Sunday, October 30, 2011

"MONSTER SPRAY"

FREE "MONSTER SPRAY" Mp3 Emailed to your inbox!!!!

WELCOME!!!!!!

Two step process: 
  1. Officially follow my blog thru FB Networked Blogs (see the grid of faces in my left side bar, look to the left on here!)
  2. Email me that you have accomplished step 1 & want "Monster Spray" Mp3 (My email address is: Debbie at RainbowsWithinReach dot com
There you have it!!!! Everything you need to know.
[It has been brought to my attention that I am a 'wordy-sort.' Guilty as charged. Read no further if you are not the wordy-sort. I will just babble from this point on. You are not required to read my blathering to get your freebie.]

I have the opportunity to join an elite group of bloggers when I reach 1000 followers. As I type I'm up to 851..... so I'm a mere 149 away from this amazing gathering of talent, insight & support. I could REALLY use your help here people. Please tell your friends!!!

*****Now if you are already one of the first 851 followers and still want an Mp3 of my engaging "Monster Spray" feel free to do any of these other helpful things & let me know in your email. 

  • Connect with me at Twitter. My handle there is Kweezlequeen
  • Connect with me at Pinterest. My link there is Debbie_Clement
  • Pin this spray bottle to your Pinterest board (that would be a HUGE help!!!)
  • Connect with me at my Facebook fanpage RainbowsWithinReach
  • Connect with me at LinkedIN Debbie Clement 
  • Connect with me at NAEYC, in person, at booth #719!!!!! 
  • Invite me to your school for an author-visit + I'll personally hand you the entire CD for free!!!!!
 Last month I held a "Monster Link-up" and there are dozens and dozens of ideas permanently housed there for your monster-fun. Click here to see all of those ideas

*****There will be no expiration date for this offer. While I use "Monster Spray" like wild through the month of October, this one -- of my catalogue of original children's songs is genuinely a personal, all-time favorite and there's really no shelf-life on the LUV-of-Monsters. I sing this gem about overcoming-your-fears all year long!!!!

I'm starting to feel wordy. Yes. I could go on & on about overcoming personal + professional fears. I could. See yesterday's post below if you want to read about making progress toward your dreams. Must post, now...... feeling the wordy-woman taking the helm. Must post!!

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Reflections, Progress + Dreams

Reflection. It's time to take a deep breath and reflect. Literally. Today, in-real-time, is a driving day. A day of transition. A day of reflection. A day of consideration. We are heading south to Florida for the season ahead. We are heading to Florida for NAEYC and my contribution to presentations there and introducing my work to tons of new friends. I have my very own booth, #719, in the amazing exhibit hall in Orlando. A first. I'm excited!!

NAEYC is always the watershed event of the year for me. It's the milestone that marks the new year, much more so than Dec.31st. In my quest to get my blog and work to a wider audience I am now a contributor to the collective blog, Classroom Freebies, which has dozens of teaching bloggers sharing FREE materials 24/7/365!!! In thinking through what I can contribute there, I remembered a collection of quotations on the subject of 'dreams' that I had assembled years ago. I have saved that list into a pdf  format and have added it to my freebie tab at the top of the blog, just up above.


Once I'd reworked the quotations into pdf format, it was then a question of creating a visual to entice the Classroom Freebies folks to follow over here. That mulling reminded me that I had never posted my first pictures of this previous season..... of our arrival to Door County up in Wisconsin. In searching through my Picassa files I see that I took these pictures at the end of May. I know I was driving south on Highway 42, following Sunday morning services up in Ellison Bay. Coming down the hill into Sister Bay the fog was finally lifting. It was all I could do to get the car parked safely as I saw this beauty emerge. 

Combining the image of the little dinghy following the lead sails is the perfect visual for the quote, "Follow your dreams.... they know the way." from a book I have by Kobi Yamada. 
 
This year I can return to NAEYC and bring my newest picture book, "Red, White and Blue" adorned with the national INDIE Award of Excellence gold seal!!! Having dreams requires huge amounts of patience. It's about believing in the future, about taking baby steps. It's about perseverance and trust. It's about imagination and creativity and guts and fortitude. It's about overcoming inertia and procrastination. It's about battling perfectionism in favor of progress.


This is my eighth NAEYC to get to present my ideas, approach & materials to an eager audience. At this point I've published three of my original children's songs into picture book format. That's what I call progress!! This is the first NAEYC to celebrate my collaborative project created with national dance authority, Connie Dow for Redleaf Press, "One Two, What Can I Do?" will be amidst their stacks -- with an official author signing on Friday of next week. That's what I call progress!! This is the annual event where I met Arlana Young who created my tour to Europe this past spring. YES!! I'm living the life I've imagined. That's what dreams do for you!

How about you? What's your dream? Leave me a comment and share your hopes. I've learned that putting dreams into writing is the very first step toward bringing them to fruition.

