YES! for Teachers and Students features classroom materials to make your students happy.
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YES! Education Connection Newsletter YES! Education Connection Newsletter
Building a Just and Sustainable World    December 2008
The greatest part of our happiness depends on our dispositions, not our circumstances.Martha Washington

Coffee Smiley

Dear Educators,

New Year’s seems a good time to ask, “How am I doing? How can I be happy and bring happiness to the lives of others?”

You’ll find great fodder for those reflections in the current issue of YES! Magazine—treasures such as 10 Things Science Says Will Make You Happy, a gratitude test, and this newsletter features curriculum, projects, and other tools to explore multiple ways to happiness.

These insights couldn’t come at a more fitting time as we stumble through economic chaos and a presidential transition. Out of this upheaval, we have the opportunity to create a happier world. And it starts with each one of us.

Jing Fong, Education Outreach Manager, YES! MagazineEnjoy your much-deserved winter break,
and best wishes for a Happy 2009!
Jing's signature
Jing Fong
Education Outreach Manager, YES! Magazine

P.S. Forward this newsletter to teaching colleagues so they too can benefit from YES!

Your Stories
Chris Goodman
Finding Happiness Beyond The Classroom
At 19, Chris Goodman has already worked in the field of education for six years, beginning as a math tutor. Today, he helps inspire students in Baltimore to fight for their rights. Here, he encourages teachers to join their students in campaigning for quality education. Read his story.

MORE OF YOUR STORIES: Discovering the Beauty of Teenagers. Local food in schools. Student diplomats in Nicaragua. Teaching global warming in a small town.

SEND US your own story to share with our growing network of YES! educators.
YES! Recommends
Dee Williams reads in front of her little house

Happiness isn’t just fluff, it’s real. Scientists actually study what makes us happy. Here, we share their findings in a poster for your classroom:
10 Things Science Says Will Make You Happy.

You’ll learn how others practice happiness too:

:: Meet Dee Williams who found freedom when she scaled down from a three-bedroom home to an 84-sq. ft. house.

:: “No Impact Man,” and his young family had a merry Christmas without presents and are committed year-round to making the lowest impact possible on the environment. YES! Audio IconNEW: Interview with Colin Beavan.

:: Jarid Manos overcame despair and addiction and began healing people and prairie ecosystems

YES! Classroom Tools

Take Our Happiness Test
Have your students take this test to discover how thankful—and happy—they are. Researchers say gratitude is a measure of joy. Do we take time to tell our neighbors, friends, and family we appreciate them? In 2009, resolve to be happy.

The Page That Counts
The Page That Counts
Your students will be amazed by differences in water use between the U.S. and China, and the temperature on a synthetic turf field in contrast to an adjacent grass field.

Esc. Button
Secular Sabbath
Mark Bittman inspires us to take a break from a world infused with phones, computers, and video games. These guidelines will help your students start their secular sabbath today.

Detail from McMillan Comic
Rescue the Planet
This comic strip will not only amuse, but show students how they can use humor to make connections to current events. Follow up with a ReadWriteThink cartoon analysis.
Connect and Engage
These two top-notch resources offer opportunities for you and your students to truly understand the benefits of giving, and the strengths and virtues that make people and communities thrive.

Amy Fineburg, auhtor of the Positive Psychology curriculum
Positive Psychology Curriculum
Positive psychology is one of the fastest-growing subjects at the secondary level. High school teacher and national presenter Amy Fineburg’s positive psychology curriculum provides brilliant content, critical thinking exercises, and activities on a range of concepts from the good life to optimism to satisfaction.

Pay It Forward Bracelets
Pay It Forward Foundation
The “pay it forward” principle is simple: do something nice for someone with no expectations, and ask them to do the same for someone else. Examples and instructions for designing a Pay It Forward Project will inspire your students to take action. Mini-grants are available, too.
Must Reads and Music for the New Year
Spend time this winter with a civil rights lawyer, a K2 mountain climber, and the Dalai Lama. As we face economic adversity and uncertainty, each offers solutions, inspiration, and opportunities to bolster health and happiness for ourselves and for our local and global communities.

Cover of The Green Collar Economy
Cover of Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
CD Cover of Songa for Tibet
Read the review
Read interview
Have a listen
YES! Magazine logo
INDEX: in this issue
How to Get More YES!
YES! Magazine covers
What You Told Us
Mural at the Unitierra University in ChiapasHappy Teachers
What is the greatest joy of teaching? Here is what your colleagues say …
YES! Web Picks
Free Hugs T-shirt Free Hugs
Hug a stranger? After watching this true story of spreading joy, you may step outside your comfort zone and start your own campaign! 

Hands, courtesy ChallengeDay.orgChallenge Day
Could this be your school? You’ll be inspired by Yuba City High School students who transformed a culture permeated by cliques, bullying, and peer pressure.

Laughter Yoga Class Laughter Yoga
From giggling to side-splitting guffaws, people all over the world turn to laughter as their best medicine.

YES! in Spanish
Si logo - YES in Spanish
¿Tienes miedo al clima?

HugJoanna Macy shows in The Greatest Danger, how we can face our grief, fear, and rage about the climate crisis without “going to pieces.”

:: Read article in English.
Visual Learning
NYC Pillow Fight. Photo by Waisum Tam NYC Pillow Fight
Use this photo to ask your students what they notice and are wondering. Then share the facts behind the image to connect to greater understanding and discovery.

DOWNLOAD :: Visual Learning Lesson Plan.

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