Sunday, August 31, 2014

BEGIN with the End in Mind: Kinder Graduation to Launch New Year

Kindergarten Graduation Class of 2026! 


Labor Day Weekend. 
School is about to launch for the final wave of children. 
School buses will begin chugging up and down this peninsula 
that we call home for the summer season.
Our northern haven is poised to launch the new school year!
Simultaneously, we are about to begin our snowbird migration.
Which gets me all reflective. 
So I was digging in my memory card and found these goodies! 

This time last year I was making an author-illustrator school visit, 
right down the road a couple of miles. 
I've fallen in LUV with Lizz the Kinder-teacher. 
She set things up for our primary-grades fun! 
These were taken LAST September! 
{Why, YES. I do enjoy my work! Thanks for asking.}   

By the end of the school year we had returned back here to square one in WI! 
I got invited BACK to attend the 'graduation' of my kinder-kiddos. 
Walking into the kinder hallway, 
there were pictures of *MOI* in the year's highlights review! 
So, yes. I took pictures of the pictures! 
Cue Barbara Streisand: "Memories." 
Took my breath away to know I rate the highlight reel! 

Now let's take a look around at Kindergarten graduation.
Take a look at these colorful, Kindergarten mortar boards!
Make note of the drawings on this wall. 
They are a set of 'then' and 'now' self-portraits.  

Kindergarten Graduation: Class of 2026

Everyone in Lizz's class gets a two sided, laminated diploma. The front is the official and signed memento, but even more touching is the drawing on the back, with the caption, "When I am older I will be a __________. Just you wait and see." 

"When I am older I will be a pilot. Just you wait and see." 

As if the diploma is not enough of a memento..... 
each child has a class shirt, 
complete with self-portraits of everyone in the class!
The shirts are ordered LARGER than the kiddos. 
Rumor has it that many graduating seniors still sport their kindergarten t-shirt lo, those many years later. 

I have LOTS of favorite parts of this event. 
As a former elementary art teacher, parent and now grandparent? 
My FAVE FAVE is the self-portrait drawings captured at the beginning of the year, 
and then mounted with a final portrait as the year concludes. 
Laminated together. 
Real. Live. Tangible. PROGRESS! 
Right there as a reminder!
Who remembers how far we've come? 
Who can go back that far? 
Here is the evidence.  
So it is that we: 

Debbie Clement Welcome for Author-Illustrator School Visit

We are just beginning to get this next school year's schedule organized. 
NOW is the time to plant the seeds to have me come to YOUR school. 
It all begins with your brainstorm. 
I have an entire slideshow of my travels -- to get your wheels turning.

YES!!! ALL of my books may be ordered from me directly
*I also have digital files of 'just' the song, in Mp3 format with pdfs of the support material at TpT. 

Begin the Year Performance Songs by Debbie Clement

I am so very grateful for every pin that you initiate. 
That is often how people discover me! 
Such a kindness. 
Thank you!!!

Join my 162,500+ Pin Followers, Click the pic! 

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Pre-K, Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Homeschooler -

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cultural Kindergarten on Kaua'i: Author/Illustrator Visit!

My Author-Illustrator School Visit in Paradise! 
A bucket list trip with an amazing experience. 
Pinch me! Pinch me! Pinch me! 
HAWAII. Kaua'i to be exact. 
It really happened. 
I signed it at the school office and that is about the end of the similarity to most of the other school visits that I've ever made. 

Looking around the Kindergarten classroom at Kanuikapono before the students arrived, I couldn't help but spot some of the 'differences' in the surroundings. 

Here's where I need to spend some time to explain how the day starts at this amazing charter school. The entire community gathers in the common courtyard for "piko." Before piko begins the teachers and administrators of the school all gather together for the specifics of the day. Here's the view I had from the K porch. Teachers holding hands in a circle. Daily. Announcements. Family. 

Each classroom of students then filed down the steps for piko. 
The youngest -- kinders -- led the way and then stood in a line facing the leaders. 
Behind them filed in a row of first graders. 
Then second. 
Each standing behind their younger peers.
All the way through the rows of high school students. 
Respectful. In silence. 
I was already in awe. 
The Pacific ocean glimmering over on the horizon. 
Pinch me. 

