Saturday, December 31, 2016

January 2017

January 2017

Positivity is a powerful tool that shapes the way we think. Our minds are amazing! If we look at our brain as a garden, there are many different types of seeds within it to tend. We have negative seeds such as anger, anxiety and hate and positive seeds such as love, kindness, and focus.  We have the choice on what to feed! Those seeds that get more attention will grow stronger and have more prevalence in our daily lives than those seeds we ignore. We know that Healthy Schools work at all of our sites has such a positive presence, let's keep that going strong throughout 2017!!! Let's start off the new year feeding the seed of positivity in our minds.

Important Deadlines

The Healthy School Champion Award application is due January 20, 2017. I am happy to come out over the next few weeks to help you complete the application, just let me know when. As a reminder, schools must have completed the Smart Source tool either for the 2015/16 or the 2016/17 school year. Here is the link.

Free All Day Workshop (register by 1/6)

Teaching Health Education in PE: A free workshop

This K-12 workshop focuses on implementing activities and strategies that integrate Health Education into the Physical Education setting through standards-based instruction and best practices. Participants will leave with activities, lessons, and resources to use the next day and need to come ready to be active!

February 8, 2017, 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Lone Tree Recreation Center, Maple Room (10249 Ridgegate Circle, Lone Tree, 80124)

Training Objectives:
• Identify similarities and differences between Health Education and Physical Education skills.
• Identify strategies to overcoming barriers to teaching Health Education in your Physical Education setting.
• Develop activities and strategies that integrate Health Education into Physical Education through standards-based instruction and practices.

Please register by January 6, 2017. Lunch will be provided. Up to 20 subs can be covered on that day by the Healthy Schools Department. Contact with any questions. 

Indoor Recess Ideas

Don't let the cold weather keep students from moving! We know that inactive bodies create inactive minds, so get everyone moving! Here are a few ideas/reminders on how to get your students moving during the colder months of the year.

1. Use a pedometer, make a step goal for the group and start walking through the halls (we have a class set that we can loan out to anyone who will use them)
2. Use a deck of cards to create movement opportunities in the classroom  Deck of cards link
3. Yoga! Use this awesome website for ideas and the opportunity to print your own free printables
4. Use your Fitsticks and other movement cards (needs some, check our DCSD Healthy Schools Lending Library link)
5. Play freeze dance
6. Get out the beach balls and play some volleyball
7. Use GoNoodle and other YouTube videos to get students up and moving
8. Remind students to bundle up and take them out for recess
9. Challenge your fellow teammates to see who can move their students the most in a week- make a prize or a traveling trophy
10. Teach the students a new dance, such as the Electric Slide

New Resources (Healthy Schools Library Link)

We are excited to announce that we have some new resources for you to take advantage of! Recently we acquired Skillastics (picture below) and here is the description link. Please contact to set up a month for you to use it with your students.

Playground Stencils

We know that colorful and engaging playgrounds get students to move more during their time outside. DCSD is now the proud owner of a set of the world playground stencils so if your school is planning on painting your playground just let me know and we will escort the set over to you.  If you need creative ideas or resources check out Peaceful Playgrounds link.  We also have copies of the Learning Landscapes Toolkit which includes a plethora of ready to share playground games that can be posted outside. Please contact Laurie LaComb for more details at

Therapeutic Recreation in Highlands Ranch

Highlands Ranch has an extensive therapeutic recreation department. Here is the link
HR Therapeutic Recreation Opportunities Jan.-April link  Contact Summer Aden at 303-471-7043 for more information.

SEL Resource

What is Move This World?
Move This World has trained over 150,000 individuals across school districts and organizations to strengthen their mental, emotional and social wellbeing in order to foster safe and supportive learning environments where effective teaching and learning can occur. This program does require a fee. 

Move This World equips educators and students with tools to to address their social and emotional wellbeing.

