Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What Inspires You?

I'm inspired by books, art, music and people.  I'm inspired by nature.  I'm also inspired by kaleidoscopes.  I have a small collection, several are just the mirrors.  When you focus on something it reflects in the kaleidoscope.  I always marvel at the beauty I see reflected back to me, even in a stack of laundry.

While playing with my phone I found several kaleidoscope aps.  The one that made this picture is from "Toy Kaleidoscopes".  It acts just like my mirrored kaleidoscopes.  Point it at something (clothes in a closet, cans in the pantry, etc).  You can get some very beautiful shots.

I then uploaded it to my facebook page and then dragged it to my desktop.  From there I was able to upload it to my blog.  I am sure there is a more direct route than the one I took.

I find inspiration in the blogs I read, Two Writing Teachers have talked about choosing "One Little Word".  I decided on gratitude.

Yesterday with my 5/6 combo I asked them to make a gratitude list.  List of things they were grateful for, accomplishments, new skills they had learned, people who had helped or supported them.  At first they just looked at me.  Gratitude?  You see the elementary school I work at is a feeder school for our community's homeless shelters.  Many of my students have seen more grief than most adults will live through their entire lifetime.

After I gave them time I shared an article from the "Parade Magazine" insert from our newspaper.  "Up Your Gratitude: Thank-you Notes can have Profound Effects"  This link is a copy of that article.

John Kralick is a lawyer who discovered the power of Thank-you notes.  His book "A Simple Act of Gratitude" is now available in paperback.

I asked my students to write a thank-you note to someone.  I said it could be a family member, a friend, or a teacher who has helped them.  They wrote.  The room was quiet as they wrote.  I encouraged them to write at least one thank-you note a month.  My goal is to write one note a week.

I want to go back and read more posts about "One Little Word".  It has already led me to some amazing ah-ha moments.  To me gratitude and inspiration are closely linked.  I am looking forward to finding more ways to be inspired.  What inspires you?


  1. What a powerful article, thanks for sharing it. I am looking forward to learning how that one little word influences life. I love the kaleidoscope pictures, they have always intrigued me. What inspires me? I get a lot from the SOL community but also friends.

  2. I'm glad you are choosing a word this year. I love focusing on a single word for a year. My third year, I selected gratitude. It's a good word. I can't wait to hear how it wraps itself around your life this year.

  3. What a meaningful writing experience! I don't think we show our gratitude nearly enough as we ought to - so the idea of one note a week sounds especially meaningful. I shall have to try this, as I already have a long list of people I owe thanks to!

  4. Thank you for the article; I'll share it with staff this week. I believe showing gratitude to others is so important & it gives back to us in that we begin inside ourselves seeing how much is on the 'to be grateful' list. And-thank you for the telling about the kaleidoscope app. Very cool. I love your photos. I got my first app gift this year. Do you know about Peaks? Check it out! What inspires me? Seeing other people learning and talking about things, like you just did. I just get excited because you are! Happy New Year!

  5. What is Peaks? Is it an app? I am thankful for the people who read what I write. I am very thankful for the people who have taken time to comment. I have learned so much because of you. Thank you.

  6. Sorry I didn't explain so well. Peaks is an app that when you hold up your phone, or IPad in any direction, anywhere, it shows the nearest peak/elevation & tells about it, shows the latitude/longitude, etc. Very fun!

  7. This is a great article!! Thanks for sharing it with us. I hope to show more gratitude towards the people around me this year.

  8. This was an inspiring slice. Gratitude has amazing positive power. Thank you for writing, sharing your thinking, and pointing to the article.

  9. I was inspired by your post. We sometimes see small things insignificantly, however, if we get to see other people and reflect on ourselves, then we may understand. I'll definitely watch out for your next posts. Continue to inspire other people. A lot of them will be grateful --- be it written, said or even unsaid words of gratitude.


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