Tag Archive: movement

Wellness Check-In ~ Winter Edition

Hey guys! Hope this message finds everyone doing well and staying warm over these past few months. Today was 60º and sunny, which I will totally take for February. Here is the latest message I sent to our teachers for this year’s Wellness initiative. I wanted to share here too because everyone needs a little checking in, right? 😉

How is everyone doing in the wellness department? Just wanted to remind everyone of the importance of taking care of ourselves, especially during the winter months when the days are shorter, the sun may not be shining as brightly and we are all missing our essential Vitamin D. Unless of course you’re a winter warrior that spends all of your free time on the slopes. If you are one of those peeps, good for you!

Did you knvitaminDow how important Vitamin D was to your happiness? I have secretly coined Vitamin D “the happy vitamin.” Most people know it as the “sunshine vitamin.” We naturally produce Vitamin D with exposure to the sun and from various food sources as well. Here in New England, the winter days are shorter and put a damper on our sun exposure. We typically make less Vitamin D in our bodies during these months. Now if you’re a Californian, that’s a totally different story. 😉 There are countless reasons why Vitamin D is essential to your wellbeing, but did you know that if nutrients in your body are out of balance, you may not be able to absorb the vitamin D that you are getting. This can cause a whole host of imbalances in your body. One that I notice the most is usually mood (so happy in summer ~ definitely different in the winter).

I’ve heard from a bunch of people about what kinds of movement they’ve been up to during these chilly months. Hats off to everyone training for something. Zero degree training runs? You are amazing!

Some things we have been up to these winter months:

  • skiing, snowboarding
  • marathon training
  • indoor cycling
  • yoga
  • rowing
  • HIIT training
  • walking on treadmill, walking outdoors and nature walks
  • family & friend gatherings
  • dancing
  • Go Noodle with your class

What have you been up to this winter? Are you finding balance between taking care of yourself and moving your body? I hope so! Comment below and let me know how you are doing on the wellness train.

Be well,

💚 Jenny

Wellness Check-in ~ November Edition

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

In keeping up with our wellness initiative at school, we sent out our monthly check-in message for November yesterday and I wanted to share it with you too.

How is everyone doing in the wellness department? Has our wellness enthusiasm gone down the tubes as we entered this extremely busy season of conferences, the holidays, and life in general? I sure hope not! The busier we are, the more important a role wellness plays in order to maintain our happiness and sanity. 😉 Life happens, I totally get it. Look how long it’s taken me to get out this email! I’ve been thinking about you guys and your wellness reminder since November 1st and I am just finally sending it to you. Better late than never… 🙂

Some things we have been up to this month – great job everyone!

  • social gatherings at friends homes
  • family gatherings
  • girls night out
  • paint night out
  • Spartan race finisher
  • half marathons, 5K’s, indoor cycling, rowing, yoga, HIIT training

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For November and December, we would like to propose the following areas of wellness to focus on: Emotional/Spiritual, Social, and Physical.

Emotional and Spiritual: These components tend go hand-in-hand, especially during the holiday season.

A few ideas on this topic:

  • Maybe take some time to reflect on your year: give yourself a pat on the back for all of your accomplishments and set goals for next year.
  • Think about what makes you happy – are you doing any of these things?
  • What you are grateful for? Consider keeping a 21 Day Gratitude Journal – perfect timing with Thanksgiving and the holiday season upon us. I think I’m going to start one on Thanksgiving Day!
  • How you are taking time for yourself during what tends to be an extremely busy time?

Social: The holidays are a perfect time for the social wellness component. There are often many gatherings of both friends and family and time to catch up with friends and family that you may only see a few times a year. This is all good stuff. Try to enjoy each moment, even though sometimes times with family can be stressful as well. 😉

Physical: It’s always a good reminder for everyone about the physical wellness component. As the weather gets colder, we tend to move less. Remember, even if it’s 10 minutes a day, it’s still movement.

A few ideas on this topic:

  • Walk around the playground during recess duty
  • Walk around your floor a few times before or after school
  • Whatever you choose, remember it’s for you, it should be something you enjoy.

I hope the teachers at my school read this message and smile. I also hope it encourages them to remember how important wellness is for everyone and to take care of themselves in any way that makes sense in their lives, especially now that the holiday season is upon us!

Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving! We have a lot to be thankful for this year and always. <3

xoxo

Jenny

 

 

#BillionMileRace Challenge

Our Wellness Initiative at Runkle is going well so far. I am so glad to hear about many people moving their bodies and making time for themselves in so many different ways. I’ve wanted to get us involved in something where we can track our miles. While at the annual MassCUE Conference last week, I ran into the #BillionMileRace team. I also saw them this summer at the BLC Conference and knowing I wanted to go forward with our Wellness Initiative at Runkle, I am glad they were at MassCUE to remind me to sign us up!

Here’s a message I sent out to my teachers:

Find out more about #BillionMileRace here: http://www.billionmilerace.org/about

What does joining the #BillionMileRace Challenge mean for Runkle?

We now have a place to log any and all movement miles for teachers and students.

How to get involved:

  • Estimate any steps/miles you and your students take over the course of the week (at recess, walking around the building, taking movement breaks, etc.). Use a step counter or your iPhone.
  • Complete this form so I can start adding your miles to our school’s profile on billionmilerace.org: http://goo.gl/forms/IAQFY9EJVW

Did you know the iPhone has a built-in step counter? Even if you don’t use it for your own steps, you can use it when your class is moving. Search for the Pedometer app on your phone and start tracking your steps! 🙂

Get Social:

If you are on social media, you can Tweet or Instagram (tag me), or post to my Facebook group – anything you are doing related to wellness. Remember to use the hashtag #runklewellness. If you and your class are walking or running, you can use the hashtag #billionmilerace as well.

