Sunday, September 29, 2013

Timelines: Marking the Passing of Time at School

Halloween Costume Timelines via RainbowsWithinReach

Halloween Costumes over Time 

TIMELINES: Helping young children understand the passage of time is important -- yet challenging. We all know that everything in the mind of a six year old happened this morning ~~ after breakfast. Grasping the concept of the passing of time is the needed foundation for the understanding of such higher level consideration as to how the seasons follow each other around the migration of the sun and ultimately the entire history of civilization. 

photo of: Calendar BIG Picture, photographs and graphics to connect the day's main idea (for children with special needs)

We start with 'yesterday/today/tomorrow.' {This brilliant yet super simple idea is from an earlier RoundUP here on all things 'visual cue/prompt.'} We can then move on and then upgrade to days of the week. Before you know it the months of the year are part of circle time. BIG TIME! 

Halloween Bulletin Board in Elementary School via RainbowsWithinReach

This has got to be one of the most clever and meaningful assignments that I've seen in my Author/illustrator school visit travels. This Halloween bulletin board was on display last year in Colorado. I had borrowed my step-son's guitar and ventured over to the WesternWonderPeep's school to serenade and share my creative process. 

As is my delight, I document the excellence in education I observe during my adventures, to share with you here. I've been saving these pictures for-ever. I'm sharing now in the hopes of giving you sufficient time to replicate the concept in your setting. 

Creating Timelines in Elementary based on Halloween Costumes via RainbowsWithinReach

Students were given the homework assignment of gathering photos of themselves in their annual Halloween costume. Once gathered then the individual timelines were made using the pictures. If you look at the samples in the the various timeline collages in this article, you can see that the images were labeled in a manner of different ways. 

Halloween Bulletin Board using Costume Timelines and Student Jack-o-Lanterns via RainbowsWithinReach

The school hallway bulletin board had student created jack-o-lanterns mixed in among the timelines -- making for an extra festive Halloween display. 

Halloween Costume Timelines in Elementary School via RainbowsWithinReach

Truth-in-blogging-fine-print. This is one of those homework assignments that make parents absolutely shudder to their core. Locating (and then printing) the necessary photographs will no doubt make parents use words not intended for their child's ears. I know this project will be stressful from the parent perspective. No small task digging around through files and scrapbooks to find the needed ingredients. Give as much time as possible to for parents to get their homework together. This is likely to become an annual project..... so parents touring the building will have a year to plan ahead for when their kiddo gets into your room! 

But what could be 'more' meaningful from a young child's perspective than seeing themselves in costume through the years? Documenting the passage of time? Bazinga! PRICELESS!!!

Timeline of Halloween Costumes to Document the Passing of Time via RainbowsWithinReach

***Of course if you 'find' this article well past Halloween, or if your school no longer acknowledges Halloween, or if you have a student whose family doesn't participate in costumes -- this idea of "timelines" could be adapted to be the moments celebrated at milestones such as a 'birthday celebration' timeline -- or though shorter, even a first day of school photos, or a choose the milestone of your own that is documented annually (Christmas, snowman building, Sukkot etc etc.) 

As with all things, we get the glimmer of a great idea and then we adapt it for appropriateness to the age and setting where we are located.

Yes! Pin, pin, pin, please! I'm so grateful for every pin. 

In real time. Today is moving day! We have crossed the country and are now in the process of MOVING in to our new little home in Vero Beach! We have had all the walls painted and the flooring replaced. Now all we need to do is gather our furniture that has been stored down here -- awaiting ouf arrival with a truck! 

{Sunday SALE!} Today I put my zipped file for "All Together Now" on sale for the coming couple of days. 

