Sunday, April 29, 2012

April Showers: Art + Writing

photo of: kindergarten spring writing, writing about rain, writing with umbrellas

fine motor writing, weather bulletin board, spring time Art project

April Showers........................


What a precious way to create a writing prompt and reflection experience for kindergarten students: Little yellow raincoat 'slickers' for spring! Sharing an umbrella with a friend!!! I took these photos last week during my author-lady visit to Garden Elementary in Venice, FL.


These beauties really brightened their spring time kindergarten classroom's bulletin board -- all of those little yellow slickers looked bedazzlin'! Thought I'd better hurry and get these posted while its still APRIL! 


photo of: Kindergarten spring bulletin board, children with raincoats, umbrellas in preschool,




Where does the time go? Before ya know it...... May flowers will be upon us! 


Today over at our PreK+K Sharing collaborative blog, we have a new guest-author posting about the value of taking the time to 'teach' drawing skills (specifically adding details to drawings) for young children and the connection to writing skill development. Click right here to go over to April Larremore of "Chalk Talk" fame and read her amazing insight. The pictures she has to share are incredible! 


                            -- Debbie --

Friday, April 27, 2012

Fine Motor Friday, Part 11


photo of: Fine Motor and Fine Arts, Squares on Bulletin Board, tissue paper art

Welcome back!!! It's Friday!!!! 
That means its' FINE MOTOR FRIDAY!!!
We're already on to part eleven of the series! WOW!!! 
I thought it would be fun to take a look at 'shapes' today. 
Shapes in Preschool Art. Shapes in kindergarten. Let's get started with shapes!
Shapes in Fine Motor. Shapes in Fine Arts!


SHAPES! SHAPES!! SHAPES!!!
A strong foundation with the basic shapes establishes an introduction to math and geometry at a very young age. Bring on the shapes!


Circle shape inPhoto of: circle shape in preschool, drawing circles, fine motor development, ECE, NAEYC
Independent coloring: exploring all manner of circular shapes, ovals, balloons, color. EXTRAVAGANZA!!
Imagine my excitement to arrive early for my latest author-illustrator school visit to my local VPK (Voluntary PreKindergarten) to find the children engaged in an 'open-ended' session of drawing. Most of the children in this class are five years old and by this time of year they were working independently and with enthusiasm. 


What struck me was how there were so many children employing 'shapes' as their subject..... yet each was unique in their approach!! The young boy above was lovin' his circular fun and this next sweetie below had divided her paper into triangles to get underway. 


photo of: Developmentally Appropriate Practice study of shapes in early childhood education
Here come the triangles. Dividing your paper itself into triangles to explore color!


At a table all the way across the room another girl had also divided her paper into triangles, but had a slightly different take on the way she got things underway. 


photo of: Triangles within drawing, Early childhood education shapes
Yet more triangles in the division of paper. Creating a spring pin-wheel of colors!!


Here's an approach from a boy at yet another table. Rather than dividing his page into triangles to color.... he is focused on creating triangles as the very subject itself! Can you tell he's movin' at the speed of sound. Go triangles!


photo of: Triangles in drawing, Preschool triangles, Shapes in preschool, Shapes in kindergarten
Here the triangle itself is being explored as the subject for coloring. Go Mr. Triangle.


And lookie here. Sitting right next to Mr. Triangle was Missy Square. Look at her stacking of boxes. I was fascinated, because of course to me -- all of her adjoining squares looked like a quilt!! Look at her design choices. Look at her color choices. Look at those happy squares!


Quilted squares within squares and yet more squares. Geometry at Preschool!!


Perhaps I shouldn't be so surprised about these children and their choice of shapes within an open ended drawing session. Their school has a 'shape-of-the-week theme' and for this particular day.... are you ready? TRAPEZOID. I kid you not! Next time I come in will there be children drawing trapezoids in the open ended drawing session?


How often have you spoken of trapezoids with young children?


These little red trapezoid purses were the 'craft' of the day: fine motor fun in lacing up the yarn thru the pre-punched holes and then decorated with stick on shapes.


photo of: trapezoid shape in preschool, fine motor lacing activity, shapes in art for children
Did you say trapezoid? Look at the various sensory explorations of the trapezoid!!


Long time readers know that I have an obsession fascination with polka-dots -- also known by the academicians in our midst as 'circles.' So I have a long-standing tradition of photographing the circles I see in my travels. These are Colorado circles. Can you tell?


photo of: Paper plate art projects, paper plate crafts, paper plate project in preschool, circles on paper plate
Future round up? Ways to use paper-plates in Art and crafting explorations.


photo of: print making in preschool, stamping projects, preschool bulletin board for shapes


If you look really closely at these happy face smiles above, you can see that the 'eyes' are actually circles! They've used those little white gummy hole reinforcement circles for eye details and then the children have colored inside the circle reinforcers. CLEVER!! CLEVER!!! (Ohio circles.)


