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Little thing = Big Difference

Stop!!! Before you read this post please watch the video above. It's my MOTTO this next school year.
It's the little things we do that make a BIG difference in the World. It really speaks to me. It's what sparked my idea for happy notes and ordering the seeds of happiness. I can't wait to start spreading smiles around my town and the blogging world. I also signed up for the SLANT box exchange.  I'm so excited!!! Have you?
The SLANT Box Exchange

SLANT- Sending Love Across the Nation to Teachers

Look what arrived yesterday! I have little apple seeds of happiness. They are for sale or you can win a pack of three by commenting below. 

Here's the idea behind the seeds:

Seeds of Happiness was born out of an act of kindness. Mark Borella, a sculptor, created small smiley faces from left-over lumps of clay. He gave these to his friends whose young son was dying of cancer. He told them: I know there is nothing I can say or do to make you feel better so I thought I would bring you some smiles to help you get your smile back. I call them Seeds of Happiness. Sharing the Smiles continues to grow as our customers plant Seeds around the world.

These are my two favorite kindness stories.

When "One-of-a-Kind”is laughed at by Purple for being weird and Green playfully calls One a klutz after tripping on the stairs, is the Tease Monster to blame? With words of wisdom from Mom about the Tease Monster, One discovers that teasing is part of life. And not all teasing is the same. One learns that laughing at someone (mean teasing)has a hurtful bite, but laughing with someone is alright when it's not done out of spite. This the newest book in the Building Relationships series by Julia Cook.

PreSchool-Grade 2-On the way to the bus, a little girl smiles brightly at a young man sitting on a park bench. He has recently lost his job and is feeling discouraged, but Katie's smile inspires him to start looking for a new one. The young man in turn helps a woman change her flat tire; the woman, feeling grateful, leaves a large tip for a waitress; the waitress uses the tip to buy food for a picnic for her children, and they invite another family to share with them; etc., etc., etc. In the end, Katie and the man are reunited when he has a new position as a mechanic and repairs her mother's car. This enables the child to attend her grandfather's birthday party. The purpose of the story is to show how even the smallest act of kindness can powerfully impact the lives of others, but the events seem manipulated. Also, the waitress's tip enables her to buy sodas, potato salad, fried chicken, and a soccer ball, which seems highly unlikely. While the full-bleed, full-spread pictures of Lisa and the people she meets are colorful and competently done, this is an additional purchase.
Elaine Lesh Morgan, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

I've also ordered extra copies of these wonderful books. This week I'll be giving away tons of goodies so check back each day. Its part of my mission to send love to teachers who can then send love to their students. Leave me a comment with a Random Act of Kindness your students could preform around campus or town. I'll pick three winners and announce the winners during Saturday Snapshots.

There will be three winners 

Winner #1 3 apple seeds of happiness
Winner #2 book-Tease Monster
Winner #3 book- One Smile


  1. I love the happy notes. So positive!!

  2. Oops just in case jelly_brock@Yahoo.com

  3. Wonderful idea and resources. Thanks for sharing.

  4. So positive! Always an inspiration!! :)

  5. What a nice way to start my morning reading your post. I love handmade notes, and I think it would be nice to start with my kids drawing or writing their own happy notes to others. Their sweet messages and drawings bring smiles to everyone's faces.


  6. I encourage my students to help around the school in picking up trash that they may see inside or outside- and also, if they see an adult with a visitors pass( our school can kind of feel like a maze), to ask them if they need help finding a room. As the oldest children in the building, I encourage them to be our school ambassadors.

  7. Thanks for posting this! The video made me cry! I love it! The school where I teach has a high rate of low income families and each year we have a few families that are homeless or are on the brink of becoming homeless. I use the book, Have You Filled a Bucket in my classroom and we focus on being bucket fillers all year long. One thing that I started last year was to have my students write cards on "Think and Thank Thursday". They have to write to someone that has helped them and it can be anyone in the building but each week they had to pick someone else. I delivered the cards all over the building. Teachers, building services, office staff and other students all commented to me that the cards and notes made them smile. It was a win - win because my students felt good about writing the cards and the people recieving them got a lift knowing that they had impacted someone!
    Thanks for starting my day off in this postive way!!
    Laura ~ First Grade Spies

  8. This is a beautiful idea! I love the Happy Notes. One way that our school tries to make a difference is partnering with King Arthur Bread company. In 7th grade our students learn how to cook in FACS. King Arthur gives a presentation at our school, and with the help of our PTA we send every 7th grader home with the flour and ingredients to bake 2 loaves of homemade bread. One loaf is kept for the family, the other is returned to school the next day. The returned loaves get sent to the town food pantry and rescue mission.

    Thank you for sharing such an inspirational post today!
    Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans

  9. Tamara RichardsonJuly 31, 2013 at 6:50 AM

    I just found your blog and love it! There is so much useful information. Love the happy notes. Thank you.

  10. What a great post and giveaway! I love your attitude this school year! I'm on board!

    Pencils, Books, and Dirty Looks

  11. I love reading your blog! You always make me feel so happy! :) :)

    I teach reading intervention, so I only get my kiddos for 30 precious minutes a day. However, this year I want to start a (voluntary) Book Buddies Club in the morning. My thought is to invite my students in grades 3-5 to read with/listen to the 1-2 graders read. More and more of the students entering school don't have the support at home to complete their nightly reading. It could be a win-win. My older students would be the 'reading experts' and the younger students would have their reading folders signed and have a positive role model to start off their day. That's my 'kindness' plan.

