Sunday, January 3, 2016

Helping Students Find Their One Little Word

Thank you to Margaret Simon from Reflections on the Teche for hosting DigiLit Sunday. Visit her site to see how other educators are incorporating technology into their classrooms.


The Internet is abuzz with One Little Word posts and images.  I still don't have mine pinned down, but I'm getting closer.  Now that I'm back in the classroom, I want to give my students the opportunity to find their One Little Word.  It seems like the perfect way to begin our day together when we meet tomorrow.

So, what is important for kids to understand about One Little Word?  I find for myself, that my OLW sets my course for the year.  Last year's word, Quiet, was a gentle reminder to slow down and center myself when life seemed out of control.  I added some new habits because of my word.  I began to meditate and do yoga on a regular basis.  I took a break from some of my professional obligations in order to make more time for taking care of myself and my family.  It was a good word for me.

I want my kids to take time to think about their OLW.  For some, the word will fall in their laps immediately.  I've had those years. For others, it may take a day or two and that's ok.  Words have been swirling around inside my head for several days now and I know the right word will land soon enough.

To help my students prepare, I created this Google slide presentation.  I added some guiding questions to help them begin to do some writing in their writer's notebooks.  I imagine that I'll see a variety of sketching, webbing, list making, and narrative writing.  After they choose their word, I'll ask them to represent their word in some way.  This is where choice comes in.  Some students may choose to create a painting or sketch on paper, while others may choose to create a digital representation.  They may write a poem or write a play that demonstrates their word, which they can record. I will ask everyone to post their final work on their blogs so that they can get feedback from others.




I am looking forward to the creativity that I'll be seeing in Room 204.  If you ask your students to share their One Little Word, please share you link with me in the comments.  I'd love to connect our classes.

If this presentation will help you, please feel free to use it.  You can access it above or via this link:  https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/14ciLEycQYkaf0wT7YuRLdpejxoHgeNW-PyMRzPYzy-U/edit?usp=sharing

Happy 2016!



13 comments:

  1. Brilliant totally nailed it! I will give you full credit as I "steal" every idea and make it mine with my OLW quest. Huge thanks friend

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    1. Steal away! I hope you'll share your kids' OLWs.

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  2. Thanks for the Google slides. I'll add it to my Emaze that I show my kiddos this week.

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing your Google Slides!! I'm excited about working with kids in the upcoming weeks to help them find their OLWs. I found mine this morning, thanks to a brilliant sermon at church. :-)

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    1. I can't wait to read about it Holly. Happy New Year!

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  4. Julie,
    Thanks for this. You and Margaret have inspired me to add on to your thinking. Last year I found I had to give students a list to pull from. They needed a bit more scaffolding to help them find their OLW. This year I'm thinking about having them take the idea home to get some input from their families. Not to approve or disapprove but to have a conversation about. Maybe encourage another family member to take on a OLW. Perhaps then they will have more success bridging the classroom life with the home live.

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    1. Great idea! I have used a list before too. I decided not to this year. Not sure if that's a good idea or not. Maybe we'll create a list together on a chart.

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  5. I'm hoping that the brianstorming I do with my students to help them find their OLWs will help me find mine! It's still hiding...

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    1. Yeah, I'm hoping that my word will solidify after doing this with my kids tomorrow. :)

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  6. Your slideshow should really help your students and I loved doing OLW with my third graders. Pondering about it with second graders tomorrow. We would write our word as a title, the definition and then why we chose that word. I would then show the kids how to marble on top of this using shaving cream and liquid dye. Can I say - so much fun!

    However, I was a bit disappointed as a reader because I don't know your word yet.

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  7. Julie, it is exciting to have your students start their journey of learning this year by choosing their own OLW. Last year, I worked with teachers to do the same thing. I look forward to hearing about your OLW. If you and your students choose to create a digital inspiration about their OLW, I would like to include that in my winter gallery in a section under New Year, New Direction. Consider joining #NYEDChat tomorrow night for our discussion on One Word to Guide Our Journeys. 8 pmEST

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  8. Thanks for the ideas, Julie! I have never chosen an OLW, but this is my year!

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