****My next goal? As of this morning I have 846 official blog followers. There's a highly esteemed group that I can join when I have 1000 followers. If this is your first visit here, you can help me forward toward this goal by officially following this blog. There's a grid near the top of the blog, in the left column. Just click 'follow this blog.' (It's an ap thru Facebook.) Every new follower is one more baby step forward. THANKS!!


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Friday, October 28, 2011

Kreative Kinder-Karing Klass

Every building that I get to visit wearing my author/illustrator hat, is always my favorite one, in real time.
Every classroom where I get to sing + share my original children's songs is the very best one -- while I'm there looking into those eyes. Yet every now and again I get to observe something truly unique. Something amazing. Something brimming with joy. Something incredible beyond the norm. Now that we live in a world of Pinterest, I can pin these places of pluck. I can pin this passport to pretend. I can preserve this place that proves powerful. I CAN PIN!! I can allow the bigger world to look over my shoulder and meet a professional who opens his wallet to put his $$ where his heart lives. Welcome to just such a place.

Look around at the details of this kindergarten classroom of Mr. Mussel. I know that I shouldn't have 'favorites' but I think you can see why I'd want to send my grandchildren to this classroom. It sings. Every corner has details befitting an educational foundation of brilliance. Here's the child sized author chair, pictured below, where the star of the day gets to be throned for sharing. (I understand that there was a kind benefactor to find funding for the chair pictured below, after Mr. M had already made the commitment to hire a professional artist to come adorn the walls of his domain -- all from his personal budget.)

While not knowing the exact source of this frog's thoughts, I learned that it was part of a handout that Mr. M received at a Dr. Jean workshop he attended at some point in time. There was no author quoted in the compilation of educational thoughts.... so we'll just guess that it's a very wise frog thinking that thought! ***You just knew he'd be a big fan of Dr. Jean -- didn't you? [Click here to see my thoughts on getting to hear Dr. Jean out in Vegas this past summer at the international "I Teach K" Conference held annually by Staff Development for Educators.]

This tidbit below is the motivational 'championship' inspiration that is painted above the child-sized bathroom that is within the classroom. As a big fan of all things "dream" I was especially drawn to this pithy thought. It does indeed take a team, a village -- all of us to get traction and make progress. Pop back in tomorrow to learn more about the having of dreams and the making of progress toward them!!! I have a little gift of my sleeve for all of my readers.



Here's a close-up of Mr. M's own canine cop captured to calm:



Can you name this famous school bus driver? She is ironically from a previous art-installation over at Vine Street Elementary school building, which was demolished to bring together the new building and combined staff of Clyde Elementary. It was a mammoth mural. Mr. M's parents had it photographed and then reproduced in a smaller 'portable' banner like product. In the process the bus was able to have it's school name digitally altered to reflect the changing times. So yes, originally it was painted onto the cinder block walls, but now it is leaning against the wall, up near the ceiling, above the built in cabinets.

Here's a peek into that amazing bathroom. Seriously it's art was such a smile-maker!
How do you respond when someone says, "You remind me of our bathroom?" 
Upon seeing the sunshine and growing garden details -- I'm honored!


What's a kindergarten-klass without a kissing hand?


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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Author Visit: Too Much Fun!


AUTHOR VISIT Day #TUESday!!!!
Every day that I work with children during my author visit, I attempt to remember to tell them, "this is my job." I even go on to say, "people pay me money to share my ideas with students." I think it's important to tell children the truth. They may somehow jump to the conclusion because I am having so much fun that I just like to 'pop' into schools and enjoy myself...... and while that is true, the other fact is that I am the poster child for doing-what-you-love. Yes, folks I get paid to have this much fun  

Tuesday we put the crazy socks away and got out our happy hats!




Here's the lucky ducky, favorite-fliers -- with their selections just before heading out the door for home. I wish that there was an audio file of that little character in the front row. His deep chocolate eyes looked into mine and I swear to you he said, "I wish you knew how much having you here means to me." I think he went on to say, "I want to be like you when I grow up," but it was just too hard for me to hear him through the tears in my eyes.

Folks. This is why you take the time to write grants and sell candy bars and jump through all the hoops necessary to arrange for 'people-of-the-Arts' to interact with your students. It gives them -- the students, another vision. A vision of what they might like to do when they grow up!!! A vision of who they might one day become. That's why I tell them that this is my job. This is why I tell them that people pay me money. This is why I make merry and bright. This is why I pinch myself in the morning.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

C.E.S. Author Visit!!!

It's a pretty brilliant administrator that plans my author-visit in such a way as to get it off the ground with an all school 'rock concert' kick-off and then orchestrates the visit together in such a way that there's enough time to get 'up close & personal' for individual grade level "workshops." In this first picture we're playing the game "Find the Quilt." I have a couple backdrops hung and my original illustration-quilts hanging for the children to see how quickly they can match my book's illustration to its original artwork. As you may be able to grasp from the picture -- they're pretty quick!

