The edutwitterverse is filled this time of year with the hashtag #oneword2017. If you’re not familiar with #oneword its pretty simple, rather than create a resolution the goal is to find that one word that will drive the rest of your year, be your focus and keep you on track. Often after posting their #oneword people will share their blogs explaining why they chose that word and what it means to them. These inspiring, thought provoking posts often leave me with a “Hey! Why didn’t I think of that?” kind of response.

And for the last couple of years I’ve shared my own #oneword and blogged about those words.

And  then……..

I forgot them. I mean I knew what my word was, but unless I revisited that post or checked out the hashtag, I wasn’t thinking about that word beyond that month. I can’t honestly say I was living my #oneword for 365 days. As a proud practitioner of ADHD I’d moved on.

So this time I’m going to try something different. Instead of creating one blog post about my word I’m attempting to explain my #oneword2017 in Haiku over many posts. This challenge forces me to think more deeply about my word, why it’s important and keep it at the center of my thinking. Plus I’m a great fan of the Haiku form, though not a very proficient practitioner. 

I’m not sure how many posts it will be, the quality of the Haikus (what is the plural of Haiku?)  or if it will end up going down in flames when I lose focus and sprint of in some other direction.

But whatever happens I know I’m charging forward in 2017.

What are you grateful for?

We have just passed that holiday of giving thanks, Thanksgiving. Along with too much food and  falling asleep on the couch this is a time to reflect on what we are thankful for. This week #teachNVchat focused on what we are thankful for in our jobs and how we can help students to express gratitude.

After a great chat and reading the blogs from my friend @saraholm15 I thought I should share some of the things I’m grateful for. This week’s gratitude focuses on some of the students that I get to spend time with, specifically 1st grade.

Our 1st graders are working on learning how animals protect themselves. The students focused on what qualities the animals have that allow them to exist in their environment. As an entry event for this #PBL I was asked to come and skateboard for the kids and then fall down. The students would then take what they are learning about animals and create safety gear for me. The following pictures are what they have come up with:


Students began generating lists and writing about which parts they would protect.
After creating the list they figured out who would protect what and began reading about animals that have protective features. They began talking Bio-mimicry and why this would be important to helping animals (and me) survive.
After a lot of reading and writing the planning of the safety gear began. 
Construction began


Bet you can’t guess the animal that inspired my new helmet

So next week I will be coming in and trying out my new safety gear in all 3 of our 1st grade classes. What has been really great is every time I come into those classes, or at lunch or recess, I get an update. One day I was just passing through to another class and I was stopped by a group of 1st graders who demanded I lay down on the floor to be measured. They then debated what tools to use to measure me and settled on connecting cubes. Another time I was asked hold still while students sketched my hand. Students have shared which part they are protecting, why it is important and what animal inspired their design. The power of this is that students are taking what they are learning and applying it to real world solutions, not just for some answers on a test. Project Based Learning is much more than just creating a product, it is the learning that goes into solving that problem and creating real world applications that can be tested.

So I am thankful for my 1st grade friends and that they are looking out for me. I look forward to seeing how they safety gear works and posting some move pictures.

Hopefully I can get some 3rd graders to figure out some ways to protect me on my bike.