Monday, December 1, 2014

December: Let's Share with the Children in our Lives

Welcome to December! You made it!
The end of the calendar awaits! Do you believe it?
Let's hear it for our cyber-connectedness! I gave thanks for all the many ways that the internet has changed my life over this last weekend. An amazing unfolding is happening in real time for me now as I type. VERY exciting. More on that in a minute. 

First. First let me tell you that if you only have time to read one blog article in the rush of the holiday and year ending excitement, then let me refer you to "That Kid" by my cyber-turned-real-life friend, Amy. 

It is a must. You may have already been in the first million to read her heart-felt, poignant tear-stained epistle of a couple weeks back. If not, mark this one for your MUST read file. Not very often does the Washington Post circulate a blog article. Not very often does a peer's blog article get officially translated into dozens of other languages. This one hits the mark on so many levels. Do yourself a favor and go there now. We'll wait for you to return. Take a tissue. 

Amy is one of the founders of the Monday night Twitter #Kinderchat that unfolds in real time at 9PM EST. I want to be like Amy when I grow up. Seriously. Her insight into children and teachers and cyberspace and words are amazing. {Plus, she's gone viral!} 

She is so amazing inspiring that I launched the Tuesday night Twitter chat #TeacherFriends for those who just didn't quite feel like they knew how to join in an 'official' chat. I wanted teachers to have a safe place to PRACTICE chatting so that they could enter the 'real deal.' I give thanks for Amy and give her a Teacher's Hero cyber shout out! {Yes. She's an administrator now, but I just count that as a teacher-of-teachers.} 

Last night at my own blog, I posted a new article in a continuation of my thoughts about AUTHENTIC Art. Whether you prefer the term 'open-ended' or 'process' or 'self expression' as it applies to art, I will not quibble. 

While we were in Dallas for NAEYC, I got to make several school visits. The first one had L-O-N-G anticipated my arrival and the YOUNG children had created delightful 'quilts' in response to my picture book illustrations. They hung from the ceiling in the POLKA-DOT room! (I kid you not, they have a bright yellow POLKA-DOT room!) Eight classes. Eight quilts. You deserve a close-up of those beauties! Really you do! 

It is the article that I posted last night that has my blog 'meter' on over-drive today. While visiting Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary, my hostess Miss Young showed me around her room and when I saw the AUTHENTIC art of her four year old students in response to Eric Carle, it was as though all of the air was sucked out of the room! 

I have been waiting patiently until the turkey was all gobbled before I could commit my thoughts to the screen. The drawings by the fours are truly incredible and utterly delightful! I have compared their GENUINE work to that of interchangeable 'craftivity' projects. I have also attempted to bring some scholarly insight to the article, in addition to my own feelings and opinions. 

Headed to bed last night I noticed an ENORMOUS spike in readership! Guessing that there was only one rock star with the power to create that sort of surge, I popped over to +Deborah Stewart's FB Fanpage "Teach Preschool," and sure enough there was the explanation. She had given my article a shout out to her million+ followers. I have already set a record today for the MOST pageviews in a 24 hour period. That's a big deal.  

It is both a BIG deal to me personally, but it is also a BIG deal to an issue I hold near and dear to my heart. I am forever grateful for the muscle of my fellow Deborah-namesake. It is ALWAYS helpful to rub elbows with your idols.

TRUE CONFESSION. Since I can see that the readership of my "Authentic vs. Craftivity" article will continue to grow, I have spent most of today adding to and editing it, to best advantage. Hence my tardiness over here! 

In the mean time here are a couple of back articles that will help fill your December reading. Just click the picture to return to the original article. 

A Kindergarten Christmas: Season Crafts and Bulletin Boards at RainbowsWithinReach

Winter Themed Decorated Doors in Early Elementary via RainbowsWithinReach

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