Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Independence, Responsibility, Clean Up Time

Ready? Prepared to be inspired?? YES? Prepare to be impressed!
This is the most 'visually-oraganized' play kitchen I've ever seen!

Organization System for Pretend Kitchen in Preschool: Photographs for Objects

This kitchen space is one I had the opportunity to photograph last week in Orange City, FL.
I'm arriving early these days for my concerts with the kiddos.
Lots to see + LOTS to share!!!
It's awesome to get tours of new programs as I make my 'music-lady' visits!!

WOW!!! Wow-wow-WoWOWoW!!!!!

I labeled the photo collage because I wanted the explanation to stay with the photos.
Does it make sense to you?

After the children have been playing all morning, what a simple system to support clean-up time!

Photographs and Object Outlines Lead to Independence in Clean Up

Plenty of cell phones available and stored right next to the tea-pot!

Children Respond to Organization of Play Space with Increased Responsibility

When its time to clean up, everyone KNOWS where things belong.
No questions about it.
Pick up after yourself.
Grow up just a little bit more.
Gain some independence.
Everything's ready for tomorrow!

Lessons in Preschool -- for a lifetime!!

Looking for other inspiration for staying organized?

Click here to see a visual schedule: Wee Ones. 
Here's a click to a different school's visual schedule.

Want to see how 7000 books are organized? Click here.

-- Debbie --

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Colorful Kindness ReInforcement

Yesterday I shared a few thoughts on recent acts-of-kindness that had been showered on me:
Receiving a still steaming loaf of home-baked bread is an act of gratitude that really grabs my attention.
Receiving handwritten thoughts of appreciation from kindergarten teachers warms my heart.

I told you then that I've had my eyes open looking for other 'systems' where we can teach kindness, generosity, maturity..... all the goodies on our adult-agenda for the children in our lives. All of this thinking reminded me of this photo I took last fall while we were out in Colorado visiting our very own western-grand-kiddos. It's been waiting for just the right moment to share!

VOILA!!!!!!!!!! Colors on the Counter!

photo of: snowman art project, kindergarten snowman, snowman bulletin board

This is our daughter-in-law, Megan's hand-writing on their simple system for their two oldest.
  • Visual!
  • Colorful!
  • Tactile!
  • Immediate!
  • Participatory!
  • Cumulative!
Doesn't this give you a gazillion ideas?
The specifics to reinforce can be determined at your house.... or in your classroom! 

Having a system?

photo of: You know you're a teacher when

photo of: children and emotions art project, emotions in children's artwork, feelings for children in art

As we consider the 'what' and the 'how' of reinforcement,
it's good to make certain that everyone has the basics on emotions.
What does sad feel like?
What does angry look like?
How will mommy feel when you share your toys?

Label those feelings together.
Then strengthen the positive choices.

-- Debbie --

Here's the link back to the Kindness Wreath.
Here's the link to the 'Filling your Bucket' article.
Here's the link over to PreK+K Sharing: "Kindness is a Super Power."

Monday, February 27, 2012

Green Eggs and Ham Fun

photo of:Dr. Seuss toddler project, painting for Green Eggs and Ham, Dr. Seus

Here's such a simple idea for young hands to respond to a classic -- as we look at all things Seuss.
GREEN circles. GREEN eggs. GREEN joy. GREEN paint!!! GREEN! GREEN! GREEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

These were on display during my adventure and two day residency in NY recently.
They seem to be even more appropriate as we think about Dr. Seuss and his contributions.

I've been thinking a lot about kindness recently. I wrote about the Kindness Wreath in this article and am delighted that it has been read enough to have landed in the Top 10 Articles around here. It's exciting to think that kindness is an issue that commands attention.

The world is in need of more kindness. So I'm keeping my eyes wide open for suggestions and methods to add to my list. Just when my eyes are wide open I'm given the happiest surprise.

photo of:Dr. Seuss toddler project, painting for Green Eggs and Ham, Dr. Seus

Last week I received this greeting card from the group of Kindergarten teachers in Daytona Beach where I had so much fun with their K-Kiddos during my Author/Illustrator visit. It really stopped me in my tracks. With the speed of life seeming to increase on a daily basis -- its really been a long time since I've received an "old school" thank-you card. I hadn't given any thought to 'missing' handwritten communications, but then out of the blue receiving one has made me feel especially warm and fuzzy ever since.