PreK-12 digital tools to start and end the school day. Each tool is developmentally aligned, maps to the Collaborative of Academic Social and Emotional Learning, and is no longer than 5 minutes.

If you need any information, you can reach out to:

Caitlin Daly

Education Wellbeing Consultant

Cell: 201 410 4537


Mind Yeti was developed by mindfulness and social-emotional learning experts to be an easy way to take a purposeful pause.
  • For kids in grades K–5 (and their adults)
  • 12 short, free-forever audio sessions
  • A growing library of premium content
  • Available on any connected device
  • Curious about how Mind Yeti can be used with the Second Step program? See the alignment chart.

Mind Fuel Daily is a fabulous website for mindfulness activity ideas. For example, one easy way to share mindfulness with your students is to use the ABCs-  Awareness, Balance, Compassion. Maybe your class can make up their ABCs book. Thank you to Megan Balfe for sharing this wonderful website!  Mind Fuel Daily link

School Successes

Cherry Valley built a Gaga Pit this fall using DCSD Healthy Schools mini grant funds. Gaga is a gentle game of dodgeball, played in an octagonal pit that uses a soft foam ball.  The game combines the skills of dodging, striking, running, and jumping, while trying to hit opponents with a ball below the knees. This game can be played by all ages and is a ton of fun! Here are Gaga rules.  Contact Jan Francis at for more details on construction and cost.

Take Care of Yourself!

I subscribe to a wonderful website called Be Brain Fit, Be Brain Fit link which I highly recommend.  This is an amazing resource that focuses on the foods and vitamins we consume in relation to their effects on brain functioning. Their most recent post focuses on Vitamin B complex.  Use this resource to help support your healthy food and vitamin choices. If you like it, share with others!!

Sleep Resources for High Schools Students

Sleep is essential for optimal brain functioning but getting our teenagers (and ourselves!) to get enough sleep is challenging! Here is a fabulous resource (includes, classroom activities, classroom presentations, free posters, lesson plans, and fact sheet links) for teachers working with  13-18 year old students. Sleep Recharges You Toolkit link


Healthy Cinnamon Carrot Cookies

Healthy Cinnamon Carrot Cookies
  • 1 1/4 Cup Rolled Oats (gluten free)
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp All Spice
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp (1g) salt
  • 1/2 Cup melted Coconut Oil
  • 2 Eggs (or flax eggs)
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup/Honey
  • 1 Cup Grated Carrots
  1. Preheat oven to 180ÂșC and line baking sheet.
  2. Mix together the oats, coconut flour, baking powder, salt,cinnamon, all spice and nutmeg.
  3. With the paddle attachment, mix together the coconut oil, vanilla, egg, maple syrup/honey.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and continue to mix.
  5. Fold in the carrots.
  6. Place batter in the fridge for about 20min.
  7. Scoop dough onto baking sheet in 12 round dollops and press flat slightly.
  8. Bake for 15min.
  9. Allow to cool.
  10. Enjoy 

Happy New Year and thank you for reading this month's blog! Please share with us your successes and any ideas for future blogs.  Don't forget to leave a comment on the blog to get your name in this month's Reader's Prize raffle.

Have a positive January! 

With gratitude for all that you do,
Laurie LaComb


  1. I really appreciate the Physical Activity suggestions for the new year! Something I did for the classroom teachers before the holiday break was make them a set of Fitstrips instead of Fitsticks. I used card stock and typed the physical activities on a master. Center the information and print them back to back. It took quite a bit of cutting but it was worth it. Now each teacher has a set! They love them, especially with a sub. The sub can still get in the PA breaks very easily.

  2. The Gaga pit continues to be a big hit. All K-6 kids can play together!
    I appreciate all the resources. I'm going to check out the mindful information! Thank you

  3. Thanks for all the wonderful ideas! Happy New Year!

    1. You won our reader's prize for January! I will bring by your winnings tomorrow when I am at Plum Creek!

  4. I received the sleep posters in the mail for free and they are up in the health rooms and pods. Good reminder.