    Read With Me ABC

  12. We practiced random acts of kindness last year and will do so again this year. These tools could really help. The funniest RAK was that we would wave to the ladies in the office every time we walked past the office. It was so cute to see 30 little K's standing tall, straining necks and raising arms to wave as hard as they could with big smiles on their faces. At first the office ladies didn't know what to think - maybe the kids were fooling around behind the teachers' back? But then, they realized what was going on. It took awhile every time we walked...memorable! Alicia

  13. Thank you for posting this. I think it is very important to teach children empathy snd these are excellent ideas to do that. I love the book One Smile. The seeds of happiness are the cutest thing. What student would not love to receive a happy note.

  14. I love this pst and your blog! I have my students write "warm fuzzy" notes to each other and to other teachers in our building. They can be to thank them for doing something, to cheer them up, or just a kind note to let them know they are a good friend. The students love being on the receiving end of the notes and it helps keep a positive classroom:)
    I think I will need to go to the bookstore to find he books you mentioned. Thanks for all the wonderful seeds of happiness you are planting!

  15. We have a new principal this year, and I think we're all a little nervous. She's probably the most nervous of all though. This post inspired me to think of some welcome activity my kids can do for her. Thanks for your "heart".


  16. I teach at a very small school with a big sense of community. We work hard to make sure the students know that even though we are a small school we can have a big impact! One fun thing my class did last year for RAK was take turns staying in at recess to sharpen pencils and deliver them to the desks of the students in other classrooms - who doesn't love a really sharp, new pencil. Thanks for sharing all of your inspirational videos, books and ideas.

  17. What an awesome video! Love this post!

  18. I love those seeds of happiness! I have had each student pick a teacher that they have not had in the past and create something for them in class and then just show up at their door one morning to say - I appreciate you! I have gotten great feedback on this random showering of appreciation. It's important to show the children how to give without the anticipation of receiving a tangible gift in return. Thy end up loving it.

  19. Such a great way to keep your classroom positive and to spread the love! Thanks for sharing.

  20. The apple Seeds of Happiness are too cute!! I totally agree that it's the little things that make a big difference-- such a great concept to begin instilling into children. One RAK I love to have students do is to write small notes to special area teachers, office staff, and past teachers. I know it always makes my day when I hear from past students!

    EduKate and Inspire

  21. My 3rd grade students could seek out new students to our school and talk to them, welcoming them to our room with a letter signed by my class.

  22. I love your happy notes and I am trying to think how I can use them with older kids (11-14 year olds). I also love the Seeds of Happiness - what a cute idea. I can see kids really loving them.

  23. Love your post. We should do something special for someone everyday, because you never know what it will mean to the other person. Good life lessons for teachers and students, alike. Thanks!

  24. What an awesome idea for this school year!!! In my room, I an going to have a "Caught you doing something good" container. When students are caught doing something good by myself or another student. The person that caught them will write a note. On the note will be the person being caught and what they did. The other person will sign it. At the end of each week, we will share the "good" with each other. The "good" will be sent home to their parents to share.

  25. I am always looking for new ways to integrate Random Acts of Kindness in my classroom. I have my student write secret thank you to members of our school staff all year long. We often talk at out Morning Meeting about the kind things the adults, and other students, have done for us, and then we take time out to write an appreciative note to them.

  26. When I first saw that video, I was blown away. I love how the guys usually pull pranks on people but decided to do something different! LOL! My favorite quote is from a ToastMaster named Dana LaMon "Quality can be controlled and time can be managed but people need to be loved." The book "One Smile" looks wonderful!

  27. You have such a kind heart and are always sharing with others. You share your ideas, your creations and you often give wonderful things away to others. I love reading your blog because of all of this but most importantly because I always feel uplifted after reading one of your posts. Have you ever considered motivational speaking? Seriously!!! Thanks for all you do!

    A is for Apple B is for Blog

  28. I am new to your site and I love all the ideas you have. It is great that you love what you do. i think every teacher should. Thank you.


  29. Ok, maybe I'm a little soft but did anyone else cry when you watched the video? Thanks for sharing it! Teaching with Giggles

  30. These are ALL wonderful ideas. YOu all inspire me. I tried to reply to most of you through email but some of you are no-reply bloggers. Come back tomorrow for another giveaway

  31. I really try to teach empathy and helping student understand how to tell how people feel and we discuss ways to cheer up those who are down. They always have much better ideas than I ever do.

  32. We have a park sort of catty-corner from our school. We could walk over there and clean up the park in the fall and in the spring. Another idea is to take a walking tour around our school block to pick up trash along the curb and street.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Mrs. Jones Teaches :o)
    sarahmarianj @ gmail . com

  33. We did a Random Acts of Kindness Unit during the month of December to focus on giving and not getting... The kids made thank you cards for the custodians telling them how thankful for all they do. The custodians were so touched and said they had never received cards before!

    The Resourceful Apple

  34. I am moving to kindergarten this year. I think the biggest thing for me this year is just going to be to teach the kids how to be kind to one another. Using their manners and saying positive things to each other.


  35. I love to read all of your ideas on your blog! Love the apples! Such a cool idea! Thanks for sharing!


  36. I've been wanting to do something nice for our lunch ladies for a while. I would like for each of my students to bring them a flower when they are getting lunches one day :)

  37. What an incredible video! WOW! I always emphasize with my kids the importance of smiling at others even those they don't know and if someone is "grouchy" to imagine reasons why they might be feeling that way. Then try to do something simple to make their day turn around.

  38. So powerful! Thank you for sharing that video. I would love to be able to get my firsties to make some of those "no-sew" blankets for the homeless in a nearby city. It does get extremely cold up here in the winter. <3

    ❀Beth Ann❀
    Taming My Flock of Firsties

  39. Notes to the military and/or children's hospital would be a super fun and caring activity! teachcaw28@aol.com

  40. That video was beautiful! What a wonderful way to start changing the world!

    A Little Bird in Third


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