It really got me to thinking about the last time I put pen to paper to say thanks myself.

Then yesterday our neighbors returned our 'pack-n-play' that they'd borrowed for their visiting grand-babe. Along with the pack and play I was handed an enormous loaf of home baked bread --  still warm, straight out of the oven.

Long live kindness. I am so touched by these two acts of supreme generosity. Kindness takes planning and action. I've been inspired to keep these ripples of activity spreading. How do you express your appreciation?  

                                                                    -- Debbie --

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Dr. Seuss Bulletin Board: Process + Product!

It's time for Seuss Celebrations!!!
Near and far. Here and there. I see Seuss things everywhere.

It's that time of year again!!! All things striped and rhyming are decorating classrooms round the country! Here's a photo of a bulletin board in a program I visited a couple years back during one of my earlier Author-in-the-Schools visits. LUV LUV LUV LUV it!

Awesome "process-for-product" resulting in a collaborative display for their hallway bulletin board. Just exactly what I've addressed so often in other articles and issues here on my blog, as well as in my contribution to our collaborative blog over at PreK + K Sharing. It is indeed possible to engage in 'process' and end up with 'product' all the while respecting the child's own unique efforts.

How do we allow children the opportunity to create within the confines of an expected outcome? Behold one more idea. Let them create/cut their OWN stripes. Let them assemble their own stripes. Let them be in charge of their stripes! Dr. Seuss would be proud. Again, with the paper plates! Look at those INDIVIDUAL faces!

Look at the details. Do you see the 'springs' they have each created? Those too are unique!!! As is each child.

Speaking of PreK + K Sharing. Our article today is by Laura and its a round up of all things 'round the
blog-o-sphere on Seuss!!! Click right here to get to her list of tons of ideas appropriate for your center, school or library. I know you'll be happy for the research she's done on your behalf.

All hearts return to the simple picture books of our childhood.

PreK + K Sharing

-- Debbie --

**If you somehow missed my 'rant' about IP: Intellectual Property yesterday,
I have a whole interesting portion regarding
Dr. Seuss and the making of teacher lessons for re-sale.
Scroll down, or click here.

It's so exciting to be coordinating this post with a Network of Kid's Bloggers from around the world. I can bring you a glorious BlogHop of all 'things' Seuss. 
The delightful thumbnail images always show up in Chrome format. Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas 
Ready. Set. Read!
Reading Confetti 
Montessori Tidbits
Make, Do & Friend 
Putti Prapancha 
Kitchen Counter Chronicles
Living at the Whitehead's Zoo 
Mama Mia's Heart2Heart
Living Montessori Now
Kindergarten for Teachers and Parents
Toddler Approved 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Intellectual Property, Pinterest, YouTube + The Wild Wild West

Welcome to my very long ramble. Welcome to my world.
Sit down and get comfortable.... I have a lot on my mind.

Turns out I have created "Intellectual Property." Who knew?
(Now quit your guffawing family and dear friends, its true!)

But first!!! Let's start with my big tech-news!!!! I have a button with grab code!
Long story short: I would LUV LUV LUV for you to pin it. Pin it. PIN IT!!!!!

Longer short overview pertaining to my Intellectual Property
I have written and recorded over 100 original songs for children onto nine albums. I have created three picture books to the lyrics of my songs and I also have filmed a DVD. Turns out they call that 'intellectual property' even if its meant for kiddos. You can find any and all of that over at my dot com site. This is not a commercial, I just think ya gotta know how I have come to form my opinions and experience.

Most of my intellectual property is purchased by educators, often by educators in childcare -- quite possibly the most significant job on earth to receive the proportionally least significant remuneration, worse even than teachers, but that's the subject of a whole different article for sure.

