Monthly Archives: November 2011


Make counting down the days to winter break fun, rewarding and worthwhile for students and the community around them! Here is an easy project that incorporates RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS (RAK).


Cut thin strips of construction paper (approx 1 x 1.8″) in blue, white & silver or red, green and gold (or any holiday color theme you choose). Each day, until winter break – students will write random acts of kindness they’ve performed, or seen other students perform, on the strips of paper and add them to the “KINDNESS” chain.

The goal is to “naturally” do acts of kindness for people, living things and our earth every day!

Perform RAK at school, at home or in the community. (ex: take cookies to a neighbor, or elderly person, help another student with homework, write letters to veterans, clean litter in playground or in community, plant seeds, read to younger students, take notes or treats to school staff etc). See how long and colorful your classroom can make a kindness chain! String the chain up in the classroom; it will become more and more decorative as winter break approaches. Send this letter home to parents to inform them of the count down project, and get the whole family involved!

Another tip: After your kindness chain is completed, ask a volunteer to take it to a community elderly home, halfway house, or other needy facility, and decorate their door or tree. Be creative with this project, put your own spin on it, and have fun!

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Posted by on November 21, 2011 in Uncategorized


Brag All About It!

Our Oct 13 post told all about our first BIG contest for teachers. With cash, Flip Video™ camera, and Teacher Packs™ as prizes!

317 teachers submitted ideas on how to create a positive environment for better classroom management.

The teacher submissions are inventive, positive, fun, and easily adaptable to your classroom! Check out this GREAT IDEA submitted by a very creative first grade teacher, Jaime Lovely. She incorporates a point sticker incentive chart to promote positive classroom management. If you like the idea, you can easily vote for Jaime!

See all submissions. Submissions include learning objectives, materials, and other useful information.

Quote for the dayTeaching is the greatest act of optimism. ~ Colleen Wilcox

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Posted by on November 16, 2011 in Uncategorized


FREE “Student of the Month” Certificate

Click here for a FREE “Student of the Month” certificate. Students love positive teacher recognition! Rewarding outstanding achievement by giving students a monthly certificate is quick, easy and inspirational. Incorporate a monthly award ceremony in your classroom, there can be more than one student of the month if you choose. Soon students will remind you that “the student of the month” ceremony is approaching. Excitement will build as student behavior and achievement in your classroom becomes more and more exemplary. Happy teaching!

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Posted by on November 13, 2011 in Uncategorized


Skate into the holidays with good behavior

With the HOLIDAYS just around the corner, students may need extra help to stay focused and on task. Below are a few “cool” ideas:

1. Announce a “Mystery Student” of the day (or week). Identify where behavior needs to be improved (during reading groups, walking in the halls, cleaning after projects, lunch etc.), then watch for a student that is following rules and expectations. Have a reward ceremony in your classroom and announce the mystery student! Give them an inexpensive “caught being good” skate tag. (just $0.38/ea for 100 tags). You’ll be the coolest teacher on the block!

2. Give students “Brain Breaks” to keep them energized and focused. Giving the brain a break from thinking every so often actually helps the brain stay focused. Give your students “bet you can’t do this” tasks – and video them. Check out one creative teacher’s “brain breaks

3. Hold a poetry slam! When kids are given opportunities to perform and share in a public forum (like your classroom or a group of classrooms), they rise to the challenge. They put out their best effort to express themselves, and it takes the learning to a much deeper place. Have students write a poem about what Thanksgiving means to them. Or read “The Giving Tree” and have your student express what the book means to them. Video their performances to add another element of fun!


Posted by on November 10, 2011 in Uncategorized



My sister (and business partner) is the assistant coach of a high school girls cross-country team. Our conversations about the team are always very interesting.  It is easy to hear how much admiration Stacey (my sister) has for the head coach (Mary). As I listen to Stacey talk about Mary’s unwavering words of encouragement to the cross-country girls, I am again reminded, how positive reinforcement really works. We all know high girls (and boys) tend to find “excuses” why they can’t participate in practice or how they can’t run very far etc. However, the girls on Mary and Stacey’s cross-country team do perform each day, and usually with a smile.

This is amazingly right in line with our company “Hot Topic” for 2011/2012. POSITIVE CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT.

The coaches (Mary and Stacey) have created a positive environment for the girls and they are thriving. Below is an outline the coaches use for their cross-country team that could easily be adapted to a classroom.

10 tips for running a good practice:
1. Start and end on time.
2. Let the girls know what is expected of them. (Today will be a light run, hard run, speed workout. We will do strengthening work after our run and practice will end at 4:30PM)
3. End each practice on a positive note, with a brief team meeting discussing what is in store tomorrow.
4. Remind them to drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, eat a nutritious meal and most important BE POSITIVE. The best time to start preparing for your next run is after you have just completed one!
5. Try and have one fun thing to do each day such as…
• Have two gals arm wrestle to determine which run to take
• Make it a competition to see who can do the most sit-ups in 2 minutes,
• Tell a funny story or play a guessing game while holding a plank stance for one minute
• Setup a secret buddy system where each girl will get a low-cost motivating gift and inspiration from their secret buddy before the cross-country meets.
• Post results and photos to recognize accomplishment. Announce personal records set, outstanding performances and acknowledge hard work.
6. Play minute to win-it games at beginning of each practice. For example: each girl gets 2 minutes to get a Oreo cookie from their forehead into their mouth without using their hands. Winner gets to lead warm up. See photo of Stacey trying to do this – too fun!
7. Tough guy-award. These gals won the push-up competition so coaches posted this photo in their office window.
8. Acknowledge those that go above and beyond. The “Happy Camp Poster” is a tribute to the girls that signed up and completed this difficult run, outside of their regular practice requirements.
9. Do not discuss the lack of hard work from the previous day, instead explain why today is important to work hard.
10. Make a personal connection with each runner. Ask each runner something personal to let them know you are interested in them as a person.
For example: How is school going? Are you going to homecoming? Are you caught up on your homework? What is your favorite class? Do you have any blisters? Do you like your running shoes?

Fun short video – you’re in for a treat!

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Posted by on November 8, 2011 in Uncategorized


We Are Excited…

Lots of companies say “we are a different kind of company …” But – we really do want to be your “company next door”. Reliable, easy to work with, trustworthy with AWESOME products. It is important to us, and we strive every day to make this a reality. The feedback and comments we get from our customers is overwhelmingly positive and warms our hearts. In our continuing efforts to be the “company next door”, we’re introducing our e-newsletter. We know how annoying it can be to have your inbox filled with junk mail and e-newsletters that don’t pertain to you, so we’ve made a commitment to send no more than two “information packed” newsletters a month. Packed with info about contest’s, discounts, important dates coming up for your school or classroom – all kinds of info that hopefully will be useful and fun for you!

Check out the very first e-Newsletter –

If you choose, feel free to subscribe! (1-2 emails per month max) –

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Posted by on November 4, 2011 in Uncategorized