Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Kindergarten SPRAY-Painted Nature Stems: WORKS OF ART!

Kindergarten SPRAY-Painted Nature Stems: Works of Art at RainbowsWithinReach

LOOK at this Kinder-Art from the recent CA PK1 conference. 

I did not make these projects, nor did I even get to see them underway. 

That being said. How absolutely incredible is this work? 
All of my favorites: open-ended process art + kindergarteners. 

What I can NOT even really begin to imagine is how these were made.
{Worry not. I have the exact directions to share.}
I just can NOT begin to fathom the actuality. 


This display was DIRECTLY behind my table out in CA at the PK1 Conference.
Why yes, that's Palma from KFUNdamentals + Dr. Jean!
Let's take a closer look at the display.


The description straight from Cindy Tuisku, Kinder Teacher EXTRA-ORDINAIRE!

Be prepared to read the directions. 
Then read them again. 
Then read them for the third time.

Directions for Kindergarten SPRAY-Painted Nature Stems: Works of Art at RainbowsWithinReach

Now take another look at another portion of the display. 
Does it make sense? 
Kindergarten Kids.
Spray paint. 
Spray paint handles.
{What BTW is a spray paint handle?} 
Could you pull that off?
I taught elementary Art and I stand in AWE! OUTRIGHT AWE I tell you!  

Question number one: 
are you working one-on-one with an adult-to-K-kiddo ratio? 

Now. Just sit back and scroll. 
Allow your heart to absorb this beauty. 
They could be framed and in a Fine Arts GALLERY!

Open Ended Process Art in Kindergarten: Spray Paint and Nature Stems at RainbowsWithinReach

My latest baby-step toward 'monitization' of my blog. 
Also, while in CA, I got to meet the ESGI heart.

ESGI has befriended and sponsored our weekly Twitter chat #TeacherFriends.
I have become an affiliate for them. 
When you use my code B1215, you'll get a discount and I'll benefit as well! 

While we're thinking about Art + Kindergarten............

This earlier article has had more readers than any other of the last year. 

AUTHENTIC Art vs. "Craftivity" at RainbowsWithinReach

Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop
Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

#TeacherFriends Twitter Chat on Project Based Learning with Todd Wanerman 1/27

TeacherFriends Twitter Chat with Todd Wanerman on Project Based Learning

Tuesday! That means time to gather with your #TeacherFriends on Twitter! 

#TeacherFriends Weekly Twitter Chat 9 PM EST

Tonight we will take a look at #PBL or maybe that acronym hasn't stuck with you yet? Project Based Learning! What does that term mean to you? How do you integrate a 'project' approach into your setting? Come tonight to learn from the experts! Yes, the best hour of professional development you can get in your jammies, takes place on Twitter! Come for the support, return for the sharing!

Todd Wanerman Visiting #GuestEduCelebrity at #TeacherFriends on Twitter!

We welcome our newest-to-Twitter #GuestEduCelebrity, Todd Wanerman to the spotlight, tonight at 9 PM EST. Even though Todd is on the west coast, he plans to arrive in time for Early Birds at 8:30 EST, so that he can get his feet wet at the slower pace. Arrive early for a slower pace and 'easier' interaction. Get your questions answered about using Twitter, while the speed is on calm. The chat heats up at 9!

#TeacherFriends Tweet Zones! 9PM EST with 8:30 Newbie Early-Bird PRACTICE Chat

I met Todd at the Redleaf Press Author's Reception at NAEYC last fall in Dallas. He had no Twitter account at the time, but that didn't stop his enthusiasm from wanting to learn a new social network and join us to share his expertise. What better place to begin than together with his #TeacherFriends! {click the pics to go learn more about Todd's books over at Redleaf.} 


As always, there will be PRIZES! Todd will be giving away one of his books! My fellow hostess' friends and I also give away prizes! In order to win, you must enter your name and email address on our Google Doc that will be tweeted through out the evening's chat. 

I'm happy to have my work represented at Redleaf! My music is incorporated into this compendium on movement in the ECE classroom, by Connie Dow! Included in this dance encyclopedia is a two disc set of my songs and their instrumentals. 

One of my favorite "Project Based Learning" school visits involved a kindergarten classroom that used my picture book, "Red, White and Blue" as the focus of their study. Many patriotic elements emerged in their study. I have shared examples of their approach in this earlier article. 