There you have it. I have 'stuff'  for sale, hence forth to be referred to as my IP. One more tidbit: I've been at this company of mine for 14.75 years now, as an independent-creative, word-of-mouth sort of artisan-for-hire BELOVED by those who encounter me, yet unheard of by the VAST majority of educators -- even within my own industry. I have little pockets of rabid fans. Totally unheard of in vast stretches of the 'educational' landscape. Reaching out via blogging across the cyber-space, thru pixie dust and fairy blog mothers and a scavenger hunt of pins, is full of potential for a no-name  an independent type such as myself. Hence my persistence from my cave and..... readers..... drumroll .....  I have a blog button with code!

OK. One more tidbit. It takes 'thousands' of dollars to produce an album the way I go about it. Actually tens of thousands of dollars for my most recent projects. Turns out that I have very little actual musical talent and hire-out all of my glorious arrangements to 'music-contractors.' Turns out that I also hire a brilliant engineer to direct, record, mix and master ALL of my little ditties in his state of the art recording studio. Also adding to the bottom line budget of outgoing expense are all of those incredible session-musicians. I pay for their talent and contribution on each and every one of those little songs of mine. It all adds up to a LOT of out-go.

Debbie Clement's favorite image from her first picture book, "You're Wonderful"

While I'm at it, just one more background tidbit. I am also the publisher of my books. Rejected by all of the publishing houses I submitted the first idea to for consideration, we took out a loan against our house so that I could make my dream come true. I now have picture books that I have created. Yes. From fabric. I design. I sew together. I've added the title of author + illustrator of picture books to my resume!! I won't even tell you how much $$ that took. Our bank has all of the details. Let's just say: a LOT. Let's also say, "it can be done." Let's also say, "Hallelujah!"

Truth of the matter? Each project has kinda-sorta paid for the one that follows after. Dan Green at Amerisound Studios has allowed me to pay my hourly recording fees by credit card, in little bitty chunks, one session at a time over decades of our working together: one song at a time. So all of this has gotten accomplished in baby steps financially because his heart is big and he knows what it takes to bring that dream of original music to fruition. 

Good news? Model of persistence? Inspiration for 'hang-in-there'? Poster child for you too can get your ideas out into the world? E!!!! All of the above!!! We paid off the bank loan against our house some time back .... and I have won national awards for my work, so this is all good great news! Forward progress. Baby steps.

Back to some of the IP issues at hand.

Times that I've noticed my Intellectual Property has NOT been respected: 

  • Teachers stand in front of my booth at a conference and say to their friend, "I'll buy this CD and burn you a copy, if you buy that one and burn a copy for me." (How could I make that up?) The first time a teacher asked me to-my-face if my CD would 'burn' I thought she was concerned about how flammable my packaging might be in a fire. #DUH. Ugggh.
  • A biggish-name musician went all about the state of Ohio singing one of my very first ditties, introducing it as their very own. Word for word. Note for note. My song. #You'veGottaBeKiddingMe. Uggggh. [Brought to my attention by a mutual friend. Since an assertive conversation, and the fact that the song resides on my first album -- I have since seen appropriate (slim, but real) royalties from its being re-recorded by same biggish name. I am given credit and all of us remain friends.]
  • A school district in a northern state makes a video they upload to YouTube showcasing EVERY aspect of their entire program, using one of my songs as the backdrop to highlight every one of their departments and does not in any way give me any credit for my song which is show-casing their amazing contributions to children. People, it was choreographed on MULTIPLE locations with numerous cameras and good lighting. They would have practiced to sing my song with such enthusiasm and skill.... yet no one thought to put in a music credit?  #CutItOut!! Ugggggh. Not so much ugggggh that they don't give me credit as, ugggggh if they'd just have thought to list me, the originator of the song, all of those who liked the music could track me down and use it as well. #Missed opportunity.
You would think educators and fellow musicians would be better than this. Right? Not! I think that sometimes people think that if I have all of that product on the table in shrink wrap -- I must very likely own my very own island in the tropics and therefore must be beyond 'needing' appropriate purchase income of said IP. I'm pretty sure they don't ever calculate the actual investment in inventory that it takes to make it all available, let alone the development dollars involved. My experience.

