Sunday, May 1, 2016

End of Year: Mother's Day, Graduation & Memorial Day

"The days are long and the years are short." 
-- Gretchen Rubin 

Have you contemplated this quote for a while?
Or is it as new to you as it is to me? 
I get it. I understand it. 
Ms. Rubin's thoughts were in response to parenting, 
but I think that they apply equally well to teaching. 

How can we be coming to the end of another school year? 
The days are indeed long....
but wow!
That year was especially SHORT!

Have you ever pulled into your garage, turned off the car and then fallen asleep sitting right there behind the steering wheel? 
Raise your hand if you can identify.

Spring always means school visits for me. 
End-of-year festivities. 
Author-Illustrator presentations galore.
And plenty of conference workshops, 
the occasional keynote and TRAVEL galore!!! 

There's nothing like a spontaneous group hug, 
from a totally new group of students, 
to make you want to pinch yourself and squeal! 

But now it is officially May. 
The end is in sight.
It is time to consider how to conclude the year in good order.
I have been gathering up a collection of little good-bye poems. 
Here are several that could be applicable for you to use.

These are all sufficiently sweet and appropriate. 
They inspired me for certain. 
I decided I would try my hand at writing my own little poem. 
Here's how it turned out. 

You have my permission to print it, 
and sign your name to the bottom. 

Here's a clever decorated classroom door. 
Perfect to review the year in a glance.

"When I Grow UP I Want to Be............." via RainbowsWithinReach

Kindergarten Graduation Bulletin Board via RainbowsWithinReach

Bulletin Board for Preschool Graduation via RainbowsWithinReach

Bulletin Board for first grade, Bulletin board for kindergarten graduation

End of Year "Graduation" Bulletin Board via RainbowsWithinReach

Two of the songs that I have written are truly perfect for your EOY celebration. 
Every year I hear from oodles of teachers using them.

"You're Wonderful" is the sentimental favorite: self-esteem!!!! 
"Red, White and Blue" is also being used for patriotic flair.
Both are typically performed using sign language. 

My songs and books are available at TeachersPayTeachers

I just received these next images on FB. 
It is such a thrill to learn that I was chosen as the featured author, 
for the spring Art show in preschool. 

This first beauty was made in response to my picture book, 
"You're Wonderful"  
{look in the lower left corner to see it by the bulletin board.}

This is the first time in my memory that the self esteem message of my song & book combo, was extended to the creation of three dimensional 'portrait' sculptures. 

Take a look at these custom hats! 

When I make my school visits, I bring my quilts
that I design and sew --- 
which we have scanned for my picture book illustrations. 

For the last two years I've volunteered with our church
at an after school tutoring program with the BIG kids. 
They appreciated meeting a 'REAL' author, too! 

BEFORE graduation rolls around, 
you're going to need to get some Mother's Day love created. 

Here are some quick thoughts.

Subway Art for Mother's Day by Debbie Clement  

photo of: Anchor Chart for Mother's Day, Mother's Day poem, kindergarten

photo of: Springtime Science with Seeds at Kindergarten Rocks via RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: handprint paintings for kindergarten, Mother's Day art project, preschool craft for Mother's Day

photo of: Mother's Day Kindergarten Gift, handprint for Mother's Day on ceramic tile,

photo of: Mother's Day rhyme for handprint, Mother's Day poem for children

bumble bee art, children's art, children's spring collage, spring preschool art, NAEYC art

Mother's Day Poem for Keepsake Card via RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: Mother's Day drawings in kindergarten, Mother's Day project

photo of: Mother's Day Bulletin Board via RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: Mother's Day poem for children, Poem for Mother's Day artwork

photo of: Mother's Day flower project, Mother's Day craft for children

photo of: Mother's Day Art Project for Children (Flowers Painted with Muffin Liners) via RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: Spring Art Project for Children at RainbowsWithinReach

And finally some inspiration for Memorial Day! 

Patriotic Flag Art in Kindergarten in Response to "Red, White and Blue" by Debbie Clement

Kindergarten Art in Response to "Red, White and Blue" by Debbie Clement

Patriotic Preschool Hearts with Stars via RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: Flag paintings by young children, preschool patriotism

Author-Illustrator School Visit: Artist Residency "Red, White and Blue" Patriotic Response

photo of: Red, White and Blue: Construction Paper Quilts in Honor of 9-11 (in response to "Red, White and Blue" picture book)

photo of: Patriotic Bulletin Board in Response to "Red, White and Blue" Picture Book by Debbie Clement

Again. My work is available at my own website and at TpT. 

Our crazy adventure over at Wobble continues to gather steam and get traction, in the whole #AlternativeSeating movement. 