Think good thoughts over the next several days for our moving/settling in process. The last week has been pretty incredible and we're both fairly exhausted. Here's to palm trees and sunshine as a reward. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Back to School Welcome Bulletin Boards

Back to School Bulletin Boards at RainbowsWithinReach

Bulletin Boards for Back to School

I know that I have new visitors here in search of bulletin board inspiration. I can 'see' that because of the web searches that deliver new viewers. So I go in 'search' of bulletin board ideas to capture, which will reward your search. Today I have a delightful collection of goodies to share. Monday of this week I had the honor of delivering an all day seminar on the power of the Arts in Early Childhood, to the incredible and dedicated teaching staff of the Head Start program(s) in and around Cambridge, OH. 

Apple Themed Back to School Bulletin Board at RainbowsWithinReach

Let me just tell you that I did indeed have BUSHELS of fun with Head Start... the newest branch of my fanclub. Passionate and receptive. Spirited and enthusiastic. Incredible. Speaking to a responsive audience is about as much 'fun' as you can have. Monday was an amazing day on ALL levels.

As our day together concluded, with me receiving a gen-u-ine standing ovation (bringing me nearly to tears) -- some brilliant one had the idea to pose all of us together for a Yearbook picture. Can you 'spot' me? I'm the one pinching myself for being so fortunate. Squeezing the tears out of my eyes. 

I learned a lot while on site with these amazing women. The most alarming fact of my 'learning'? I learned the starting wage for a classroom teacher (which requires a four year education degree.) Shocked. Disheartening. Upsetting. Agonizing. 

I also learned that this system "lost" an entire site for serving children and families, with the last set of federal cutbacks. Eight teachers lost their jobs. Forty five children lost classroom assignments. How many families does that mean? 

Back to School Bulletin Board with Harvest Theme at RainbowsWithinReach

I've always 'known' that early childhood education was a labor-of-LUV for many. I've always known that many of the professionals that I've met in private preschools consider their position as something of an altruistic contribution to their community. Many 'preschool' teachers are able to make that contribution due to the support of their spouse. 

Back to School Bulletin Board with "Minion" Theme at RainbowsWithinReach

Somehow. Learning the specific hourly wage of Head Start head classroom teachers, while in Cambridge, I had something inside that 'snapped.' Hearing the educational director speak of the hardships of searching for qualified teachers who can somehow subsist on the wage available was heartbreaking. 

Bulletin Board for Back to School in Preschool via RainbowsWithinReach

Perhaps it was having just heard the negotiated salary of one professional football player, the day before while having some NFL gridiron entertainment the day before. Seriously? What is wrong with this picture? What is wrong with these times we live in? How is it possible that our commitment to young children and those who teach them, could be so completely skewed? 

Family Tree Theme for Back to School Bulletin Board via RainbowsWithinReach

How can we meaningfully advocate for those making such an amazing contribution to tomorrow? Where do we begin? 

Preschool Back-to-School Apple Themed Bulletin Board via RainbowsWithinReach

You can see the professionalism in the classrooms at the central site. I'll admit. I am living off in my own happy little bubble of polka-dots and ditties-of-delight. I get invited to locations that are the epitome of excellence in education. I have had a wake-up-call. I don't know what to do about it, but it is time for me to do more active listening about the reality facing teachers. Dedicated teachers. 

Daily Visual Schedule in Head Start via RainbowsWithinReach 

I guess I'm getting 'older.' 
I guess I'm less caught up in being a 'pleaser.' 
It's time to take my consultant position with greater responsibility. 

Our Job Chart: Head Start Classroom Jobs via RainbowsWithinReach

What percentage of your time do you spend advocating for education? 
Where does that time make a meaningful impact? 
Where do you suggest that I start? 

Feelings Chart in Head Start Classroom via RainbowsWithinReach

I lured you here with these clever bulletin boards. I so seldom have much interaction in my comment section. In fact I often feel like I'm 'talking-to-myself.' More than ever, I'd appreciate your thoughts. Do you have any thoughts? How can we expect the teachers of our youngest (and some of our most 'at-risk' children) to exist just a click or two above minimum wage? Requiring a degree of teachers of young children is a terrific way to improve the lives of the next generation. What about the teachers? Where can we 'find' the dollars necessary to move toward genuine salaries?  