Stick with me here folks I'm just getting started. That's my experience.
Let's poke down a few more recent rabbit holes now popping up.

Discussions that I have recently heard regarding Intellectual Property:
  1. Company that creates digital 'clip-art' has been contacted by the folks representing Dr. Seuss. Their Seuss-similar clip-art has been purchased by oodles of educators to create Seuss-fun in classrooms -- much for purchase by other educators. Turns out to have been inappropriate in the minds of Seuss reps. Said clip-art is no longer available for purchase. My guess? Must have been a very strongly worded interaction. Seuss must have a legal team. {I noticed there is still 'Star Wars-esque' clip art for sale. Hmmmmmm.  Who knows how many other big name franchise-esque images of clip art circulate in teacher-land?} Creating 'lessons-for-sale' based on the IP of others, has all sorts of ramifications beyond my expertise, but I think as a general rule? Probably NOT a good idea. My guess is that they have more litigators than you do. In the last couple of weeks I have been reading all sorts of articles about copyright and trade-mark and fair use for educational purposes. Thinking in terms of my own IP. Slippery slopes. Gray issues. For the record. As an author/illustrator. I would NOT be a fan to see lessons based on my books being created by others, and then made available -- for sale -- to the global market of additional teachers for their purchase based on my IP. Nope. Not without my written consent folks. DON'T GO THERE! I'm the one who has cobbled my ideas together. That's my IP. I'm all about you creating awesome 'stuff/IP' to share with others. Just create your own! I realize I'm no Dr. Seuss. Some of you may have thought Seuss an icon and therefore fair-game. Public domain perhaps? Or maybe ya really didn't give it a whole lot of thought because you saw others 'doing' it. Selling Seuss-able lessons. Gee-whizz. Don't know, but my thought: don't go there folks. Not without proper licensing and invitation. That stuff belongs to someone else. So does Star Wars. Just my two cents. Your mileage may vary. Now on to other issues which may be even bigger...............
  2. Teacher is told by own school district that they may not use their own self-created materials (which are also available for sale to other teachers,) within their own personal classroom. Period. Seriously? Talk about slippery slopes! Could school districts and school boards forbid teachers from educational blogging? Where is free speech? Where is IP? Where is Americana can-do spirit? Where is Intellectual freedom. Is this the ultimate NIMBY? (Not in my back yard?) Goodness. Way, way beyond my efforts to even articulate the issues, big time issues, breaking right now in real time. What I know? There are tears being shed. There are issues of control. Lots of issues. This is real. Not an urban legend. Happening. Now let's get to Pinterest.
  3. Turns out Pinterest has 'terms of use' that have evolved and apparently we were supposed to be getting permission from the original source to pin images. [For the record: I now have just over 3500 Pinterest 'followers' and have repinned somewhere near 11K images. Yes. Eleven thousand images.] No doubt I have inappropriately passed along someone's artistic bread and butter in the process and I am remorseful. Agonizing even. Has this brought them greater visibility or just diminished their work? Who am I to know? I haven't asked. I hadn't really thought about it from an IP stand point. I was 'just' saving images I liked. What to do now moving forward? Pin from bloggers I know to wish pin-visibility for their work as a beginning. Sit on my hands when it comes to the repin button Making that commitment now. My name is Debbie. I have a pin-addiction. All along I thought it was too easy. Too much of a mirage. Turns out it may indeed be too much of a good thing, too easy.  No instant abs by midnight after all. Dad-gumbit. Crummy buttons. Boogers I say! Let's figure this out. Pinterest has recently created HTML code to block the pinning of your images, but you must add it to your site. Do creative types know how to add HTML code? I suppose if they have a website they might. Chances are great, like me, technology is not their first language. They may get things into place by good grace and don't know how to update it themselves. Pinterest has acknowledged with their no-pin HTML code that not everyone is into this very indiscriminate sharing of images that I adore. Let's continue.
  4. Laura Candler of Teaching Resources through her blog, Corkboard Creations has a fascinating article, "Do You Have Permission to Pin" on this very topic on her blog. Yes. It's THE Laura Candler who earlier just this week allowed me to share a guest author spot on her massively huge site. To read my article that Laura named, "Picture Perfect Teaching with Children's Books" click here. Turns out I am indeed making connections!! She's the one responsible for this lengthy outpouring of bits and pieces today. Thank you Laura for asking me/us to take a look at our feelings regarding pinning as bloggers and make them known to our readership.
  5. Melissa Taylor of Imagination Soup fame shared this GUT WRENCHING article that she uncovered entitled, "Why I Tearfully Deleted my Inspiration Boards from Pinterest" with a group of us her fellow bloggers -- all of us concerned about all of the copyright issues involved with images at Pinterest. The author of the article is apparently BOTH a photographer AND a lawyer. Do you hear my internal organs churning? That article is longer than mine and cites case law. Her obviously brilliant lawyer-mind reaches the conclusion that the issues are many and murky.
  6. Deborah Stewart of Teach Preschool mega-fame just so happened to blog about my IP in her blog article THIS morning!!!!! She has an amazing article involving my first book and how she had the children respond to my illustrations thru creative fine motor 'quilting' preparations of yarn thru burlap..... but you'll have to go to her article to see their work. BTW: I asked permission from Deborah to share her photo of my book with you. She said YES!!!!!!!!!! [This makes me want to launch a collection of other CELEBRITIES, teachers and librarians sharing my open-book images, but I digress. FOCUS Debbie.]
Deborah Stewart of Teach Preschool Shares Debbie Clement's "You're Wonderful"

