This year I chose the word Energize. Energize. Every time I say it I think of Star Trek and imagine myself standing on the teleporter pad barking the command “Energize!” If only it were that easy.
It’s not a mystery. With a toddler and a three month old baby at home I don’t have much energy because I don’t sleep much. Let’s face it, I never exercise and I’m usually eating the dinner I made for my toddler (because why would she eat it?) one-handed while I rock/bounce/jiggle/sway the baby with the other. Most of my energy comes from coffee and my own tears as I pull gobs of post-partum hair from my head wondering if I’m doomed to a life of wearing hats.
There are some things that are beyond my control such as whether my baby sleeps through the night or whether I’ll be forced to attend a late night bouzouki party with Greek family. But little things like making choices that give me energy are with in my control and so I’d like to start there.
Energize my body with good food and activity, whatever I can get.
Energize my mind with interesting books, media, and conversation.
Energize my heart with kind actions towards others.
Energize my colleagues by helping them find what they need to have a joyous day.
Energize my hair with all natural vitamins, snake oil, and magic.
I first heard of One Little Word over at Two Writing Teachers. What a wonderfully simple way to focus your energy for the year. No messy resolutions, just one little word.
So I thought: why not try it with students?
I started by pulling a variety of exemplars and popping them into my favorite tool…Padlet. This visual layout worked great in helping students see the variety of words and the visual/artistic element of the project.
As they viewed it we talked about what we noticed and some things that we wanted to keep in mind as we made our choice. I asked students to view the Padlet through two lenses. 1) word choice and 2) design elements. Then students got to work, here is a photo of their hard work!
They attacked this project with gusto. (I’m sure it was sounding better than revising those pesky feature articles.) Students used both traditional and digital tools to create their words. Then they each took a picture or screenshot, posted it to their blog, and wrote a bit about why the chose the word that they did.
It’s tempting to over schoolify things sometimes so I didn’t set any expectation for their writing other than to explain why you chose the word you did. I took a big step back on this and just allowed students to do things however they wanted because I was hoping to encourage creativity and excitement. By making the one little word their own and not a “project for school” I hope they take it to heart and use it to help make 2015 an amazing year.
It’s not too late for you and your students to find your one little word for the year! Will you try it tomorrow and let us know how it goes?