Next come Louisiana Seurat circles. Followed by New York circles!


photo of: Fine Artists with children, Seurat, pointillism, circles in preschool, kindergarten Art with shapes


photo of: shapes, shapes for kids, shapes in preschool, shapes in geometry




Next up. Some more Louisiana circles. ACTUAL child's work!


photo of: 100 Day celebration in kindergarten, 100 Day party, 100 day art projects

These two circle extravaganza's are from the '100 Day' celebration in the kindergarten pod at South Daytona Elementary earlier this spring. LUV the circles! Luv the shapes! Luv the geometry exploration!!

Just yesterday I had those cutie-little ladybugs in my round-up of all things ladybug. File them today under the 'circle' category!






When we start with a strong foundation and a focus on the 'shapes' in our world, then it should come as no surprise that children can replicate them in their painting at the easel as well. Speaking of geometry, take a look at these beauties! Talk about fine motor! Talk about fine Arts! Talk about GEOMETRY in preschool!!! Bingo-bango!!


geometry for children, geometry in early childhood, shapes in art paintings


Simple projects work so well with little fingers! Spring birds by changing colors!


shapes in children's art, preschool shapes, fun shapes


Here's a collection of shapes all of the way from my day in Reggio Emilia, ITALY, almost exactly one year ago. These are 'upcycle' shape people from bits and bobs of material. They were actually QUITE large in person. [Something of the scale is lost thru this collage.]


photo of: Shapes in Reggio, shape people, shapes for kids, preschool shapes
This next bulletin board of happy shapes was assembled in Cleveland in honor of my coming to their program serving children with special needs. These are commercially available 'sticky' shapes that the children have applied with abandon. They really look like Debbie Clement is ready to have some fun, don't they?


You know I LUV this type of preparation with the children before I arrive!


Remember!!! Always have the children see you in the process of writing! (Even before they can read!) 




YIKES?!?!?!?!?!


How did this post go to publish mode? I'm still writing it! 
Google. STOP!!!! This isn't supposed to go live till much later. AKKKKK!! Come back later and I'll have finished putting it together. Talk about a work in progress!!!


                                   -- Debbie --



Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ladybug Craft for Young Children

photo of: Ladybug bulletin board, ladybug craft for children, insect art for preschool

Do you LUV ladybugs? 
Do you feel lucky when you see a ladybug? 

They ALWAYS put a smile on my face. 
Especially in artwork. 

So graphic. 
So simple!!

Are you wrapping up the year with insects? 
Winged creatures? 
The color red?
Circles?? 

Ladybugs are such happy additions for spring artwork. 
These insects were still drying during my music-lady visit. 

I can just imagine them on a spring insect bulletin board!!

photo of: Insect craft for young children, ladybug project for kindergarten, bulletin board Head Start

Or mix-it-up and have all sorts of spring. 

photo of: ladybugs paper plates

Did you get a chance to see my ladybug puppet tutorial?
Just click back here for that idea. 

photo of: Ladybug puppet tutorial, DIY ladybug puppet, ladybug craft for spring
-- Debbie --

Looking for butterflies in children's Art? 
Here's the link to that round-up. 


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Organize Your Classroom Materials

photo of: Classroom organization, teacher organization ideas, shelves in preschool
How do you keep your classroom organized?
How are you managing your Pinterest browsing these days? 
Do you get all *motivated* or do you feel yourself getting over-whelmed? 
Seeing ALL of the 'possibilities' has the potential to bring out a sense of inferiority. 

My suggestion? Prioritize. Do your pin-browsing and then......
Get enthused about one idea, get those pieces together and take ACTION!
Raise your hand if you have a pin board for 'organization.' 


photo of: Organize fine motor materials, fine motor manipulative materials, preschool shelves organized
Preschool Shelving and Organization of Manipulative Materials: buckets on shelves, dividing each type of material.

One of my favorite aspects of making school visits, wearing my author/illustrator hat, is the opportunity to 'see-how-other-people-manage.' I LUV walking into classrooms to see how things work, to see how this professional has organized their space. It's a little bit like eaves-dropping. I seldom know the teacher well --- 
if at all.  I'm a visitor. Popping in. Clicking a few pictures. Filing away a few ideas to revisit later. Vowing to learn from the best ideas I see on my travels. 

Welcome to my classroom-observations.............


photo of: Organize teacher supplies, kindergarten organization, teacher materials organization
Kindergarten classroom organization of fine motor manipulative materials.... a bin for each type of material. 

These are two different kindergarten takes on making all of the variety of materials available to eager students. I can see the system within the bins below. There are containers of like-materials within the larger bin itself.... sub-dividing the space. What do you think? 


photo of: kindergarten shelf organization, getting organized, organized classroom materials


Kindergarten Organization of Building Materials within Bins onto Shelves

I will tell you that in even my few moments on-site, I can reach a quick conclusion as to how well the children function as a group -- in their physical setting. There are some places that appear pretty 'random' and others like these above that have a system in place for the many materials that are the delight of young children. 


