Back from Break – Forging Ahead in January
I just had my first day back to school after a nice winter break. The kiddos were a little nuts-o and I was a little tired. I miss my mid-afternoon nap, holiday snacks that are all somehow better when dipped in almond bark, and not having to ask someone ” is that a good choice?”
I realized that I needed a couple little pick-me-ups to get through the day. I started looking and I found that there are a lot of amazing things that can help to reshape perspective and add a little warmth to the cold, sadness of the Monday after winter break. When I rustled up these cool resources I knew that I wanted to share! The following are three amazing, colorful, and FREE resources to make this January the best ever!
The 30 Day Happy Teacher Challenge
I posted this awesome resource on my Facebook page yesterday, but I just had to share it one more time here. If you’re not already following me on Facebook you might miss little gems like this one that are easy to share on FB. To follow just click HERE to see the page and then hit the “Like” button.
So, what is this little gem you ask? A friend shared a photo of “The 30 Day Happy Teacher Challenge” on her Facebook page and I was totally inspired. Each day of the month has a suggestion to help you realign and reset and think positively. The calendar says things like “Compliment another teacher on something they have done well for their students or the school. Appreciation goes a long way.” What a great idea! Here’s another suggestion from another day of the month: “Think about the top 5 things you love about teaching. Write them down and have them somewhere as a reminder when teaching gets stressful!” I dug around and found this high resolution copy on TPT. It’s FREE everyone. Go download and take a fresh perspective on our first week back.
Colorful and Creative To-Do Lists
I was cleaning off my desk and decided to consolidate all the little notes and checklists that I had made for myself before the break. The 30 Day challenge has a couple days with little hints and ideas to get your room/life a little more organized so I was definitely inspired. I searched online for a “To Do Master list” and found this super cute, FREE download! What’s even better is that it sort of matches the look of the “30 Day Challenge” paper. Score!
Needless to say, that baby was printed off in less than 5 minutes and was filled up with things I needed “to do!” I even checked some things off the list once I wrote them down. It’s already helping!
Colorful Music Video with Regina Spektor
I have always loved Regina Spektor. Regina just such a complex and fascinating artist. Her voice and lyrics are completely unique, she plays piano so amazingly well (she was so great live in concert), and she seems totally true to who she is. Now, I wouldn’t show just ANY of her music videos to kids, but this one has always had a special place in my heart.
The basic idea of the video is a person who is about to fall in love. She keeps saying things like “I’ve never loved nobody fully. Always one foot on the ground.” The video shows Regina in a world of black and white. You can tell that she’s holding back and not really letting herself go and trust her emotions. It’s late into the song when you see her pull a heart-shaped pendant necklace from around her neck and let it drop. You realize she’s going to take the plunge and follow her heart. She’s willing to risk the pain of loving someone for the beauty that might follow. And oh, it is beautiful and colorful and fun! The heart explodes into dazzling color and what comes next is truly delightful.
How do I show this to students? A lot of times I show it to Kinder or 1st because they are learning/relearning/talking about color. I try and coincide with my art teacher when she talks about color or about paint or does anything with color theory. Most of all, it’s just a fun video.
You could get into a discussion about the lyrics with the kids and talk about symbolism if you really wanted to. In fact that might be a fascinating idea with older grades. Usually I just tell KDG and 1st graders that “she’s having a hard time falling in love. She doesn’t trust her feelings… but you’ll definitely know when she let’s herself really believe in love. Just watch closely” … and they love it! This video is great for now and might also be an awesome resource to show in about a month when we roll around to Valentines day and you want something sweet and love-themed to share with kiddos.
Okay, that’s all. Just wanted to share a little joy with you today and encourage you as much as I can! Be inspired my friends! Go forth and really enjoy your days and revel in the exploration that you get to have with kids each and every day! I know it might be cold, snowy, and white outside but let yourself enjoy a little warmth and color with your precious little kiddos!