Apple Chart for Positive Classroom Behavior via RainbowsWithinReach

Yes. I have an article from last year, with back-to-school bulletin boards I observed last year. 
Return to this earlier article for additional inspiration. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Chicka Chicka Response: Palm Trees + Letters

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom RoundUP of Ideas at RainbowWithinReach

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom: Childhood Classic

This is the week of our snowbird migration. We are trading our summer pine and birch tree backdrop of sunsets over the bay in northern WI for that of our brand new sun-rising vistas over oceanic, Floridian palm trees. I am the poster child for "Follow your Bliss." This is the eighteenth year of my company with the dueling bylines: 'have-guitar-will-travel' and 'changing-the-world-one-song-at-a-time.' 

Florida Home of Author Debbie Clement

I have grown into dreams that I didn't realize existed when I launched my enterprise back in the '90s. I go where I get invited and I share my original songs for children and their picture book format that I've created as author/illustrator. While on location in WI, CO, OH, FL, TN. etc. etc. I document the excellence-in-education that I observe during my school and library author/illustrator visits. Then I gather up those images of excellence here, to share with the wider world. I'm living the dream. There are palm trees on the horizon a week from now. 

My not-so-hidden-agenda, is that while you land here via your pin or google-search for back-to-school bulletin boards, you discover my existence, get acquainted and take a chance on one of brainstorms, ultimately expanding your collection, coming back for more. I've just decided that I am going to have a *SALE* every Sunday on one of my projects. If it's good enough for Target and Kohl's (retail shopping success) it's good enough for the polka-dot, music, Artsie rainbow lady. 

"Red, White and Blue" by Debbie Clement plus Kindergarten Response

There was such a great response to last week's sale of my "Red, White and Blue" for Patriots Day/Constitution Day, that I will move forward with rotating sales to begin every Sunday. Stay tuned for weekly announcements here. 

"You're Wonderful" Digital Download by Debbie Clement

This week I am featuring the digital version of my classic, "You're Wonderful" and placed it on discount. 'Cuz this week is all about classics. I thought about putting the picture book version on sale, but realized that's not the brightest decision during the week we move into our new house. Let's make my life easier and go digital this week. 
Now let's give you what you came here for: Classic Chicka Chicka. 

For those of us raised in the midwest the palm tree will always be a signal siren song of the exotic. Far away locale. Breeze over the water. Throw in some Lois Ehlert graphic glory, some brilliant polka dots on the cover and you've got a sure-fire hit. Add the rhymes of Martin and Archambault and you've got a classic. You knew is was a classic the first time you picked it up. The fact that the palm tree sports alphabet letters dancing about? Educational powerhouse of our time! 

Let's get this Boom Boom RoundUP started! 

*Yes. I have included affiliate links to the book's variations and realia for your shopping convenience, with my appreciation for your support. 

The photos you are about to see show the passion of early childhood educators as they take this favorite picture book and 'translate' it into bigger-than-life backdrops in their classrooms. Palm trees sprouting in reading corners bigger than bulletin boards! Let's get started with this image from Colorado. I saw it just last week in urban Denver, with the Rocky Mountains just beyond the classroom window. FIVE STARS! Can you see that the pieces are laminated? Easy storage for years of fun ahead. 

Chicka Chicka Palm Tree in the Classroom via RainbowsWithinReach

What happens in the mind of a four, five or six year old, when they realize that the book they hold in their hands has morphed onto the walls that surround them? The images on the pages in their lap are now overhead as though transported by magic wand. The world on the page can be extended and expanded and explored. Get me to school where the most amazing things happen! 

