“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
It is an interesting thing to start really thinking about what you value. If you think about valuing something for a minute...if something is valuable to you, typically one would care for it, keep it safe, cherish it, perhaps display it in a prominent place, take pride in it, maybe even show off a little because you are so proud to have it.
How do you "show off" your personal (or family) values? How do the things you believe, think, say and do come together as a representation of what you value?
Defining your personal values was the Week 2 task for the Simplify Your Life challenge. And it was hard! For me, it was a chance to think about closing the gap between the type of person I want to be and the type of person I am. I have days where my thoughts and words and actions might lead some to believe that I am someone who values conflict or covets disharmony. Not really words that I want to "become my destiny".
By figuring out what it really is that I value - and not what my friends value or what I think I should value, but what really speaks to me as important enough to play a starring role in my life - I feel that I have a good foundation to almost work my way backwards through Ghandi's words to some extent.
Values and Beliefs are somewhat connected in my mind and once these are clarified, shaping your thoughts and words and actions and habits in order to reflect these has the potential to bring about huge change - for the better - in your life.
So where to begin? Deb, from Home Life Simplified, offered this graphic as a starting point for narrowing down your values. (Click on image for PDF version from HLS website).
The words that stood out to me:
So, from Deb's big list, I "narrowed" it down to a list of 17. The task, however, was to FOCUS on five. Five! Yes, harder than you might think! So, after some thought and inner discussion, here are the five value words that I choose to represent who I am and who I want to be this year:
My five words:
Intentional: I want to make sure that I am doing things 'on purpose' or 'with a purpose' rather than because I have always done things one way or because I am bored or tired. I think that when you set out to intentially do something, it is much more likely to happen.
Happiness: I want to focus on bringing more happiness into my life. Don't expect me to skip to work or spout sunshine when I open my mouth, but I am going to intentionally choose happiness over anger or frustration or moodiness.
Gratitude: I have been reading a lot about the power of gratitude and of intentionally looking for ways to be thankful and to show your appreciation of others. I want to see what happens when I choose to focus on this - and I have a great new book to do it in!
Devotion: To God, my husband, my dog, my job, my household chores, my exercise routine, this challenge, eating healthy food, sleeping well, drinking water, staying on top of school work, updating my blog....
Patience: This is my biggie (save the best to last, right?). There are times when everything I just wrote will fly out the window and all because I lose patience - inanimate objects or people - and become overly frustrated, usually disproportionate to the lack of patience one might expect in that moment. Additionally, I often want things to happen when I want them to happen and yet, the world does not operate on my time schedule but its own good time. And I need to accept that and be patient.
What do you value?
I have used Wordle for a while now and really like it but one thing it can't do is make shaped word clouds.
A while back, the "new kid" on the word cloud block was Tagxedo. I tried it, but it was new and the kinks had not been ironed out - it was not as user friendly as Wordle, especially for kids, so I ditched it.
Today, we watched Dr. Martin Luther King JR's "I have a Dream" speech. For 17 minutes, our fifth graders sat in silence, taking it all in and writing notes on key words and points from the speech. At the conclusion of the speech, there was spontaneous applause from the class. Love it!
On their own or in groups, they were then tasked with responding to the speech in whichever way they wanted: speech, poem, story....whatever they wanted. A couple chose Wordle and when I did a Google image search to show them some examples, I saw a shaped word cloud which led me to Tagxedo.
Give it a go. Super easy and visually stunning. Love it.
This is just too clever!
An advertising agency hired to market the Sydney International Food Festival has chosen to represent the countries attending the festival by making their flags out of food that is representative of the country itself. Fun! What food/beverage combinations would you put together to represent some of your favorite countries?
Click here for the original article that highlights other flag/food combinations.
Click here for further information on the Sydney International Food Festival.
Click here to learn more about WHYBIN - the advertising agency behind this great idea.
I came across this website and it is yet another example of how awesome the internet can be! In the words of the organization, Explore is:
philanthropic based media to champion the selfless acts of others, create a portal into the soul of humanity and inspire lifelong learning.
So what does that look like?
Here is a screen shot taken after clicking on 'channels' on the main home page. As you can see, there are loads of topics to choose from. Clicking on 'Films' or 'Photos' will give you a massive list of media to surf through.
I just keep re-reading their mission statement.
From the Great Websites for Kids post I did yesterday, I came across a website that was new to me. That website is Idealist (an 'idea' 'list' for idealists) and in its own words, this is its vision and mission:
We would like to live in a world where:
Idealist connects people, organizations, and resources to help build a world where all people can live free and dignified lives.
Idealist is independent of any government, political ideology, or religious creed. Our work is guided by the common desire of our members and supporters to find practical solutions to social and environmental problems, in a spirit of generosity and mutual respect.
One of the great things about it is that you can search for volunteer opportunities, organizations, internships or programs anywhere in the world. This would be a great resource for schools to help kids connect their passion with a helping agency in their community. The site helps you learn all about nonprofit organizations and the activities and issues they pursue, and includes information about organizations started by kids as well as suggestions for getting started on your own.
This is another great resource library of websites for kids - and adults for that matter!
Sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children, Great Websites For Kids offers the following categories from which there are many links to really great websites:
Animals, The Arts, History and Geography, Literature and Language, Mathematics and Computers, Reference Desk, Sciences, and Social Sciences.
Another great way to get kids connected to appropriate web content.
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Our fabulous IT teacher sent out a link to this website and it looks great - especially for PYP schools with their focus on values education.
Inspire My Kids is a website where you can find real life stories to inspire the kids in your life. The site is organized under four headings:
- such as goodness, perserverance, responsibility and sportsmanship
- such as leadership, charity, environment, sports and music
- 5+, 8+, 12+, 18+ and All
- article, podcast, reference or video
It looks like a great resource and one which I know I will be sharing with my class - both as inspiration for their own projects, education on what other kids their age are doing and as a forum for the amazing things they are already doing. Thanks for sharing, Matthew!
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Improve Your Writing By Reading Like a Fiend
This is a great article that I highly recommend reading. As a teacher, I often get asked by parents about how their child can improve their writing - or things associated with writing such as grammar, spelling and vocabulary. "Have them read more" is often the answer I will give them.