Inspiration for the week

thelittlegardener_emilyhughes4

The beginning of the school year took over everything! No surprise there of course, but I apologize for going so long between posts. Now that the first month is over, I finally have time to share some inspirational links that have been carrying me through:

I really want to do Project 333, a challenge to reduce the amount of clothes you own. It’ll make deciding what to wear in the morning way easier.

8 ways to finish the year with love and intention. It’s only the beginning of fall, but the end of the year will be here before you know it. I liked this nice list of suggestions.

The truth of “Black Lives Matter,” so that no one can claim ignorance about this movement anymore.

We have to do a research project as part of our teaching this year (in our “spare time”) and I decided to do mine on mindfulness practices in the classroom. I’m so excited! I got these two books (Planting Seeds and Mindfulness for Teachers) and also started a pin board to kickstart my research.

I LOVE this teacher’s blog, Inquiring Minds. She has the coolest ways of nurturing curiosity, wonder, and inquiry with her kindergarteners! Like this kite inquiry they did recently.

The Book of Trees: Visualizing Branches of Knowledge looks amazing.

Stovetop granola! I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks awesome.

I am totally guilty of Inspirational Photo binging. This post was hilarious.

 

Inspiration for the week

forestI can’t believe it’s August already! This is the time of year when I start to get anxiety dreams about the first day of school, where I can’t remember my students’ names or forget to plan for the first day of school. But I also love this month, because the anticipation of a new school year makes me feel like anything is possible. I have lots of ideas rolling around my brain, including having an Outdoor Hour every Friday, and finally tackling the Next Generation Science Standards in their entirety… Anyway, my inspirational links this week are pretty kid-focused, since that’s what’s been on my mind lately!

How helping children find nature helps us find ourselves. This post resonated with me, and was written by someone who used to work at the same nature center as I do!

Ohhh how I want to teach kindergarten at a place like this!

I am trying to figure out how to add more yoga into my classroom, since research shows it may help relieve ADHD in children. And the kids love it.

Go Michelle Obama! School lunches now healthier at racially diverse schools, although we still have a long way to go in terms of healthy eating education. (Accessibility to healthy food is one barrier, and the next one is teaching kids to enjoy the healthy options.)

I loved this article on nurturing the whole teacher. Written by Emily at Shelburne Farms, who hosts the Institute for Education on Sustainability that I attended last summer!

And, a hilarious letter titled Dear People Who Live in Fancy Tiny Houses.

Inspiration for the week

It’s been a while since I’ve posted! As usual the summer is flying by, filled with a trip to Montana to see a dear friend get married, work at the nature center, and lots of time spent reading. The gorgeous weather this summer has made me much less inclined to be on the computer – but I have gathered some inspirational links in the past few weeks that I’d love to share!

Let’s put those tired anti-bike arguments to rest. Yes please.

Rainbows and privilege. Hooray hooray! I love this post. “Covering your profile picture in a rainbow isn’t going to cut it – though don’t get me wrong, it’s a decent start. But for you, for me, for all of us – there is so much more that we should do.”

Why you should quit your job and travel solo. While I have no desire to quit my job, my first solo trip (a brief, four-day trip to Vermont when I lived in New York) was kind of life-changing. It was the first thing I had done completely alone, and it made me feel powerful and adventurous and confident. I’ve taken several more solo trips since then, and I highly recommend it.

I’m kind of taking a break from making kombucha right now, so it was helpful to read this post, from the fermentation blog Phickle, on how a kombucha scoby can stay healthy for quite a while, even if you ignore it.

A mindfulness coloring book for adults!

Last but not least, this article confirms what every kindergarten teacher knows: when you’re a little kid, learning social skills is more important than learning academic skills. Too much urgency surrounds academics and testing in kindergarten, leaving no time for play – and through play, kids learn empathy, kindness, and how to take turns. In the long run, research shows that pro-social skills are more important than academic skills when it comes to leading a successful life.

Inspiration for the week

Amazingly, this week brings the end of the school year for me! In many ways this has been the most stressful year of teaching I’ve had, but at the same time one of the most rewarding as well. My monthly challenge this June is to write down three things I am grateful for each day. Getting to teach such a wild, curious and adventurous group of kids has definitely topped my list.

And in the meantime, some links that I have been digging lately:

This kindergarten teacher does one day a week completely outside, calling it “Forest Monday.” Something I would love to try.

Sharpening the saw: why productive people always have time for exercise (or, why I run even on the most exhausting days of school).

My new podcast LOVE, the Dirtbag Diaries. Stories from adventurous outdoorsy mountain-climbing type people.

Like so many, I obsess over avocados. I really want to try this everyday avocado dressing from Faring Well.

A good friend of mine and I were discussing the possible futility of avoiding almond consumption during California’s drought. Does it really make an impact if people avoid certain water-guzzling foods? If so, which foods should we avoid? She sent me this article with a helpful (and funny) synopsis: Is it really better to eat vegetarian in a drought?

Some female solo adventure books I want to read: Tales of a Female Nomad, A Year without Makeup, and Phenomenal. Afterwards, being female, I want to go on a solo adventure.

Inspiration for the week

adventures

My podcast crush on To the Best of Our Knowledge continues. This time, they did an episode on going wild, where they talk about adventures for families, for diversity, and for your soul.

