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Someone mentioned to me yesterday that I was like a sponge. Yes, I have always loved learning and research, but I would say I am more like a colander. I really try to take in lots of ideas, tools, and experiences but only share out the ones that really have value and merit for you. I also feel strongly about being candid and talking about mental health (during Mental Health Month AND every other month).
And... I love to include a little whimsy... so I always try to bring you something that bring me joy in hopes it will also bring you joy. I hope you enjoy. 😉

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5+ Creatively Productive Tips,
Tools, and Things to Love 

🎧A Podcast Everyone Needs to Hear: As I mentioned in previous newsletters, one of my tasks this year was taking our Healthy Chaps speaker series for parents (recorded videos of the live talks) and turning them into podcasts. I think I have always had a serendipitous relationship with media kind of like in that movie Fools Rush In. I encounter a lyric, quote, movie, scene, etc... that speaks to me on a personal level when I need it most. To be perfectly candid, I struggle with self esteem and self worth. Oftentimes, I feel like I am not doing enough or what I am doing isn't good enough and this most recent talk was exactly what I needed to hear. The title is "How Teaching Your Teen Self-Compassion Beats Self-Esteem Every Time". The 48 minute podcast covered the research-based benefits of self compassion, the myths and how we can address them, and some practical tips for practicing or modeling self-compassion. I got so much out of this episode personally, professionally, and from a parenting lens. If you would like the handouts she mentions in the talk, they are all linked here.
📺😍A Netflix Series I Can't Get Enough Of: A colleague turned me on to the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend series (available on Netflix) a few years ago and I fell in love with it. It is exceptionally well cast and written. Picture something like Friends, Sex in the City, or Felicity... meets Glee. The show isn't about singers or a glee club - there are just random songs that pop up throughout the show to give you a better feel for how the character is feeling and what they are going through. All of the songs that pop up through the 4 seasons are original and amazing - so no covers... but there are many nods to actual songs and bands and styles of music. But... my favorite part is how they handle the struggle of mental health. You can read more in this article (but beware... lots of spoilers... so maybe just take my word for it.) 😉 If you are curious as to what I mean about these pop up songs, I am sharing 2 of my faves. "I Hate Everything But You" and "Trapped in a Car with Someone You Don't Want to be Trapped in a Car with". I should also mention that this show received 98% on Rotten Tomatoes... and OMT Common Sense Media says age 14+... so just a heads up. 
"I Hate Everything But You"
"Trapped in a Car with Someone You Don't Want to be Trapped In a Car with"
✨💙Awesome Categories in Canva to Check Out: In case you haven't perused Canva recently (or at least I just noticed it recently), I just wanted to share that they now have a category for Mind Maps, Class Schedules, Planners, Calendars, Daily Reports, Worksheets, and Lesson Plans. This made my template heart happy!
🐦A Twitter Chat You Won't Want to Miss: I am hosting #aussieED on Twitter this weekend: Sunday 8:30pm AEDT. If you are CST or PST, it is a bit early (5:30 am CST on Sunday May 12th) but I thought I would mention it nonetheless. If you can't make the live chat, I will share the archive next week. We will be talking about Creatively Productive and sharing ideas for achieving personal and professional goals, effective strategies for organization, ideas for helping students break down large tasks, tools and best practices for managing distractions in the classroom... and much more!
📱An iPhone Wallpaper to Consider: With this 30 Day Social Media Detox at an end (read about the why and how of this process here), I really wanted to be mindful about how I use my device moving forward and having something visual and ever present as a reminder tends to be effective. So I created the following wallpaper for my phone. I also moved all of the nonessential apps to later pages on my phone. I am still working on a blog post about this process, my lessons learned, and what advice I would give someone plunging into this process. Until then, I will leave you with this blog post about determining values. Creativity and Respect are two of my values. Knowing what is important to you helps you make better decisions about how tools, apps, and experiences contribute to those values so that seemed an effective daily reminder for me. If this topic of values and decision making is of interest to you, I go much deeper into this idea in Chapter 4 of my latest book Creatively Productive.

Sharing #CreativelyProductive 

😊A Favor... Amazon reviews are how people locate and connect with books that they will love. If you have enjoyed Creatively Productive and/or found it helpful to you and your profession, please take a moment and leave an Amazon review. It would mean the world to me. 
👉The first Creatively Productive book study is totally under way. The Book Study will go through early June so there is plenty of time to join in. The schedule is listed above. Don't feel like you have to be there for the entire book study. You can always just pop in for a week or a favorite chapter. #OrEdChat is the place to be. If these dates and times don't work for you BUT you are interested in participating and/or hosting a book study in your time zone, please fill out this interest form.
Order the Creatively Productive Book Here
Where I'll Be: If you are looking for some IRL TechChef "Creatively Productive" sessions, I will be at Learnfest.

Where I'll Be Virtually: I will also be doing a session during the Teach with Technology conference (July 22-24th) and the Hive Summit conference (August 1st-14th).
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