The blowing of the conch shells. 
Long, low calls. 
Hovering over the gathering. 
The call by one student. Then the conch response. 

Then we all turned 180 degrees for the duo to repeat. 
Until all four corners of the island, and the planet were acknowledged. 
Even though I was there in the back row as an observer, 
I had to pinch my lips not to allow my tears to cascade. 
Foreign. Yet somehow amazingly familiar. 
Hadn't my mentor-Mimi told me of such a rite? 
On a native American reservation she visited. 

I didn't wear a watch during our visit to paradise. 
But I know that the schedule allowed for half-an-hour dedicated to piko. 
It passed in the blink of an eye. 
What followed were call and response Hawaiian chants. 
Then singing. 
All of us standing the whole time, with the Ocean off our shoulder. 

This was barely the second week of school. 
How is it that kinder-kiddos could show such self control? 

My heart was full as we all made our way back to our classrooms. 
As is the way of the island, our shoes were removed as we entered the building. 

Yes. I asked my audience to pose for me! 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Brain Resiliency: Building Better Brains!

It's Tuesday! Time to Tweet with Teachers! 
What? Don't 'get' Twitter? 
Have we got the chat for you!  
A PRACTICE Twitter Chat!

Tonight marks the ninth Tuesday in a row, where we have been 'practicing' chatting together with our #TeacherFriends. 

We have had between 50 and 100 fellow teaching peers meeting, tweeting, supporting each other, in real time every week. 

Let's just say, it/the chat/your twitter stream -- moves fast!

I LUV LUV LUV Michaele's analogy of a dinner party! 
You're not going to get every tidbit of all of the contributions in real time. Unless of course you're bionic. 

Never fear! Kim of "Educators Spin on It" has taught us how to 'storify' the chat. Here's the entire conversation from last week when we discussed classroom design under Erin Klein's direction. 

Now the happiest part of this story is unfolding in real time as I type. Our guest tonight is Deborah McNelis of "Brain Insights." Guess what? She's sitting in our little living room in real, actual time! I could call out her name, but she's editing her next project for Redleaf and I am not going to disturb her. We totally need to take a picture of ourselves together! That's on the agenda for today! Promise! We totally forgot last night when we went running down to our sunset and nearly missed it! 

Join us! You'll be glad you did! You'll learn some of the recent brain research as it relates to resiliency and you'll learn how to chat on Twitter. PLUS! You'll build your PLN {Professional Learning Network} for your future growth and development by meeting and following some Teacher Tweeps! Join us. You know you want to! 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Readers and Writers and Teachers: OH MY!

Have I mentioned that I'm in Hawaii? 
Have I mentioned that I am taking a gen-u-ine vacation? 
Have I mentioned that it is quite a distance between WI + HI? 

I found some awesome photos in my camera memory cards...........
during the flight between here and there. 

There's a little theme here. 

We will return to the mainland all together too soon. 

Very hard to leave paradise. 

The trip of a lifetime! 

Take a peek around our Island of Kauai. 
Yes. This is the backdrop for Jurassic Park. 
And Pirates of the Caribbean. 
And South Pacific. 
And King Kong. 
And Blue Hawaii. 
And Raiders of the Lost Ark. 
And Fantasy Island. 

You get the idea! 
Pretty amazing place!!!!!

(Here's a few pictures for those of you that somehow have not seen them on FB or IG.)

Photo: Lighthouse LUV! Our postcard adventure continues as we explore the north shore!

Photo: My rendition of a happy Hawaiian Hula..... On yet another private beach! #blessed

Photo: Paradise report. Today's agenda? Make a school visit in Anahola HAWAI'I and sing with KinderKids, beach, beach, beach. Twitter Chat w my Tweeps. Evening luau where tradition meets Circ du Soleil!!!! That's us yesterday aboard snorkel tour and me seeing a mermaid!!!!!

Photo: Yes! I did get my Hawaiian lei! I never expected the Kauai tongue!

Photo: Can you believe this? Did you see Jurassic Park? This is where they discovered the eggs!!!! I took a three hour hike through the National Tropical Botanical Garden!!!! This is the Allerton Garden!!!! 30 hours left in paradise!

If you think it looks like we had an amazing time, that I was deliriously happy and that I'm willing to go on another adventure -- you're right! 

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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