As a result of the afore-mentioned podcast, I added a ton of new adventure books to my book list.

How we spend our days is how we spend our lives. An argument for biking to work every day.

You don’t have to be excited to stay committed to a habit like running. This post is hilarious, and a much needed reminder when I am not feeling up for a run (or yoga or skiing or whatever it is). “It happens with our work, with our hobbies, with our relationships, and with our best intentions and biggest goals. Sometimes we’re excited and sometimes we’re not, but excitement isn’t the holy grail we make it out to be. And, frankly, I think we’re all putting way too much pressure on ourselves to FOLLOW OUR PASSIONS! and FIND HAPPINESS! and CARPE DIEM DO WHAT YOU LOVE BECAUSE LIFE IS SHORT AND YOU’RE A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE OF BRILLIANCE WHO NEEDS TO CHANGE THE WORLD!”

Some recipes to try this week: oat nut chewy granola bars / roasted broccoli and red pepper grilled cheese

I just read the book “It’s Okay to Make Mistakes” to my class, written by my all-time favorite children’s author, Todd Parr. The messages in all of his books are so simple and positive. And he has coloring sheets for kids!

Inspiration for the weekend.

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Some links that helped me find calm, beauty, and inspiration this week:

Life gets awesome when you opt out. “Of course (of course!) I don’t care if other people love giving oodles of holiday gifts, sending Christmas cards, or driving a 2015 Camry. If it brings you joy – do it! But these things don’t bring me joy, so I’m not doing them.”

23 things only people who love spending time alone will understand.

On admitting what you don’t know, and letting yourself learn something new.

Why standardized testing, and standards themselves, don’t promote learning the way we want them to. “A broad, flexible curriculum that supports children’s individual interests and strengths is more likely to engage them and promote learning.”

And to follow up on that…What schools could use instead of standardized tests.

These banana-oat-chocolate cookies are delicious and pretty healthy.

I just read Canyon Solitude, about a woman who does a solo river trip through the Grand Canyon. It was an awesome and inspiring book about adventuring, and also about solitude. Next up: Torch by Cheryl Strayed.

And all these beautiful pictures: Wanderers Welcome.

Inspiration for the weekend.

find-beauty-in-the-small-things

Some links that helped me find calm/beauty/inspiration this weekend:

New beautiful food blog: Love and Lemons. I’m sure her butternut squash burrito bowl will turn out delicious when I make it tomorrow.

The NYTimes magazine‘s Food Issue is out today! I want to read all the articles, especially Getting Your Kids to Eat (or At Least Try) Everything and How School Lunch Became the Latest Political Battleground.

Jack Kerouac on kindness. He’s my fave.

I made crockpot apple butter, and it was so easy!

Young children should observe. everything.

What if every person treated trees as if they symbolize life?

New research finds a link between eating fruits and vegetables, and finding a greater sense of meaning in life. When encouraging someone to eat more vegetables, I feel like this isn’t the biggest thing you should emphasize. But it’s an intriguing find.

Inspiration for the weekend.

TeachRunEat: maintaining the calm while being an insanely busy elementary school teacher

I think I am finally crawling out from under the huge pile of stuff that needed to be done at the beginning of the school year. This was my first weekend that wasn’t jam-packed with plans, either, so I finally had some time to relax and catch up. Here are some lovely things for maintaining a healthy life while being an insanely busy elementary school teacher:

For maintaining the calm:

A gratitude list for fall

Don’t worry, be happy now.

For staying healthy:

3 ways to start making your life an adventure.

pumpkin + oatmeal = the best combination in the world

I had this last night and it was delicious. Alas, the end of cherry tomato season is here.

For keeping the passion for teaching:

I want to put these illustrations from Maurice Sendak up in my classroom.

A lesson in how teachers became resented and idealized.

Inspiration for the weekend.

goldensunflowers

The sunflowers are still in bloom all around, which makes me happy. Here are some links for the weekend:

A take no sh*t list for your well-being. You are a vigorous being of worth – plant your feet, own your brilliance and show up to this world by being in service to yourself with these nine steps.

To eat: Chipotle sweet potato and brown rice egg skillet. It was delicious.

My new idea for family communication this year: weekly letters home, with family resources attached. Here’s my Pinterest board with the resources I have gathered so far.

Why teaching “respect” won’t end violence for women.

What do we teach when kids are dying? #MichaelBrown  How do we become a more just society? How do we get better than this?

Inspiration for the weekend.

wildflowers

The flowers are blooming like crazy around here, and I never can decide which I like better, the spring bloom or the summer. I’m grateful for both. Here are some links to help start a beautiful summer weekend.

Food packaging materials contain a lot of iffy chemicals. Yikes.

Any idea how much water it takes to grow ONE almond? A gallon. Crap.

A beautiful tribute to dragonflies, my mom’s favorite insect.

There’s a lot of junk food at the School Nutrition Conference. I used to work for an organization that promoted healthy school lunches, and articles like this make me cringe.

How to ride a bike in a skirt! So awesome!

11 TED talks to give you wanderlust (as if I need more help in that department).

One of my favorite genres to read, as a non-scientist, is fiction books about scientists/naturalists and the adventures they have (think Barbara Kingsolver and Ann Patchett). Turns out a lot of other people do too. Here’s a whole podcast on it.

On having one priority to help organize your life.

On living the simple life.