If you've been following my journey as a person or a blogger, you know I'm a big fan of the #OneLittleWord project (and resolutions in general, whenever necessary, not just for New Years). Last year, in addition to choosing my own word (You can read about the year of "Wonderstruck" here) I introduced my students to the process of choosing a one word embodiment of their scholastic goals as well! #Grit.
This year, my #OneWord2016 decision was prompted by a tweet from an author I greatly admire.
I read those words last week and they burrowed deep down in my core and started to take root there. I jotted the quote down and committed it to memory. It moved me, and words that move me often make me feel compelled to take action. For a while, I thought my word for this year might be "Captivated" mostly because I like it better (the way it sounds when I say it, looks when I write it.) It's a sweeping word, an underused word, a word that feels whimsical, and romantical (a word I've made up) and also (womp) a whole lot like "Wonderstruck" which was my word last year. Purpose though, makes sense for where I am in my life right now, and when I looked over the list of More & Less that I had already put together in place of more wordy resolutions, I realize that PURPOSE was at the core of what I was refining in 2016.
I'm not a person who is looking for my purpose. In fact, I think I have a pretty clear idea about what I'm meant to do in this life, and so my resolve is not to find my purpose but to let my purpose be the standard that I measure my days and choices and attitudes against in this new year. The guiding star in a galaxy of choices and moments, paths and opportunities. To live, teach, and walk through the world more purposefully, and to be more mindful of the things I pour myself into, making sure that they align with what I have purposed in my heart and soul to do.
In my 2nd grade classroom this year, we once again tackled the task of finding our #onelittleword for 2016. We began by brainstorming words that might give us direction in the new year. There were some great words up on our whiteboard word splash, but also a few that helped me realize that some of my 2nd graders might need some more direction. For those who were ready, I had scaffolded some activities for them to do with their word. They looked up and listed synonyms and antonyms for their word. If in that search, they came across a word they liked better, they had to note what was different about the meaning of the word, not just the sound or the way it looked. Next, they wrote about WHY they had chosen their word, and HOW they were going to use that word to help direct their new year. I gave students the option to transform their writing into an artblog on SeeSaw or an imovie using the ipads. Most of the kids selected the imovie. Their next step was to "StoryBoard" some scenarios that showed their #oneword in action. I asked them to think about these things:
What does that LOOK like?
How can you act it out?
Where would I see you practicing your word here at school?
They were also allowed to pull photographs from our SM feeds if they thought the pictures fit in with demonstrating their word. Once the story boards were finished, the students were allowed to direct some other students, and even myself in acting out their word.
Once they had collected some footage on the ipads, they met with me in small groups. They chose a trailer theme and I showed them how to drag and drop clips and photos into the imovie template (I LOVE imovie for making this so easy for kids and the finished product always looks so good!!!) Most of the kids found that they had some holes to fill, so they went back to filming. I started the project off being very hands-on but was soon able to assign class "experts" to help groups finish up while I met with guided reading groups or conferenced with writers.
The finished products are something that made us all feel proud and inspired!
You can find a playlist of ALL the finished #oneword videos here. We'd love to hear your #oneword for this new year, and how your classrooms come back from the holiday break resolute to make the most out of the 2nd part of the school year!