Pay It Forward Plates And More

We started today with our annual Lessons and Carols service in church; I love it when John's Brass band joins the winds and the strings to accompany the choir and lead our worship. Such a beautiful way to start the week.

This week, I delivered several Pay-It-Forward plates 
to people in our community who serve. 
Or to family and friends.

It's such a win-win, to surprise someone with a plate of goodies to let them know that they are loved. And they don't have to have sweets on them; put whatever you'd like on them and watch what happens. It's as much about the visit as it is about what's on the plate. Challenge them to fill the plate when it's empty
with a specialty of their own and give it to someone special.

Need ideas for other no-cost or low-cost gifts?
Read Caring Is Always In Season at ProSignDesign {here}

Turns out there are also some psychological benefits
to baking for others. Find out about that {here}.

Need some last-minute gift book recommendations?

For the sports enthusiast on your list, consider this Sports Illustrated Kids newcomer, The United States of Sports.

I gave a copy to my friend Asher across the street
and we immediately went to the Texas page, 
where we found Jose Altuve, J. J. Watt, and James Hardin.
His excitement told me we had a winner in our hands.

Looking for an engaging, colorful storybook? 

In this adorable mouse tale, a hungry little mouse learns to persevere through his dangerous day and, with the help of a friend, turn it into something extraordinary. Will Gus appreciate the present he gets from his misfortune? Check out this book to see for yourself how Gus uses the gifts embedded in his trials.

Finally, Maddi's Fridge is now available in Spanish.

I loved this book in English, so you can imagine my delight when I found that this award-winner is now in Spanish as well. Travel with these two friends as one tries to problem solve for the other in this funny, sweet tale of two fast friends who survive hunger and a broken promise until both are happy and healthy.

Since this one has to do with what is or isn't on your plate, it might be a fun time to pull out the paper plates and play this holiday game

Need another fun idea for this week before winter break? Check out Rachel Lynette's Brain Break cards {here} or Would You Rather prompts {here}.

Want to help connect your students? 
Try an I Am Map, like this one.

Model being vulnerable by creating and sharing yours, too; here's the one I made during a getting-to-know-you breakout session in Indiana. Invite students to share with one another or, for a creative twist, share them blindly and give your students a chance to guess which map belongs to which student. How well do your students know one another?

Here's to a Merry and Bright week before Christmas!

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