Project Based Learning Approach for President's Day via RainbowsWithinReach

With President's Day around the corner, this would be an awesome song to include in your next PBL focus. Both the picture book and the immediate digital download are available at TpT. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

9 Examples of Fine Motor Name Writing Exercises

9 Examples of Fine Motor "Sign-in Systems" in Kindergarten and Preschool at RainbowsWithinReach

Today's RoundUP is of 9 different Classroom "Sign-in Systems." 
These examples are from my many author/illustrator school visits around the country. 
Those of you that know me, know that I have been a consultant for Zaner-Bloser for years. 
{Yes ZB is the ORIGINAL handwriting company, literally from the late 1800's!} 
Here are my two FREE videos created to support Fine Motor fingers. 

2 FREE Videos: Zaner-Bloser FUN! starring Debbie Clement

Let's get this party started with an example from my "REAL LIFE." 
Our very own CLEMENT writing.

Fine Motor Name Writing Exercises for Young Children in PreK, TK, + Kindergarten

I've gathered up a couple of 'new' fine motor exercises for writing names..... 
Last Tuesday's Twitter chat focused on supporting and nurturing writers. 

We tweeted about how to support children who are not yet 'writing' letters, 
so that they could capture their thoughts, stories and ideas. 

In the course of the chat, it reminded me that I still had these couple of examples of supporting fine motor, waiting patiently to see the light of day! 

Leading off is our very own, #WonderPeep "Denver Duncan" now in kindergarten. 
A laminated card and wipe-off markers: VOILA! 

I was so curious as to how he was going to problem solve the issue of running out of space and still having letters to add to his/our last name. 

Just float them up in the available work space above! 

Now let's make a quick stop in Texas! 
The preschool children arrive for the day and sign in within the class notebook. 

Here's a set of 'loose' pages from the room next door. 
Same idea. 
Names listed alphabetically. 
Child finds their's and signs in! 

Now I'm going to share some earlier images. This next group is from an earlier article here, with six different 'sign-in-systems' that I've observed in my "music-lady" travels -- all added here into one spot for your ease in planning and comparison.

Let's go now with a brand new concept that I saw up in NW Ohio, making my Author-visits throughout Bryan on behalf of their public library and Family Advocacy Collaborative. Expectation: sign-in at arrival to school. Materials: White Board + Dry Erase Markers. 

Here's what the process looked like for one preschool child: 

photo of: Preschool Handwriting, Fine motor in preschool

Here are some results from hard working students. Keep in mind that these pictures were taken at the end of May and this has been a daily procedure for the entire school year. Let's hear it for progress!!

photo of: Preschool fine motor development, Sign-in system

There were other students needing more 'real estate' for their names. This classroom is designed to serve children with special needs as well as their typical peers -- so there is an entire spectrum of abilities when it comes to Fine Motor.

photo of: Handwriting development in Preschool

Here's what the morning's worth of signatures looked like sharing the board. 
Yes, the names themselves are laminated cardstock with a magnet affixed to the back of the card. That way the name cards can easily be shifted around the board as the children enter the classroom and need more or less space for their assignment. 

photo of: Wipe-off Dry Erase Board for Morning "Sign-In" System in Preschool

I worked extra hard to document the afternoon's sign-in process. I wanted you to see the hard work, concentration, effort, focus and persistence that has developed by having a daily expectation of fine motor work. Work that is meaningful. Work that is appropriate. 

photo of: Dry Erase Board for Fine Motor Development in Preschool

I've been literally ALL OVER DA MAP this month, making visits to schools for a variety of end-of-the-year celebrations. Here's a system I saw last week up in Michigan. Clipboards loaded ahead of time with names ready for the signing-in. These were ready-to-go as I made my way about their building for my evening concert with families. Do you just LUV people who plan ahead and are organized?

photo of: Clipboard Sign in System for Morning check-in, Preschool

Now let's go for a ride on the way-back time machine and take a peek at the earlier 'methods' for signing into the classroom that I have shared here in previous episodes of Fine Motor Friday. Here's the first example I saw this fall. Pre-written names on paper. Child arrives and finds their name in the midst of their friends and traces it with a marker. These are preschool children in Ohio.

photo of: Self Regulatory Sign-in System for Fine Motor Development in Preschool

Next came this Louisiana preschool classroom where the children's names are recorded in their own spiral bound notebook. Arrive at school and clock in by writing your name. This is a simple way to see progress over time. Each child also has a couple of shapes to trace after they get their name written. Notice that some children are just working on their first name and other have more involved assignments. 

photo of: Fine Motor Development in Young Children, Daily Sign-in System for Preschool

This is a pretty brilliant set-up for a writing center in a VPK (Voluntary PreKindergarten) in FL that I had the opportunity to observe last winter just prior to our singing together. 

photo of: Fine Motor Center "Playing Office" by Writing Friend's names
Fine Motor "Office" Center, with friends names on index cards

All the children's names are on index cards and bound together on a ring. Child chooses which names of their friends that they want to write out while they are 'playing'  working playing in the office. All of the needed materials are organized in the office center for independent work.

