Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Snowmen in Texas, Friendswood Texas!

photo of: Snow People in OODLES of variations at RainbowsWithinReach

Snowmen in Texas? 
Which part of Texas has snowmen you ask?
 Not just snowmen, but LOTS of snow PEOPLE?
Why, FRIENDSwood -- of course! 
I know! Because I saw them with my very own eyes.
I just made an Author/Illustrator visit and was overjoyed at their projects. 
Let's start with these gems! Snowflakes + writing! 

photo of: Snowflake Snow People with Writing via RainbowsWithinReach

Here's what the whole winter bulletin board looked like.

These snow folks know the need of a good scarf!
There's a lot of cutting in this project.....
and many ways to tie a scarf. 

And here's one portion of the over-sized snowman bulletin board of these happy characters in all of their glory. 


Now a look at some more projects that combine art with writing. 
This first one is a craftivity that explains how to build a snowman. 
The booklets are stapled at the top and open below to see the hand-written instructions and Texas insight for snowman building tucked inside. 


These snowmen paintings provide a backdrop for original poetry. 
Look at all of the details in these scarves and hats!
Buttons! Coal mouths. Even ear muffs! 


Now I have some snowpeople that combine the creative creation side with MATH!

photo of: Snow People and Math via Snowman RoundUP at RainbowsWithinReach

"My snowman is _____ cubes tall."

photo of: snowmen and math at RainbowsWithinReach
"My snowman is _______ cubes tall."

These next TRULY unique characters were created at home as homework assignments. What a fun connection between home and school.  
Look at the details that parents have helped supervise.
Look closely.
They are built on three paper plates stapled together. 
EASY PEASY!! Lemon Squeezie!! 



This final chart is the favorite part of my roaming the hallways in Texas. 
What an awesome idea to chart actual life experience. 
"Have you ever made a REAL snowman?" 
A small percentage have sealed the deal. 


Do you realize that I'm a Pinterest Princess?
I'm nearing 100,000 followers.
SERIOUSLY!
I have a Pin-Board dedicated to "Snow People."
Come follow me at Pinterest for all of the goodies I can find in one place!

All Things Snowman: Poetry, Fine Motor, Math + Art at RainbowsWithinReach

--Debbie--

I conclude today with an 'experiment' gone AMUK. Below you will find a happy little three minute slide show of my visit in Friendswood filled with a couple dozen AWESOME photos set to one of my own instrumentals. It will truly make you smile if you have a couple more minutes. It is my first time using an application called "SmileBox." I have seen others use this format on their blogs, and without checking with my braintrust, I just jumped in and made this delightful scrapbook.

Here's my experience. It was VERY easy to navigate and create the glimpse you'll see below. HOWEVER, I would NOT recommend to anyone that you join SmileBox. When I downloaded their program to my laptop, it 'high-jacked' my computer's tool bar -- obviously without my consent. This is such a HUGE nuisance. I am in OH right now and hubby/tech consultant is in FL. We tried over the phone to sort this out. An hour later, I still don't have 'my' tool bar back. I have complained in all caps and many exclamation marks but have not received any actual support from their support team. 
BOO HISS SmileBox. How dare you! Two thumbs down. WAY down. 
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Personalize a free photo slideshow

Sunday, January 27, 2013

President's Day Project Based Learning

photo of: Project Based Learning Approach for President's Day via RainbowsWithinReach

Project Based Learning! 
What do you know about this approach to learning? 

I have had the great good fortune to spend time in kindergarten recently, where the PBL approach is being explored with vim and vigor! 
With my 'Author/Illustrator Day' to their school on their horizon, 
they investigated Veteran's Day through the prism of my picture book,
"Red, White and Blue." 

Take a look at their patriotic investigation. 
Ramp up your own approach in time for President's Day. 

photo of: Project Based Patriotic Anchor Chart via RainbowsWithinReach


The anchor chart above was the backbone for the learning that unfolded over weeks of dynamic classroom investigation and instruction. It was still on prominent display in the hallway in time for my arrival. Actually the entire wall was one big anchor chart of learning. (Ohio is one of the few states left that still have many schools that have half-day kindergarten, so you'll notice each chart is duplicated: a.m. + p.m.) 


photo of: Project Based Learning Anchor Charts for American Studies at RainbowsWithinReach



Surrounding the anchor chart were AMAZING flags created by small groups within the kindergarten program. Lots and LOTS of flags!


photo of: Kindergarten Created American Flag via RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: Kindergarten Created American Flag via RainbowsWithinReach

Imagine over-sized American flags created by kindergartners, gracing every single inch of public space in an elementary school: bulletin boards and walls alike. THEY WERE EVERYWHERE! 

photo of: Kindergarten Created American Flags for Project Based Learning via RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: Kindergarten Project Based Learning American Flag via RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: Project Based Learning Approach to Patriotic Investigation via RainbowsWithinReach

Flags in every possible combination of media. 
Flags made digitally on the computer. 
FLAGS! FLAGS! FLAGS!



I'm telling you. 
When my friends in Hilliard get on a subject they REALLY explore!
RIGOR! RIGOR!! RIGOR!!!

photo of: Project Based Learning in Kindergarten via RainbowsWithinReach

Following the collaborative flag making work, the kindergarten children proceeded by studing my picture book and in that model, make their OWN picture book -- complete with their own illustrations!
They had it completed prior to my arrival....
and they were SOOOO excited to share it with me. 


