Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spring Time Fun!! Guest Post by A. McDonald

The most delightful thing about the cyber world is the opportunity to 'meet' amazing people from far and wide. I recently had an opportunity to write a guest post for Allison of "No Time for Flash Cards" fame [click here to see the thoughts on creativity I shared with her readers.] I'm so thrilled to introduce my regular readers to this delightful author and her corner of the world -- from here beneath my rainbow-banner.  -- Debbie --

Guest Post by Allison McDonald of No Time For Flash Cards

Has spring sprung where you are? Here in the very rainy PNW we are finally seeing some signs. On a walk with my daughter last weekend we saw and played with the pretty pink blossoms on the cherry trees that are all over our town. This is a simple craft but a great way to bring outside in even if it's raining and celebrate spring and new beginnings. Whenever I do an activity like this with a group of kids ( I did this one with 4 ) I start with a question.

"What is happening to the trees outside?"

Let them answer .


After the answers are all shared and every voice has had a chance to speak up I will direct the discussion if need be, With these guys there was no issue. " It's spring, the trees are getting leaves! The sun is making it grow! "

Then we went outside for some branches.

When we came back in we grabbed some paint, cupcake liners and brushes.

I offered lots of colors of paint and of course it all got mixed together they loved the way it swirled.

Painted the liners and let them dry just a bit.

Fold and cut.

Now the group I was with would not have been able to do the hot gluing but if you are doing this with kids that are able , I would have them glue their own on the branches.

I popped the branches in a old vase , it was easier to glue already in the vase.

I used a lot of glue and only burned myself twice ( a record for me, I am a glue gun jinx) happily no "bad" words were said in front of other people's kids.

Voila a little bit of kids made spring for your classroom or house.

Allison McDonald is a former teacher and the founder of a blog all about early education, kids' activities and crafts.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Children's Artwork for the Spring

Debbie Clement, handprint flowers, spring bulletin board, painting
Hand-print flowers of welcome for Artist in the Schools visit: Debbie Clement. Have guitar will travel.

 Blog world friends.
I have no words today.

Enjoy these images as a herald of spring.
Photos from my past visits to schools......
Making my way as Author in the Schools. 

Very Hungry Caterpillar bulletin board, collage paintings, preschool, children's Art

Spring flowers, child's painting, bright colors, happy, preschool,

Fairy caves, fairy houses, upcycled materials, fairy garden, preschool, fun
Fairy caves created from 'up-cycled' cyliners

Spring painting, toddlers, hot air balloon, bright colors, mural, collaborative
Hot air balloon painting by toddlers

Toddler painting, beach, horizon, sunset, beach umbrella, early childhood

Spring daffodils, pink tulips, spring flowers, spring photograph, spring photography

preschool cardinal painting. bird, early childhood, spring children's art, bulletin board

preschool cardinal painting. bird, early childhood, spring children's art, bulletin board

clown, elementary Art, bright colors, children's art, children's painting, flourescent colors

                                                                               -- Debbie --

Last week's article with the spring round up actually had words.... it's already in the Top 10. If you missed it, you'll want to go check it out by clicking here.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Las Vegas: NCCA Big Time!

Shawn Brown, Debbie Clement, NCCA,
Dateline: Las Vegas. What happens in Vegas... stays with you a long time. Vegas is full of memory making opportunities. 
Just how much fun did we have in VEGAS?
Just how much fun is it to rub elbows with Mr. SuperFun himself? I LUV'd getting the opportunity to spend time with Shawn Brown of the SuperFunShow!!

Just how much fun is it to be on 'da-big-stage' for a national organization?

Debbie Clement leads line-dancers at NCCA in Vegas to her "ABC Rap"!!

It was a true honor and joy to present my workshops before an INTERNATIONAL gathering.

How great a party does NCCA throw?
National Child Care Association = movers + shakers!
Owners + directors of childcare centers....
Decision makers one and all.

NCCA President Linda Kostantenaco talks with MDA Ambassador Bryson Foster (a Bengals fan), his dad, and Mike Blishak (MDA).

Bryson is quite an Ambassador for MDA and gave an amazing speech during the luncheon -- to an over-flowing ballroom of adults. He had the whole place laughing from the moment he rolled onto the stage.

Can you see the carrot cake slices on the table?
I'm tellin' ya -- these folks know how to throw a party!!
Sure hope that I get invited back again!!!

                                                             -- Debbie --

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Visual Schedule for Preschool

Visual Schedule, Preschool, Visual planning, Photo schedule

Here's another variation on presenting the day's schedule
in a VISUAL display.

I've had a few other examples here earlier.

Visual Schedule, Preschool, Visual planning, Photo schedule

This one is from my visit earlier this year in New York.

Here's a different VPK in FL.

Visual schedule for young children, ECE, NAEYC, planning schedule

What ever method you use to help the children transition from one activity to the next -- especially in a visual presentation -- will go a long way toward establishing that sense of routine, which builds a sense of trust.

Cue: Hokey Pokey theme song......... "and that's what it's all about!"

                                                                  -- Debbie --

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Writing Prompts from Photos

NEW 'writing' prompts...........
Which could just as easily be 'conversational' prompts.

I told you yesterday that I get quite a considerable amount of traffic here because of Pinterest.
Turns out that google also sends me some folks.
My analytics indicate that some arrive here in search of writing prompts!

photo writing prompt, flamingos, elementary writing, creative writing

So here's a few more from my recent adventures.

photo writing prompt, creative writing, sentence prompts, primary writing skills

Are you looking for the initial batch?

Not to be sexist but I worked hard to create some images that I thought the boys would especially respond to and those are in this link. The second set can be found housed here -- just click the word 'here' earlier.

