Sunday, March 1, 2015

Math + Engineering in Preschool with Post-it Notes! STEAM!

How do you turn STEM into STEAM in Preschool? 

The year of 2015 will be remembered as a year of introspection for me: 
personally and professionally. 
We are off to a whizz-bang start on all fronts. 
Which leaves me with a lot of introspection and examination. 

Things I know for sure: 

1. There are amazing people in the Early Childhood world: 
Amazing people directing AMAZING work from very young children! 

STEM + Arts = STEAM at RainbowsWithinReach: Post-it note Geometry in Preschool
Preschool Bulletin Board: Self-Esteem, Math and Engineering QUILTED Together!

I've just finished my first, ever, week long RESIDENCY
 for an entire school district!
My week of visiting all nine elementary buildings for a district, 
took place in Texas. 
You've always heard the rumor about life being BIG in TX? 

I'm here to report that there is validity to that claim!
Take a quick peak over my shoulder and see for yourself.  

STEM + Arts = STEAM at RainbowsWithinReach: Post-it note Geometry in Preschool
Post-it Notes as Geometric Shapes + Fine Motor Work = Awesome ARTS Awareness

These first images are from my fifth and final day.
It was quite a week!!! 
I kicked off the week by giving a day-long
 staff development training on the Arts. 

We sang. We danced. We jumped. We laughed. We signed. We learned. 
Each teacher in attendance received a copy of my first picture book, 

"You're Wonderful." 

Quilts of Fabric become Traditional Picture Book Illustrations! "You're Wonderful" by Debbie Clement 

Quite an exuberant way to begin!

Then Tuesday through Friday I visited each of the nine buildings, 
making a total of 17 Author-Illustrator presentations 
to the youngest students in each building: 
the preschoolers! 

2. I LUV LUV LUV what I get to do for a 'living.' 
Children are so VERY capable of learning! 
That learning is designed and directed by a brilliant teacher.
Extending a picture book's style through a collaborative ARTS project builds bridges and makes connections between the disciplines!

This is what I call an Arts Integration Project! 

3. Teachers inspire each other! 
The pictures above are two different teachers in the same building, piggy-backing from each other's approach. Each are using Post-it notes as the 'fabric' for examining the possibilities of geometric shapes. 

Who is the mentor and who is being mentored. 
You might be surprised. 

Wait till you see how the third teacher in the same pod
directed her students to respond to my quilted illustrations! 

I felt like I was playing "Where's Waldo."
Three teachers. Three variations. 

Debbie Clement Appreciates AUTHENTIC Preschool Art: Patterns, Colors, Shapes
Shapes! Shapes! And MORE SHAPES in Preschool Art Response to "You're Wonderful" by Debbie Clement

4. My photography skills are challenged by massive Art displays. 
There's collaboration within classrooms 
and there's collaboration within a building! 

Look what happens when there are thirteen different approaches from teachers in the same building. 
The colors are vibrant and the approaches are numerous!

Why yes. 
My heart does literally JUMP when I walk into these displays!  


It takes vision and planning and resources and an excel spread sheet to pull off something of this magnitude! 

It takes insight and administrative support. 
It takes a willingness to step outside the box!

I am fortunate to meet passionate ECE educators at national events! 
That's how an Artist RESIDENCY unfolds! 

The next national event on my dance-card is Frogstreet's SPLASH this summer. 
I am so excited. I'm so VERY excited at the opportunity to return! 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing a glimpse of your time as artist in residency! Love, love, love the post-it notes as shapes idea! We are doing something similar in the coming weeks!


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