As we start to get our miles tracked, I will tweet and Instagram pictures of our progress. Do you think we can walk and run 1 billion miles? Now that would be awesome!

Until next time,

Jenny

xoxo

Wellness Check-In ~ October Edition

Hi guys! In keeping up with the Wellness Initiative at my school, I sent a message to teachers asking and reminding them about how they are incorporating the components of wellness into their lives. So far, it’s been going well. Teachers will stop into my classroom or see me around the building and share with me what they’ve been up to and how they have been incorporating wellness into their days and weeks. All positive so far!

My message:

How is everyone doing with our wellness components this month? We suggested a few areas of wellness for September & October: physical, social and career

Here is what some of us have been up to:

  • running in races: 5K’s, 10K’s, Half marathons
  • practicing yoga + barre
  • riding indoor cycling bike
  • walking outside
  • swimming
  • rowing
  • dinner with friends + family
  • professional development
  • team planning meetings
  • cross-grade collaboration

I wanted to remind everyone that even if you only move for 10 minutes a day, it is still something. And, that some weeks maybe you’re just not feeling it. All of it is okay. Give yourself a break, take a deep breath, and it will all be okay. 🙂

In terms of exercise, some weeks we just can’t seem to get moving or fit in exercise, which is why even if it’s just 10 minutes a day, it counts!  I remember I used to get so down on myself if I didn’t stick to my exercise routine, and that is the worst thing I could have done. If a week goes by and you’re not as active as you would like, there’s always a new week around the corner. The point is not to dwell on the past or put unnecessary stress on yourself. Keep going and keep trying, that’s what matters.

One workout I’ve been doing if I only have a short amount of time is a quick HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout by Chalene Johnson (one of my faves) on YouTube. Short, quick, strength building, and sweaty – the perfect combination. Another one I like is from Fitness Blender. They have a ton of workout videos on YouTube which are so convenient when you want to move a little and can’t get to the gym or go for a walk or run. Finally, Natalie Jill is pretty awesome in general, but I first found her videos when searching for effective core workouts. This is just one example – so many of them are fantastic.

What have you been up to in terms of wellness? Do you have any favorite YouTube channels for quick and intense workouts? Share them with me!

Until next time,

Jenny

xoxo

Back to School with Persistent Kindness

Happy Labor Day, end of summer and back to school everyone! Today in New England it is HOT and definitely does not feel like back to school weather, but alas, here we are. We started back to school last week. While we were sad to say goodbye to summer, everyone had a great week. Brendan started first grade (and he absolutely loved it!) and Braden started back to his school too. We all survived and got back into our routines pretty quickly.

We had the opportunity to share positive summer experiences at our opening meeting with teachers on Tuesday. We had some great experiences shared from traveling to Greece to deepen curriculum learning to traveling to South Africa to continue work with teachers and students. I shared a few ideas from my summer professional development experiences and wanted to share them with you as well.

  1. Let’s re-think our classroom spaces. Kids (and humans actually) were meant to move, not sit still. With tools like GoNoodle, lots of teachers are making time for movement breaks, but I think we need to think about our spaces in a completely different way than we have before. Some schools are re-thinking their spaces and designing classrooms to increase student engagement. At the BLC conference this July, Erin Klein of Kleinspiration.com and a second grade teacher and mom shared excellent resources to get teachers thinking about their classroom spaces and how we can think outside the box a little to design classroom spaces that support and engage students. I highly recommend checking out her website and following her on Twitter and Pinterest.
  2. Being Well: I took a course entitled Being Well. We learned about the seven components of wellness, similar to what is taught to students in a Health Curriculum. We discussed the importance to wellness in our lives and the challenge of balancing all aspects of wellness each day. I proposed to the teachers at my school to be their “Wellness Warrior” this school year, along with the help of some of my like-minded colleagues, and guide them through monthly activities that remind us of an aspect of wellness that we can focus on for that month. I’m still brainstorming what this will look like when it is rolled out, but I hope it serves as a good reminder that we have to take care of ourselves in order to be our best… as parents, spouses, friends, and certainly teachers in the classroom.
  3. Persistent Kindness: I had the pleasure of attending Darren Kuropatwa’s presentations each day of the BLC conference. One was on Digital Ethics which tied in perfectly to the Digital Citizenship curriculum that I teach to my students. He gave the presentation as if we were his high school students and the stories and videos he shared were unforgettable. One quote that he shared, that he shares and challenges all students to embrace is this, and is going to be my motto this year:

persistent kindness

I was so inspired by this quote, when Darren asked us to use an awesome app called Phonto and share an inspirational quote, any quote, I created mine with this quote from Darren.

BLC15 Digital Ethics

My job as an Instructional Technology Teacher is multifaceted, to say the least. My primary role is to help teachers integrate and weave technology throughout the curriculum in grades K-8. I wear so many more hats though. Oftentimes, especially at the start of the new school year, I am troubleshooting Smartboards, installing toner cartridges, managing student usernames, helping teachers fix things, figuring out schedules, oh and teach students too, just to name a few. Throughout all of the little tasks I do each and every day, my goal is always to empower teachers to embrace technology, not fear it. I hope that my experiences at BLC, coupled with the notion of balanced wellness, help me remain positive throughout the stressful moments this school year and allow me to be present when my teachers and students need it.

A few ideas for this year:

  • Just breathe… in the face of adversity, act with persistent kindness
  • Inspire my teachers through a wellness initiative each month – we must take care of ourselves <3

Here’s to a fabulous year everyone!

xoxo

Jenny