So how are all of these issues connected in my brain? In my heart?  

They all strike very near and dear to me. They are indeed connected to the bottom line. The financial bottom line. My financial bottom line. And honest-to-goodness, just as important if not more so, to me is my very own personal-legacy-bottom-line. Those of you that are aware of my two trips down the Breast Cancer diagnosis and treatment Tilt-o-Whirl journey over the last five years,  know that I speak of legacy with genuine reverence. What I have to contribute beyond my mortality is of grave importance to me.

My first thought? We are in the midst of uncharted territory. The cyber-possibilities we're considering are not just the Wild, Wild West. It is the Wild, Wild West mixed with the farthest flung galaxy, far far away. I'm no legal mind, but I'm just willing to bet that the existing laws don't address lots of the issues numbered above. How could they? Lots of these issues are just arising right now, in real time, at this very moment, THIS week! How did they deal with the first printing press? Bet it stirred up some new issues back in the day. 

Let's look at Pinterest. A visual learner's paradise. Even for the techno-challenged such as moi, it is easier to navigate than my email inbox. Truth be told, that since getting involved at Pinterest, their site is responsible for anywhere from 25 to 40% of my DIRECT daily traffic to my blog. That's a MASSIVE amount. HUGE. The difference between blogging here in my cave alone and others knowing that I exist. ENORMOUS!!!!! Pinterest is directly responsible for adding to my legacy. They bring me visibility on a daily basis. DAILY. Needless to say I want the world to figure out to embrace Pinterest and do so appropriately.

I sincerely hope that the "issues" at Pinterest revolving around copyrights and every other issue they may encounter get resolved for those who make their living on their 'visual' work -- photographers and artists come leaping to mind. Wild Wild West indeed. Teachers standing in front of me openly discussing their plans to 'burn-and- swap' hardly hold a candle to the can-of-worms-hornet's-nest evoked by the subtleties of Pinterest when it runs amuk -- without permission.

BTW: I'm getting better with my camera and I would be honored to have you pin my images as they are not my livlihood. I have decided to add my own 'credit' to my photos -- to help document them as mine. By all means save it to your screen saver. Be uplifted. Don't however use the image to manufacture greeting cards and put my photo out there into the world as 'yours.' Surely that makes sense.

I will add this l-o-n-g ramble to Laura's link-up on bloggers willing to give permission to others to pin images from their blog. If I could wave a great big huge neon fluttering polka-dotted flag of invitation to pin from my blog, I would. If I could figure out how to include that little red pin-it button on each post I would. Mental note to self: figure that out! In the mean time..... if its here, on my blog, please please please feel free to share it with the wider world. 