Here's the most recent sign-in system cataloged here in my Fine Motor Friday series. This one's documented from my kindergarten visit to my very own WonderBoy's elementary school earlier this month . LUV LUV LUV LUV this one, too! The photographs of friends are a brilliant touch in making connections to our new friends and their names! This would be pretty brilliant for beginning the year..... getting acquainted. 

photo of: Kindergarten Fine Motor Development, Handwriting in Kindergarten

To improve 'auto-maticity' in the writing of letters is to increase the ease of expression of ideas in creative writing into the future. Having a 'sign-in' system  makes writing an expectation.  Someone on Pinterest repinning an image from this article called it a 'self-registration system' which I like. Incorporating an opportunity and the materials for practice in writing at an early age is to strengthen literacy skills for a lifetime!! 

photo of: 6 Different Fine Motor "Sign-in" Systems used in Preschool and Kindergarten, fine motor development

Are you giving this gift to your young students? 
Do you have some digital photos to share here with my readers? 

These MI envelopes were being prepared for sending home the end-of-the-year collection of goodies and make such a delightful portfolio-of-sorts with the children's drawings as a permanent gift for end of the year reflection. 

photo of: Portfolios in Preschool, Portfolio for Fine Motor

Now I have an AMAZING "bulletin board" name-writing example used in a setting for students with special needs. This is the ninth example and a fantastic way to conclude this mini-series. 

photo of: Debbie Clement meets her Fan Club Members: Children with Special Needs

A quick intro: I'm a 'music lady' that now travels to schools sharing my original children's songs as an Author-Illustrator, in that I've turned 3 of my songs into traditional picture book format. Prior to this recent 16 years of adventure under the banner "have guitar will travel" I worked at a private center for young children with special needs. I provided the art + music experiences there for all of the children. It was during those ten years at the Childhood League Center that I had the great good fortune to 'learn' from THE best therapists and teachers, children and parents. Many of my current school invitations originate due to this foundation chapter in my career.  

photo of: Children with Special Needs Meet Santa

One of my favorite sentiments is the African proverb "If you can talk, you can sing. If you can walk, you can dance." My professional career has been about helping children unable to talk, learn how to 'sing.' The same with helping those unable to walk, learning how to 'dance.' Everything that I know about children with special needs is that we must be able to meet them where they are. We must be ready to adapt each learning moment to suit their capabilities, to encourage and support moving forward.

For the last 23 weeks I've been exploring Fine Motor as it Leads to Fine Arts. I've shared numerous 'sign in' systems that I've observed during my travels, where children are encouraged to develop the skills necessary to write their names. These next photos are an amazing sign-in system used in a very special preschool to bridge the distance necessary to establish a framework for handwriting. 

Here is the 'bulletin board' that meets each student where they are today and encourages them to take one more step in the direction of literacy development. On the far left is the student named 'Ritwik' who can now write all 6 letters in their name using a wipe-off marker. Kirwan and Shrenik are able to take their marker and trace the letters of their name. Wyatt is able now to make a letter 'W' independently. 

photo of: Fine Motor Development System for Children with Special Needs

Now let's take a look at Kai upon arrival at school this morning. It's time to 'sign-in.' The necessary letters are laminated in order and designed with velcro fasteners. 

photo of: Fine Motor Development System for Children with Special Needs

Kai arrives and is expected first to trace the letters in order. Then to 'sign-in' Kai is expected to match the letters and 'write' out the name. Let the school day begin!!!!!! KUDOS to the hard-working teachers who have designed this system to adapt to the needs of each student.  

photo of: Fine Motor Development System for Children with Special Needs

photo of: VISUAL Learning: Cues, Supports and Systems

If you only have time for one other article I would HIGHLY recommend reading about the lengths a pair of parents went to on behalf of their son and how my song "Lion Prowl" contributed to his first spoken word. Here's the link to this amazing and touching story. 

Life Lessons at the Conservatory
Yes. It is a Butterfly with Special Needs

Here's the FULL 50+ week series on Fine Motor! 

50 Editions of Fine Motor Leads to Fine Arts at RainbowsWithinReach

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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