We distribute these rocking stools that can be ordered in 10" and 12" and 14" and 20" sizes. 

For most PreK + K children 12" would be best. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Are Your Professional Development Trainings Completed For This School Year?

Hi everyone!  Cheryl Hatch here from Preschool Plan It!

Can you believe the end of the school year is so close?  There is so much planning going on for end of the year and graduation activities for the children, we sometimes forget about our end of the year needs!

We all become so busy with the end of the year buzz that the things we need to do for US becomes foggy and/or forgotten!  One of these areas is professional development.  

Training can be fun or just something you feel you need to "get done".  Please don't let it be the latter!  We should always be learning, growing and networking in our field!  It is what keeps our passion strong!

Last night, my husband and I got together with friends and decided to order Chinese food. My favorite part of this meal is the reading of the fortune cookies.

Okay, wait.  That is not entirely true.  The BEST part is the Crab Rangoon which is a meal in and of itself as far as I'm concerned!  :)   But the reading of the fortunes in the cookies is a close second!  Here is what was in my cookie:

How true is that?  Not only for the children in our care, but for US!!!!  

My friends asked if I'll be lighting any educational fires.  I shared with them that I will be going back to school next year to complete my M.Ed.  So how timely that THIS was in my cookie last night!  :)

But that is next year.  This year, I have many courses I want to take! 

For your program, your own college classes might qualify for in-service hours.  They might not. But, don't limit your learning based on what you "need" to get!  Light A Fire!  It's the only way to remain an advocate for the children you work with!

You may need to have state approved trainings or find trainings on your own.  

Your program likely has a set requirement with regard to the number of hours of training you need to receive.
There are many ways and places to find these.

First, however, you need to know where you stand and which areas you want to learn more about

There are many places online that provide such trainings, including my website.

I want to share all of these resources with you to help you get started NOW to find trainings.

                           1.  Articles and/or Books

Choose a selection of articles or a book that focuses on an area you want to develop in.

Read it (on your own or as a small group with co-workers).  

Write a review that discusses what you learned, how the information will help you in the field and list 3 ways you will put the information learned into action in your classroom.

2.  Live Workshops & Trainings

Check your area associations (NAEYC, AEYC for your state, etc.), hospitals and other facilities for training opportunities.  

I have listed many suggestions on where to find articles, my favorite staff book training studies and where to look for local workshops and trainings on this page in the Preschool Director section of my website.

Also, be sure you are tracking your workshops!  Looking at what you have participated in at a glance will help you determine which areas you want to focus on next!
I've put together a free, 1-page download for you to use to track your annual training hours.  

Again, you'll find the ideas from this post on my Professional Development Ideas page here as well!   

                 3.  Online Trainings from Yours Truly!

Yes, bit of a shameless plug.  ;)  In addition to the links and suggestions I have for you on the pages listed above, I also offer 2 trainings on my website.

They each in a self-study format, meaning you complete the activities at your own pace and you are provided a 4-hour certificate of completion when done.  

Math in the Preschool Classroom will help you to:

Define math.
Learn the basic math process skills that preschoolers develop through math activities.
Learn how teachers have traditionally presented math to preschoolers and how you can do so in a developmentally appropriate way.
Learn how to assess your current students’ math skills.
Learn how to set up a Math Interest Area in your classroom.
Learn math activities to implement throughout your classroom.
Plan math activities for each interest center in your own classroom.

 Science in the Preschool Classroom will help you to:

Define science.
Learn how to set up a Science Interest Center in a preschool classroom.
Learn to plan informal and formal science learning activities.
Learn the basic process skills that children discover through science activities.
Become familiar with the general science areas.
Learn ways to implement science throughout your classroom.
Begin writing a science based theme for your classroom.

These workshops may or may not qualify in your state for in-service hours. (You can read the state listing on the page to find out).


NOW is the time to start looking and planning your hours so that you are not in panic mode at the end of May trying to complete those last few hours of training!

Check out the pages I listed above to get started finding either online, live or book study type trainings now!

Happy searching, planning and learning!


About the author
Cheryl Hatch has taught and directed preschool programs for over 20 years.  She is the Creator and Owner of Preschool Plan It, a website dedicated to sharing preschool themes, activities, articles and training with early childhood educators.  She volunteers as the coordinator and teacher of the MOPPETS program in her town (a preschool program for the M.O.P.S.--Mothers of Preschoolers Program).  She has her undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education.  Cheryl has been an active, integral member and leader within the Teachers.Net Early Childhood community for many years, moderating live chats and providing peer support on the Preschool Teachers Chatboard.  You can read Cheryl’s articles, activities and themed preschool lesson plans at 

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