In the mean-time I will continue to post 99% photographs that I have taken. I am the source. I give you permission to share it. I suppose technically, if you want to repin Deborah reading my book you should ask her. Oh dear. WWW here we go (wild wild west!!!) There folks is the perfect example of the slippery slope.

*******Now people. You MUST MUST MUST learn how to connect your direct pin with its unique URL address, so that when you pin -- it is connected to the original source and the actual blog article in this example. This all gets especially 'tricky' if you see an image on someone's blog that is using a 'round-up concept,' pulling together a lot of different blogger ideas into one post at their blog. YE gads. And I know I'm guilty of poorly pinning from my own blog, so of course it requires some being awake to proceed correctly. 
*****ALWAYS click the title of the actual article on the blog for your original pin to connect to that very specific source. [There's nothing more frustrating than wanting to find the exact items in the recipe pictured and realizing you've just been directed to someone's entire blog instead of the article with the information you're seeking.]

I know that I think this is common sense, but I'll spell it out. The sort of thing you'd tell your teenager. If you don't want something on the web, don't put it there in the first place. Don't put a compromising picture on Facebook. Don't put an unflattering comment on someone's blog. Once its on the web, its on the web. Be aware.
So. As far as Debbie Clement. I welcome the pin. Pin to your heart's content. Go on at length in the description about how much you LUV the idea. While you're at it, tweet as well! Google. Stumble. Up. You know how to share appropriately? Then do so!

I ask that if you want to use images from my blog for your blog, it's appropriate and kind of you to ask for permission first. If you want to use one of my songs on YouTube, its also ubber-appropriate, important and ethical for you to ask first -- I will then remind you to give me credit in the credits of your video and we both will be very happy. If you ask me if you can use my work for your end of the year doo-dah parade I'll answer yes, I'd just request a footnote in your program. Easy peasy. Ask first. And that friends is what has been missing at Pinterest.

I want to live on the planet where everyone shares happily giving credit to the source of the idea, the origination of the inspiration and we all join hands in encouraging everyone to use their own capabilities and gifts for the improvement of our little corner of the world. Yes. I do. That's what I want, to be queen of Kweezletown, where everyone's up and seldom down. Let's work together on these issues and figure this out.

And that whole thing about 'burning' my IP to share with your teaching buddies? NEVER acceptable. Seriously. Not acceptable. In a perfect world I'd be tech savvy enough to figure out digital download. Maybe we'll get there in this lifetime. Anything's possible, right? After all you found this article. Anything's possible.

                                                          -- Debbie -- 
Believe it or not, this is the condensed version. I'll no doubt keep adding thoughts to this post. I seriously welcome your comments. Especially on this one folks. Eager to hear your thoughts. Especially if you're a blogger, or a person with IP, or you create unique original work wanting wider visibility, or if you are the creator at Pinterest -- weigh in please. 

On a completely related happy note, yesterday I was the featured blogger over at Dr.Mom Honestly people I am figuring out this get thyself connected concept!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fine Motor Development and Ideas: Part 3


From exploring with fingers to exploring with 'tools' such as brushes...... and ultimately on to crayons, pencils and then pens our muscles are refined and we choose new tools to work with. Initially there are large expanses of single colors..... the paint and tool must interact: the making of marks comes first!!!

Then there is greater experimentation -- adding to the pallette with additional colors, and very specific direction of the tool with the media: 
Open-ended exploration...... directing the media with purpose! 

I have been able to share two different 'sign-in' systems in the first two installments of this series. Be certain to click back to see each of those. Here's an entire 'writing center' large enough to accommodate two friends as they 'work' at playing in their office.

Now let our imaginations SOAR!!!!!
This is what imagination looks like:

Look at this next brilliant way to share the whole world with your students!
Think of the conversations that can be started with children --
when you have this many flags of the world!!!

Think about the dexterity that is required to guide that flag-stick into that stand!!!
Fingers + Fun + Friends!!
[There were enough flags that more than one child could be exploring together.]

