Sunday, September 25, 2011


Canfield, OH. Children's Literature Conference. This is the type of event I'd like to create in every single corner of every state -- across our entire country and then expand to every country round the globe. The space is incredible: stage, projected power-point onto two screens, comfortable seating for participants, adjustable lighting, sufficient electrical outlets, a tech-man on hand AND a dear friend willing to run around and take pictures! ((((((Thank you, Carol!!))))))

The physical space was awesome but that magic combination of the room packed to the brim with early childhood educators AND professional children's librarians from the surrounding area? Awesome!! This is my day, yesterday, a Saturday training coordinated between the local AEYC and the regional library system in the perfect setting:

In many ways, this was the final bookend on our 12 day road trip classified 'reunions & old-home week'. This amazing space contains several of my long-time supporters, smiling & willing to jump up and be cheer leaders, LITERALLY.  I get the day launched with a couple of my Debbie's Ditties, songs that I've developed for children, these to encourage a healthy lifestyle. The first? "Eating Healthy." Here's my Pinterest board dedicated to eating healthy.

[If you haven't heard, Pinterest is my latest addiction, obsession, CONTRIBUTION. It's a visual bulletin board of ideas from across the web. I have over 4,600 'pins' in under 6 weeks. Neatly categorized into buttetin boards devoted to my picture books and song titles to give you all sorts of art project, snack, bulletin board ideas. See ya on the pin-side: mwwwhaaaahaaaahaaaaa..... you may never be the same!]

Get up, get moving, shake those pom-poms. Fill your body & brain with oxygen, the fuel to run the amazing machinery of your mind. Every dollar store across the country has a set of pom-poms available to bring this upbeat, marching, oxygen-filled, tribute-to-the-glory-of-vegetables fully to life. Get those knees up!!! Smile!!!! Crunch + munch on all the colors of the rainbow spectrum. "Eating healthy, being healthy, that's the choice for me!"

                           Gen-u-ine cheerleader leading the throng!!

From considering how to upgrade our snack-times to include better choices for the children & ourselves, we made a quick sashay to my dittie "Ride my Bike." The audience age diversity spans the spectrum from that of a group of high school students receiving their early childhood training in this very building to those well beyond the age of retirement -- with a career's worth of experience in hand. For "Ride my Bike" (click for bike pin-board) I call on the vitality of our youth to join me on stage, to demonstrate ye ol' bicycle move pre-Wii. They enthusiastically start pumping to demonstrate proper form.

No kidding folks, when performed at full tilt, this little dittie of mine is a genuine ab workout worthy the sub-title of Preschool Pilates or Kindergarten Krunches...... after all 'some hills go up, some hills go down' (which requires a sit up with each musical phrase after all that leg pumping.)

As you can see, I have fantastic participation from the crowd!!!

Crossing the mid-line fun.

Here's a new shot of me. LOL. (((((((((Carol))))))))) has captured me demonstrating how to perform 'Spider Man spray-hands' a maneuver familiar to many children. When those same finger positions are then maneuvered to the up-right position they are perfectly placed to create the sign language short hand for the phrase 'I love you.' This is a pivitol phrase for my 911-inspired lyrics for my newest picture book, "Red, White and Blue."

I've added the star spangled head band available from The Great Pretend-Ears.
My promise? 
Put 'something' on your head & you have more eye contact from the children!!

Sign language: I love you!!

The crowd is signing 'march for our country' -- the second verse of "Red, White and Blue."

There's 30 seconds of a musical instrumental interlude that concludes my "Red, White and Blue" dittie -- which is just the perfect amount of time to create some human fireworks. Here we are working on our people-pyrotechnics.

I just received an email from a music teacher in Georgia who is working with the children to present "Red, White and Blue" to their families in a concert setting for the observation of Veteran's Day. She is going to have the children put their hands on their hearts and recite the Pledge of Allegiance during that concluding wistful violin solo. How brilliant is that option?

Moving right along with our morning: freezing frozen.
Verse 2 of the "Jumpin' Jiminy Jamboree!

I LUV seeing these pictures a day later!! 
I believe that we had fun -- while learning.

A cordless microphone has all sorts of potential..... I got to leave the stage & meander to the back of the room, imitating the best of talk-show hosts. I'm asking those in attendance how my jumpin' dittie fits into our Ohio Early Learning Standards. (Professionals need to be ready to answer the concerns of the wolf-knocking at the door concerned about why the children are engaged in such nonsense.) We came up with all sorts of explanations for the wolf. 
  1. Following directions, group dynamics, working together, social skills
  2. Language acquisition, alliteration, phonemic awareness, rhyme, word play
  3. Kinesthetic presentation for the concept of opposites
  4. Science/physics: the concept of freezing & thawing, weather
  5. Gross motor development & skill development
  6. Proprioceptive skill possibilities thru balance opportunity
  7. Oxygen flooding the brain & body for optimal operation

Everybody, all together now, everybody, shake it down!
Time for brunch!!!!

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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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