Photo + Outline for Organizing Dramatic Play

Did you see my previous article that took the children's dramatic play shelves to an art-form of organization? Here's one little glimpse. If you want to see the other examples just click back here to see additional photos of this approach to organization. 

These next couple of photos are from my local VPK and these are some of their materials in the midst of their 7000 books. To see how they organize those 7000 books, you've got to go back in time, by clicking to this article.

Sensory materials shelved within 'library' of books!

photo of: Art supplies organized at school, library organization of books
Craft materials shelved within 'library' of books!

Take a look at this librarian's collection of goodies!!! 
Her collection of high-tops alone wins a prize!
I LUV the way she has the books and the 'props/puppets' together on the shelf. Her array of tennis shoes is just a tad hilarious!


Here's a peak at a system of organizing all of those art tools: brushes and markers and rolling brayers, Oh MY!!! -- from my field trip day in Reggio Emilia, Italy last year. [Wanna see all of my Reggio 'articles' from my visit there, this time last year? Click here for Reggio.]


photo of: Organized Art materials in Reggio, Reggio Art supplies, Organized classroom,
Reggio Emilia Italy, Arts Materials within Bins Hanging from the Wall


This week my author-visit took me into Garden Elementary in Venice Florida. It was coordinated by Joanna Davis of "Our Art Lately" and so I had a couple of minutes to buzz through her Art Room. Take a peeeeeek!

Shelf of Organized Art Supplies in Variety of Containers for Easy Access

Now that I've made a transition to Art materials...... I LUV this photo, let alone the way the paint is organized. 

You know I LUV seeing Arts materials all in a row, organized, accessible and ready to use! The brand new paints housed in a box in a bin just makes me smile! I also LUV this 'up-cycled' veggie tray, repurposed for use with craft supplies.

photo of: Organized classroom, organize craft materials, preschool craft materials,
"Up-cycle" your Veggie Tray from the Deli for use to Organize Crafting supplies

There's even a system for organizing your 'Boomwackers.' While at Garden Elementary, I was stationed in the music-room. How much do you adore Boomwackers? Ya knew I LUV their colors alone, right?



If you're looking to 'organize' your day, in addition to your stuff -- I've posted previously about using a visual planner -- very helpful for children. 


Daily Schedule: portrayed through photographs of activities

Now. Let's get closer to home. My home. Look at my ol' personal play-space!
My Quilting/Art Studio:
My quilting studio: IKEA shelves + tables, "Container Store" drawer towers


I think that much of the success of the system has to do with the 'back-bones' of the shelving and containers themselves. I'm such a fan of IKEA, the "Container Store" and Target. It is possible to set up an affordable system. Give a lot of thought to the 'buckets' that will house the loose pieces. That's my quilting studio with all my favorite spaces, subdivided with buckets and baskets!

The wealth of 'educational-teacher-blogs' and 'mommy-blogs' has opened our classrooms and living rooms to one another. We can learn much from our peers and contemporaries. We just need to keep in mind that everyone brings their own strengths to the Pinterest show. 

**INTERRUPTION FROM THE FUTURE**** NEWSFLASH**
Based on the fact that this article became my #1 viewed post of all time, I then intentionally 'set out' to take pictures to share of organized classrooms vignettes.

That efforts took MONTHS and if you LUV'd this one you're gonna go crazy for this next installment - its at least five times as packed! Here's a peeeek, [click here.]



From there I went on to create another in this continuing series. Click here to see the photos from Part Three, there's still more ideas to share! 

photo of: Classroom Organization Vignettes (RoundUP via RainbowsWIthinReach)
Part 3 on Organization in the Classroom

Our new-ish collaborative blog, "PreK+K Sharing," has had a couple of articles that are very specific to organizing. Deanna Jump had an insightful and FUNNY article including her New Year's resolutions. Click right here to see her insight and read her helpful + humorous suggestions. 


Deanna Jump's classroom approach to getting organized. 

Also at "PreK+K Sharing," Pam Bergman took the time to share her specific system of organizing all of her many flannel board stories and their many pieces and parts. To see how she uses that system in her classroom that serves children with special needs, just click right here to jump right into her article. 


-- Debbie -- 
Another note from the future!

I am now an Amazon Affiliate and when you click through from here to do your shopping, you are supporting my 'retirement' account. THANKS! 

Pre-K, Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth - TeachersPayTeachers.com
I have now opened a TpT store for my original children's songs. 
They include zipped files with Mp3s and support materials. 
Come by and pick up your FREEBIE and get acquainted. 




 Please insert this slide above into your blog article (new or old) and add my back link within your article. 
Bazinga!!    
          Let's get it together!!

I'm not the only one with a summer organization blog hop. 
Look at Confessions of a Teaching Junkie for additional ideas.   
Kindergarten RoundUP                                     
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