Little School, Louisiana. World flags and stand for their display.

Always make a point to 'write' in front of the children.
Convey class ideas + individual thoughts for posterity.

Winter piggy-back lyrics seen in Florida!

Long Island NY Anchor Chart for Debbie Clement's song, "Glad I'm at School."

Deanna Jump's anchor chart for "Where the Wild Things Are."
When the children are 'used' to seeing the adults in their world engaged in writing,
they are much more inclined to get excited about capturing their own thoughts on paper.

Debbie Clement's handwritten "Thank you" card from kindergarten child.

-- Debbie --

****This is indeed part of an on-going series and will be added to over time!
Thanks for your pinning the images to help it circulate further!

Here's the link to all of the articles in the series.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Glorious Sunrise over the Atlantic

There are indeed moments that take your breath away.
Moments that try-as-you-might you want to freeze dry forever.

Before I had a digital camera I used to look really hard at the glory in question and then squeeze my eyes really tight and pop them open quickly to see if I had retained every tidbit and jot. I'd do that squeezing my eyes shut routine seven or nine times -- maybe a dozen if the scene was other world glorious. REMEMBER THIS!!!

I'd attempt to catalogue the emotions that went with the scene at the same time.... bottle up the image of the ROARING RED cardinal against the blistering white snow in the courtyard of the Art museum or the wee-baby-moon hanging precariously just for me against the desert's austere back drop of twilights and grays.

This is how the day launched yesterday. Dashing about, while literally hopping putting on my striped leggin's, I was gifted to look out the window of our 13th floor balcony setting -- in the nick of time. My digital camera was available with both charged batteries and memory card space!! I'm so happy to have this space to share this vista with you. Behold the view of the day dawning in Daytona Beach.

All day I pondered the concept of the moments-within-reach that I overlook, neglect or sleep through.

  • Where is my focus as each new day begins?
  • What opportunities lie at hand if only I'll change my perspective?
  • How can I stay riveted to what is most important?
  • Do I prepare myself adequately for the opportunities at hand?
  • Are there celebrations of *MOMENTS* that I miss in the rush forward? 
  • How can I apply the lessons that I learn to the larger picture? 
I think that its John Wooden, brilliant basketball coach and maker-of-men that I have heard attributed the concept of 'each day being your masterpiece.' Get out your paints and camera, your words and keyboard, your flour and yeast -- make today your masterpiece! Relish and soak up the morsels, fluff and details that make it your own.

                                                      -- Debbie --  

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Winter Fun Bulletin Board

Bulletin Board fun in Florida!!

Kindergarten kiddos surrounded by snow!
Take a close-up look at these self portraits:
Wall paper sample shirts + blouses add character detail.

Snowmen for letter recognition.

LUV getting to see how people encourage positive behavior!!

         -- Debbie --

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Snowmen Pocket Chart Rhymes

Dateline South Daytona Elementary. Kindergarten.
Documentation from my 'Author-in-the-Schools' visit last week.

LUV sharing with you the sights that I get to see on my travels out + about.

CUTE CUTE CUTE CUTE CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You've just got to LUV the weather chart here in Florida.
Let me tell you how much I don't really miss the snow of my midWest upbringing.
Bring on the sunshine!!!!
9 to 4
That's a sweet sunshine to clouds ratio!

Looking for other snow + winter activities + projects?
Look back to these earlier posts.

              Snowmen LOVE!!!!!

                                  Snowman + Writing

                                   Penguins + link to Penguin Freebies

Thanks for stopping through today, come back again soon or see me over on Pinterest!!!! 

Did you see Cathy James' amazing pin yesterday? She created a TOP 10 list of Pinterest Boards for parents and 'my' Children's Art board received mention! As a result of her brilliant 'pin' my pin board gained a quick 1000 new followers in 24 hours. Welcome aboard! I have opened the board to collaboration and have a couple dozen others adding great pins.

Does it boggle anyone else's mind that a blogger in the UK can include me on a list, pin it and suddenly as though by magic people end up here? WOWZERS! Here's the direct link to Cathy's Top Ten list.

                                                                       -- Debbie --

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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