Three Dimensional Life-size Chicka Boom Boom Classroom Tree via RainbowsWithinReach

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree in Preschool Classroom via RainbowsWithinReach

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree in Preschool Classroom via RainbowsWithinReach

 Bulletin Board for Chick-Chicka Boom Boom via RainbowsWIthinReach
"Chicka, Chicka Boom Boom..... Look who's in Mrs. T's Room" (Kindergarten Bulletin Board) 

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Quilt on Display in Kindergarten via RainbowsWithinReach

You know that a picture book has been deemed a classic when the 'realia' starts showing up in Educational catalogs. The Lakeshore version  of the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Alphabet Tree is an absolute invitation for young fingers to take letters and march them up and down the palm's trunk. In the process of that play, letters will be identified and inevitably the rhymes of the book will be retold. CLASSIC!

Lakeshore 3D Palm Tree for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom in the Classroom

Kindergarten Chicka Chicka Boom Classroom Tree via RainbowsWithinReach

Chicka Chicka Palms and Letters in the Classroom via RainbowsWithinReach

Decorated Kindergarten Classroom Door, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Theme via RainbowsWithinReach

Jungle Theme Classroom Details in Kindergarten via RainbowsWithinReach

Children's Drawings for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Monkey Theme Chicka Chicka Classroom Door Decoration (via RainbowsWithinReach)

 Bulletin Board "Wall" for Chicka-Chicka Boom Boom

Bulletin Board for Chicka-Chicka Boom Boom (from Bulletin Board RoundUP via RainbowsWithinReach)

Palm Tree Bulletin Board under Construction for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Three Dimensional Chicka Chicka Boom Boom in the Classroom

Three Dimensional Chicka Chicka Boom Boom in the Classroom

Palm Tree Bulletin Board in the Classroom

You're going to LUV this next 3 D Chicka-Chicka Boom Boom Tree. 
If you want to take a tour around the rest of this amazing Kindergarten classroom, 
you'll have to go back in time to my visit in FL. 

Palm Tree in Kindergarten Corner via RainbowsWithinReach

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Palm Tree Paintings with Letters Stamped

I LUV the palm leaves for this Chicka Bulletin Board! 
This design would be a perfect Back-to-School bulletin board!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Bulletin Board for Back to School at RainbowsWithinReach

It's time to begin winding down the images from my various visits across the country. Let's conclude with this 3 Dimensional classroom palm on display last spring while I visited the notorious home of the blogger "Kindergarten Smorgasboard." Meeting my cyber-blogging friends in real life is incredible. Meeting them on their home turf -- with me in polka dot performance mode? PRICELESS!!! 

Kindergarten Classroom Library with Classic Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Palm via RainbowsWithinReach

I asked Greg if he had created any of his signature 'silly hats' for the CCBB classic and for his permission to share here via this RoundUP. Today's his actual birthday! So it's an extra special birthday shout out to a couple of articles at HIS blog.

Kindergarten Smorgasboard Models his Chicka Boom Silly Hat

Go to this article to see Greg modeling the hat amidst a backdrop of a gazillion CCBB ideas, including a FREEBIE 'Roll and Cover' activity that you can download directly from his blog. There are printable pages for palm trees, coconuts and more! You'll need dice for the 'rolling' and crayons for the 'covering.' 

Arm and Hand Print Palm Tree for Chicka Chicka Boom at Kindergarten Smorgasboard

What do we LUV about Kindergarten? 
CLASSIC picture book response worthy of both bulletin board AND refrigerator alike! 
Greg offers this project above from his blog at a second article filled with rigor-in-action. In this article you're going to see how Greg weaves COCONUTS into their classroom's first scientific explorations together. 

Talk about launching the new year! 

Once I got Greg's articles into this RoundUP I knew that expanding it further would make your lives easier, so I put out the 'all call' for inspiration to my KBN [Kid Blogger's Network] blogging sorority as well. The articles that follow are simply brilliant and I'm so grateful to the authors for their permission to include these images with the links to their insight as well. 

Let's get started with this scrumptious invitation at "Growing Book by Book" for creating these mouth watering Coconut Boom-Booms.' What a perfect baking AKA science experiment to conclude in the perfect snack post reading ever! 

easy recipe for kids to compliment the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

While we're still on the yummy channel, perhaps you want to recreate the actual palm tree itself in an edible format. Pop over to "The Chaos and the Clutter" to see how she ties together the creation of these beauties with an AMAZING magnetic letter game for the perfect one, two literacy punch. Talk about sensory learning! 