The intial sets were created for a linky blog hop and they are all housed in a Pinterest collection that you can access right here.

                                                                                -- Debbie --

Monday, March 26, 2012

Permission to Pin, PLEASE!!!

welcome wreath for school, crayon wreath, Pinterest image, Pinterest permission

Pinterest is changing the day for teachers....
In small ways and larger ones as well.

I saw this wreath on a classroom door and I'm fairly certain I had seen the idea previously on Pinterest!

We are able to share visual inspiration:
from bulletin boards, door displays and elves-on-shelves
all the way to center-games and tutorial interventions.

I wrote a HUGE article on my eagerness to have folks 'pin' from my blog in this long ramble earlier.

Our friend Zina, Queen-of-Pin Boards is hosting a link-up at gather up a list of bloggers eager to have their articles pinned.

I want to go "on record" again that I'm EAGER, DELIGHTED, ENTHRALLED, and APPRECIATIVE to have
you share material from my 'files' and articles here -- to the wider world through Pinterest.

It's seriously an enormous help and I'm very grateful to reach new readers as a result of your sharing an image and giving it a kicky description.

Pinners Welcome

PIN + PIN + PIN!!!!

-- Debbie --

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Five Year Cancer-versary

Today was a big day...... on so many levels.
Today's our wedding anniversary. Happy 18th honey.

So we made it an adventure day. We packed up our TwinZees and headed east to an Air show and from there to the beach. That's a BIG day with three year olds!
GeeGee wearing Mr. T's green-glasses, at his insistence (honestly.)

We gathered up my brother to take in all the sights and act as our official family photographer.
It's an airplane taking off!!!!

PRETTY AWESOME to have a new generation of pointing finger in pictures!
(Please forward photo to Uncle Dale for little T's official family pointing shot.)

We went on from the planes and their loop-ti-loopin' to go
TO THE BEACH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

children in ocean

Guess what?
They liked it!!! They really liked it!!!

My amazing survivor 'scarf' filled with individual ribbons of support from fans
Irony of all ironies --  today is also the day that I 'celebrate' as the anniversary of my becoming a cancer survivor. Today is FIVE years since my surgery for my first diagnosis of Breast Cancer. Five years is a big deal in the land of cancer. Since I've been diagnosed a second time in that five years -- I have a variety of 'dates' associated with this component of my life..... and that cancer-ver-sary concept can get kinda complicated. 

Saying that the observation of cancer milestones is 'bittersweet' is a gigantic under-statement. Emotions run in every possible direction. All at the same time!

Reflection is a good thing.
Sunrise and sunsets are good. 
One foot in front of the other.
Roller coaster + tilt-o-whirl.
Counting your blessings:

By stacking all of those individual days into a big pile it becomes five years -- if you're on the 'happy' end of the cancer spectrum -- that is. I have had that great good fortune. I have reached my five year milestone. I have reason to celebrate. I have reason to be jubilant. I have reason to be smiling. I also have reason to be reflective. Not everyone is as fortunate as I am. There are brilliant individuals that science fails.

pink tulips, breast cancer, hope
I'm an incredibly fortunate person.......... to have had these five years.The twins are less than a month from their fourth birthday -- that's a pretty big Daily Double!!! Being a super-part of their world for these recent days is heart-humbling.  I'm the poster-child for: 'early diagnosis saves lives.' Saving lives is a glorious goal. Finding the CURE is the prayer on everyone's heart. Finding the CURE is why we light each candle.

cathedral candles, Hope photograph, breast cancer

Days at the beach. Days with family. Days making a splash. That's what surviving is all about.

                                    Milestone days.

Saint and faithandfifty: Door County 'bucket-list' adventure, northern WI

Saint comes to Chicago to be "my people" at a conference

It's a day like today that I think of my sistah-hood..... of the many facing decisions and milestones on a whole different level. I think of my cancer-mentor who saw me through my second diagnosis and its various complications. I think of my dear sweet angel, Saint, who laughs with me through the hiccups of the day from her perch in heaven. Our families became bonded over the years -- golfing, laughing and rollicking in the good times. LUV this picture. Landmark. Classic. Good times. Memories.

Wilson family at Wilson's: bucket-list RV camping trip of hilarity

In my many travels I have been fortunate to meet a variety of my surviving sisterhood.

Great Googala-moogala it's us in Lousiaiana -- what a LUV!

The two Debbie-mommy-suriviors, enjoying the Carolina beach

Columbus Komen walk, GO TEAM JANUARY!!!!!

Michigan grannies sharing a brunch + new milestone

Breast cancer survivor, hope, breast cancer walk t-shirt

Mini-Gathering outside of Washington DC: House-keeping bunnies!!

My number one cheerleader from Utah -- survivors meet at national conferences!

dozens of pink roses, breast cancer survivors, survivor walk

I end my reflections as I began.
Thinking about anniversaries. Thinking about the support of moving forward.

I have had the great good fortune of two 'early' diagnosis -- which is the best news possible.
Beyond that gift, I have had a super hero holding me up the whole entire time.
Every day.
Getting my ducks in a row.
My own SUPER HERO..... making every day an adventure!

Here's to the next five years. Here's to finding the CURE. Here's to prayers for those who go on without their loved ones. Here's to prayers for those in the midst of the fight. Here's to HOPE. Here's to each day as it presents itself. Milestones. Munchkins....... and many more.

                                                                                  -- Debbie --

Thanks to everyone involved at BCO for being there over the whole five year journey. So delighted to get to meet many of you in person.... those hugs go a VERY long way toward healing. 

Strength and courage. 
Strength and courage. 
Strength and courage.

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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