We have forty minutes together for each workshop and I have three picture books to share. That's just enough time to insert one of my own original children's songs between each book. I choose a VERY active song to insert between sharing my books and the question & answer periods that unfold as we take an up-close look at each project. Here, the big kids are 'freezing frozen' -- as part of our study of alliteration and self/body control. Big hit!!!


I am stationed for the two days in the school's music room. This is the hallway art, just outside the door.

Here's an entire couple of classrooms full of DREAMS (in sign language) from my book, "You're Wonderful."

As promised to my friends on Pinterest...... I will be documenting my visits with an eye on ideas that will be of interest to the visual nature of that sharing opportunity. Who follows the 'bucket-filler' program? You've got to know that I love a bulletin board that includes the use of a rainbow!!!

The mascot for the school is: Clyde Elementary School Fliers. So there are more than a few airplanes in the building!!

The Art room invitation!!! "Art: it's outta this world!"



Here's a fall orchard in bloom amidst the kindergarten classrooms!

That's some sign language for the phrase, "I love you." Which is a pivotal phrase in my picture book "Red, White and Blue." All of the classes have been well prepared prior to my arrival and so they're especially excited to perform for me!! They were kind enough to schedule my visit around my Ohio availablity, but it was fun to know that they are preparing for their upcoming parents program -- which is going to feature a patriotic theme.

That's some afternoon 'freezing frozen' used as a brain break mid workshop. 



There are lots of 'firsts' with this visit. Pictured below are the lucky 'first-day' winners of my books. Principal Peggy had the idea to seek funding to be certain that there would be some happy owners of my work. This is the end of our first day celebration with those shiny smiles that were chosen at random and the book that they will be taking home as their own!!! Talk about lucky-ducks!!! Maybe I should say 'flier favorites?'

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Author/Illustrator Visit: Clyde

Making an author-illustrator visit to an elementary is AWESOME. Having your name 'up-in-lights' is always exciting. Returning to a community to work with a principal and staff of teachers you've had the pleasure to visit previously? Boat load of superlatives!!!!!

Enter, Principal Peggy. She of the argyle socks & sweater combo in honor of my arrival and crazy sock day. She of the combing-the-community for funding for the Arts. She of the victory-lap year, following her official retirement. She of good friend status. She of creating a building filled with affirmation and hugs. We've been talking about this visit for a long, long, long time. She's been planning for a VERY long time, laying the foundation for my visit for ages. She told me through emails that my visit was to be a gift to her staff. How amazing is that?
I knew that she'd been concocting surprises of delight for me -- ever since we've been earnest about the calendar and getting me on their schedule. I knew that her art-teacher would also be focused, directing the students to create work in preparation for my arrival. Take a look at the cafeteria walls covered in joy for our opening concert-sing-a-long celebration. Aren't those patriotic guitars on parade a brilliant project for my welcome? This is the first time the ENTIRE building of students K - 3rd grade had ever assembled in the cafeteria. I felt the LUV just as soon as I walked into the room!!!!

Here's the launch to my two-day residency. (It takes a little while to get nearly 500 children into one spot.) We're assembling the crowd in the picture above. They came prepared to serenade me with flags in hand. The delightful Mrs. H had worked with every grade during their music classes to be ready for our time together. [Read this previous post with suggestions for setting up a successful author visit.]

                                           "Red, White and Blue............. I love you!"

That's what it looks like when the whole school is in the same place!!! Look at those 'stained glass' windows way in the back ground, created, because everyone knows how much I LUV color!!! What better way to show your appreciation of color than to create custom stained glass windows? I told you they had surprises up their sleeves.

These 'rainbows-within-reach' were also adorning the cafeteria walls. Every rainbow a beam and spectrum of individual glorious reflective color. A celebration of all things elementary school. The names have awesome use of black and white mixed amidst all that full strength color. A true Debbie Clement connoisseur: attention to detail, graphic details of black and white, bordering colossal color.
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Time Machine & Perspective


Here we are nearing the end of October and I haven't commented on anything 'pink.' It's not that I had a whole strategy to avoid the subject -- there's just been a million other things on my mind. This weekend I got to be a part of my first collaborative keynote in Dayton for their Association for Young Children annual conference. It was such a thrill -- on so many levels. I'll have to come back here and edit this when I have a little more time and can write a proper and thoughtful reflection. In the meantime let me just share some photos that I received. DeLorean time machine. Back in the day. REWIND!!!!!!


Can you read the date on the photo? It says 4-4-01. We're talking OVER TEN YEARS AGO people!!!!

We're downtown on a "roof-top" playground in downtown Columbus.
That much we all remembered.
It's an OAEYC 'advocate' policy event.
We all remembered that part, too.
We just don't know the politician??
Anyone recognize him??

More about the soft spot in my heart for Dayton tomorrow night.

Isn't it amazing how I haven't aged a day in ten years: laugh-out-loud!!!!
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