teachers. I am gradually uploading my original songs into zipped files with Mp3 versions suitable for immediate your immediate purchase and download. 

photo: "You're Wonderful" NOW available in digital download version by Debbie Clement

By all means come over and download your *FREEBIE* while you're taking a look around! 

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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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