You're going to LUV LUV LUV these! 
My friends in Hilliard, OH know how to take an idea and run with it!

photo of: Kindergarten Project Based Learning Picture Book via RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: Kindergarten President's Day Writing Project via RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: President's Day Class Book in Kindergarten via RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: Kindergarten Project Based Learning Picture Book via RainbowsWithinReach

Photo of: Kindergarten Project Based Learning Picture Book via RainbowsWithinReach


Here's a glimpse at a response earlier in the year created by first graders in their study of my picture book. On the left you see the quilted illustration that becomes the 'end-paper' of my book -- where the illustrations are made from fabric. On the right you see the construction paper response from the first graders. These were made on September eleventh of this school year while I was in their midst in Door County, Wisconsin. 


After the students shared their 'book' with me the very next item on the agenda was for them to 'perform' my song for me!!! Just prior to my arrival they had invited all of the Veterans in their school family to come for a grand performance..... so they had given much preparation. Singing my song for me--the author/illustrator/music-lady was just the cherry on the top of months of learning about America, our flag, our history and what makes us great. 

What?!?! You don't know my song? We must remedy that right away. Here's a YouTube video filmed in Illinois at their annual Reading Conference where I presented workshops. The teachers are learning the sign language as the song unfolds.


Here's a look inside my book! 
YES!!! 
I made the illustrations from fabric as small quilts!


YES!!!
I included all of the bits and pieces in the book that teachers have asked for!


If this is your first visit around here, let me tell you that I'm a Pinterest Princess! 
I have a collection of all things patriotic to support your use of my song. 
I have 465 ideas already pinned and awaiting your search. 
Click right here to go to my "Red, White and Blue" board at Pinterest. 

At the end of last week I installed the code, 
so that if you hover over any picture on my blog you can pin it easily. 
Please-o, Please-o, Please-oooooo Pin to your heart's content. 

I now have over 90,000 followers at Pinterest!!!
I'm so grateful for every pin you add out there to the wider world. 


Of course you can always order the picture book directly from my website

Pre-K, Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth - TeachersPayTeachers.com
My growing TpT Store

Or if you are already shopping over at Teachers Pay Teachers today, I have my books listed there as well. I have my books on sale today at TpT..... so hurry because I'll have to ship it to you. If you need the song and sign language chart IMMEDIATELY you can get the digital file with Mp3 versions of both the song and its instrumental accompaniment from TpT as well. 


photo of: Early Education Emporium: Shopping with the Authors of PreK+K Sharing

If you're up for a new shopping adventure, come visit our EARLY EDUCATION EMPORIUM -- brought to you by the authors of our collaborative blog PreK+K Sharing! The digital version is available right here in my own personal EEE! Check out all of the other resources under our umbrella! We are looking for other contributors to the EEE and you have the unique opportunity to list as many items as you'd like for free -- now until the end of June. Come on over and explore!


-- Debbie -- 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Snowflake RoundUP: Arts + Fine Motor

photo of: Fine Motor Leads to Fine Arts, Part 42: The Snowflake Edition at RainbowsWithinReach

WELCOME!!! The series continues! 
FINE MOTOR LEADS TO FINE ARTS: 
Installment #42, The Snowflake Edition

photo of: Fine Motor Motivation for Muscles with Ice at RainbowsWithinReach

This week I have oodles of images to share. Few words. 
In 'real time' I've just arrived in Friendswood, Texas! 
I'm here for tomorrow's school visit, 
hosted by the miracle-in-the-makeing, Barbara Gruener. 
Yes. The same Barbara who has survived a head on collision exactly two weeks ago at the hands of a drunk driver. 


To see the photos of her car is to truly have evidence of miracles. 
Barbara is the author of the blog 
We've been plotting and planning today for over a year.
I'm so glad that I was able to give her a gentle hug. 
She won't be able to participate in the day's festivities, 
but we are FOREVER grateful for her emergence back to life. 

Now, back to fine motor fun. 
This week it's all about snowflakes. 
I'll add some words later, but I think you can get the idea.

photo of: Snowflake RoundUP at RainbowsWithinReach


photo of: Snowflake Open-Ended Art Exploration at RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: Coffee Filter Snowflakes via RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: Painted Handprint Snowflakes via RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: Snowflake Bulletin Board from Painted Hand Prints via RainbowsWithinReach
Bulletin Board of Painted Handprint "Snowflakes" 


photo of: Bulletin Board: Blizzard of Friendship via RainbowsWithinReach
Bulletin Board of "Written" Snowflakes on Friendship

photo of: Written Snowflake on Friendship via RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: Written Snowflake on Friendship via RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: Written Snowflake on Friendship via RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: Written Snowflake on Friendship via RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: Written Snowflake on Friendship via RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: Glitter Snowflake

Here's the evidence of a quick hop to the Dollar Store. 
Here's what two dollars can get you. 
Pipe cleaners + beads = Snowflakes!

photo of: Fine Motor Snowflake with Beads on Pipe Cleaner via RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: Fine Motor Snowflake with Beads on Pipe Cleaner via RainbowsWithinReach


photo of: Snowflakes on Contact Paper via RainbowsWithinReach Snowflake RoundUP

photo of: Winter Tissue Paper Collage on Contact Paper via RainbowsWithinReach Snowflake RoundUP

photo of: Winter Tissue Paper Collage on Contact Paper via RainbowsWithinReach Snowflake RoundUP

photo of: Winter Collaborative Art Project via Snowflake RoundUP at RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: Snowflake Symmetry Art Project in the Elementary School Art Room via RainbowsWithinReach Winter RoundUP
Symmetric Snowflakes 

photo of: Snowflake Symmetry via RainbowsWithinReach Winter RoundUP of fun
Paper Snowflakes
-- Debbie -- 
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