Chicka Chicka Boom Snack with Apples and Grahams

Are you in LUV with the blog: "Getting Messy with Ms. Jessi"??? You will be after just this one article. Pop over to see how she includes a TON of alphabet activities into this culminating Chicka Boom project. You're going to adore the sensory table and playdough inspiration, PLUS she has additional favorite ABC books to suggest! 

Chicka Chicka Letter Recognition at Getting Messy with Ms. Jessi

Now let's take a look at the personalized variation taking place at the blog, "Toddler Approved" ..... I know that many readers appreciate the step-by-step specifics with projects and you'll get that from Kristina. Get over there to see how the fine motor skills of scissor snipping play such a pivotal role in this project! 

Toddler Approved Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Project

This month "The Good Long Road" has joined with other bloggers to focus on contributing to projects devoted to reducing Childhood Hunger in our midst. What an incredibly critical project to take on. You simply must click through to see how she uses Chicka Boom Boom as a catalyst to organize others around this issue. Go see how a Co-op group of bloggers has gone 'orange' on behalf of reducing hunger for children. 

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Dinner from "The Good Long Road"

"The Educator's Spin On It"  is the blog where 'parenting with purpose' is the ongoing byline. By clicking over you have the opportunity to visit an entire throng of Bill Martin articles by way of an ongoing Virtual Book Tour. This article alone will keep you busy all day as you plan your year ahead. 

The Educator's Spin on It: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Book Tour

I'm crazy about this book and I'm cray-cray over puppets. BUT I'm cray-cray-crazy for this follow along, DIY tutorial for creating your OWN glorious, yet simple, puppet outlined over at the blog "TwodaLoo"...... so hurry over  and create your own version. {Don't have a sewing machine? How about using a brown knee sock for a base? Then follow the rest of the instruction from that simplification.} 

Make a Puppet Palm Tree for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom at "TwodaLoo"

Looking for a larger-than-life exploration of the ABCs on a palm tree background? Then you need to see all the fun cavorting at the blog, "Learn Play Imagine" where imagination and Cricut combine to make this amazing delight

Lifesize Palm Tree DIY for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom: Train Up a Child

I'm such a fan of "UpCycling" the bits and pieces that accumulate in the family recycling bin. See how those core tubes can become the base of a palm tree over at "Juggling with Kids." As you read this article you'll see how the skill of matching uppercase and lowercase letters is being addressed on the coconut tree! 

Juggling with Kids: Match Upper and Lower Case Letter for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Project

Whether it's fighting childhood hunger or 'simple' letter recognition I hope that you've been inspired to use this classic picture book to stretch the skills of the children in your life. 
Again. Thanks to all of the bloggers for your examples and willingness to share! 

I don't know that my picture books will ever be translated into Educational catalog 'realia' (be still my heart) but my work has been translated by kiddos across the country in their own incredible ways! These amazing interpretations are the subject of my blog articles and travels. I hope that you have a moment to dig around a little bit here, to see what I'm talking about.  

"You're Wonderful" Kindergarten Colossal Collaborative Art Project

If you've appreciated this picture book RoundUP, I bet you'll appreciate my earlier Eric Carle tribute. By all means pin this next image for your future exploration. 

Eric Carle Birthday Bonanza Bash: Children's Art Response to the Classics at RainbowsWithinReach

Here's the link to the Dr. Seuss RoundUP, currently my #10 read article of all time. 

Dr. Seuss RoundUP of ideas at RainbowsWithinReach

As a self-published author/illustrator, I am still on the word-of-mouth marketing plan. 
Your pin, tweet, +, share are the kindest ways that you can help me get the word out!
Thanks for your help!  

I may be coming to your region this year. 
I'm willing to come share my work at your school or library! 
Or what about a SKYPE visit
Integrate technology and literacy all in one snap! 

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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