Monday, September 5, 2016

September 2016

September 2016

September is such a beautiful time of year- we still get to enjoy the warm days, cool nights, and lots of sunshine. It is also a time of renewal. Now that classroom routines are settled take some time to find your own balance between work and play. What is one activity, class, social engagement, or quiet time that you would like to incorporate into your weekly routines?  I challenge everyone to pick one personal goal for the fall. Just 1! Pick something that will bring happiness, reduce stress, and allow you to find your own balance. Share your success stories with others!

Healthy Schools has so much to share this month! We have some exciting professional development opportunities, new PA & mindfulness activities and resources,  a healthy recipe, and more! Please take a moment to read this blog all the way to the end!

Training Opportunities (free)

September 22  Healthy Schools Fall Workshop
                           If you have not signed up yet, please do so this week as we only have a few
                           spots left.

October  21  Colorado SHAPE (formally know as COAHPERD) 
                      Healthy Schools would like to send 10 interested DCSD staff members to this 
                      year's conference. We will pay for your registration costs and a sub if
                     neededPlease contact Kimmy Romine at for
                      more information.  SHAPE link

October 25  Integrating Physical Activity in Schools 
                      Trainwell is presenting an all day workshop here in DCSD on PA in the
                      classroom, applicable for all grade levels. This workshop is designed for
                      classroom teachers, physical educators, specialists, and administrators that are
                      interested in integrating physical activity in the school setting. 

                      Evidence-based research will be presented on the positive impact
                      of physical activity on academic performance, behavior, and overall health and 
                      wellness. Participants will learn a step-by-step process to increase physical 
                      activity opportunities. Resources and tools will also be shared. Lunch
                     will be paid for, 7 hours of participation, subs will be provided for
                     if needed.  Registration forms will be sent to those who are interested. Please
                      contact  Laurie LaComb at Workshop will take place at 
                      620 Wilcox, Castle Rock, CO 80124, from 8-3:30.

Fundraising Opportunities

Raise funds for your Healthy Schools Initiatives through DCSD's sustainability program!

Due September 14th sustainability info link

Community Outreach

Come join the Douglas County Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition for a community discussion on local youth substance abuse.

     ~ Dinner will be provided. Childcare upon request.
     ~ September 12th, 6:15 p.m.- 8 p.m. Castle Rock
     ~ September 21st, 6:15 p.m.- 8 p.m. Lone Tree
     ~ September 22nd, 6:15 p.m.-8 p.m. Highlands Ranch
     ~ September 26th, 6:15 p.m.- 8 p.m. Parker

Contact Lindsay at or 303-839-9422 x148 to sign up. Online registration

Mindfulness Moment

Rainbow Walk: A Mindfulness Activity to Move the Body and Rest the Mind

Instructions:  Take a walk, and look for something red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.  Keep going through the colors, in order, until the end of your walk. This is a great activity to use before lessons when teaching details, for example, in writing.

  • Provide a worksheet for students to note and/or sketch something they saw in each of the colors;
  • After the walk, discuss what different members of the group noticed--were different people focused on different things? 
Idea came from Mindful Teachers  Mindful Teachers link

Physical Activity

Lazy Eights Strategy: 
Use these strategies to get students up and out of their seats. Ideal for breaks after intense or mentally challenging activities. 

1. Extend one arm in front of you with your thumb pointing upwards. 
2. Trace the shape of a figure eight in the air. The eight should be on its side and as you trace it out in large, slow movements focus your eyes on your thumb. Without moving your head trace three eights in successively larger movements. 
3. Now do it with your other hand and then clasp them together and do it with both hands

Tech Tips

Create a positive classroom culture

Help students grow by sharing regular, positive feedback in class and on their own portfolios.  ClassDojo link


AFHK's 2016-2017 Wellness Wednesday Webinar Series
Join us live from 2-2:30 MT on the second Wednesday of each month for practical tips on a variety of wellness initiatives. Register, view archived webinars link
  • September 14 - Walking and Running Initiatives in Schools
  • October 12 - Energize Employee Wellness in Your School
  • November 9 - Easy Nutrition Messages
  • December 14 - Nudge Kids to Eat Better at School: Smarter Lunchrooms
  • January 11 - Are You Ready to Take the SuperFit School Challenge?
  • February 8 - Celebrating National Nutrition Month and School Breakfast Week
  • March 8 - Engaging Volunteers Through Game On Activities
  • April 12 - Turn It Off! Promoting Screen-Free Activities at School
  • May 10 - Offering Healthy Snacks at School


Get your students moving! KRA has a well structured marathon program that can be implemented in all grade levels.  Kids Running America link

Healthy Recipe

Asian-Style Cobb Salad


  • 5 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained
  • 1/3 cup shredded chicken (Note: Vegetarians, try Beyond Meat or other chicken substitutes)
  • 1/3 cup grated carrots
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, diced
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions


  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce


  1. To make the vinaigrette, whisk together rice wine vinegar, garlic, sesame oil, sugar, ginger and soy sauce in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. To assemble the salad, place baby greens in a large bowl; top with arranged rows of mandarin oranges, chicken, carrots, avocado, eggs and green onions.
  3. Serve immediately with sesame vinaigrette.

Thank you for taking the time to read this month's blog. Please leave a comment on content or provide suggestions on topics that you may be interested in learning more about.  Have a wonderful September, good luck with finding your balance!

With gratitude,
Laurie LaComb


  1. Thanks Laurie for opening up all these amazing trainings for teachers, specialists,etc!

  2. Another great blog! The information is great! Thanks Laurie

  3. I loved the mindfulness walk idea! I would love to do that with my students! It will keep them focused and outside walking. Thanks Laurie.

  4. Great information once again! I appreciate the updated info.

  5. I am really excited about the trainings. Thanks for all your hard work. The rainbow activity would be great to spark a conversation on adjectives!

  6. Thank you for the quick and easy "Lazy 8" activity. I've used it before, but have not used it lately. I will use it this week!