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OLW 2015 Check-In

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Open: allowing access, passage, or a view through an empty space; not closed or blocked up. (Merriam Webster)

My OLW for 2015 is Open. I am continuing to see ways this word is infusing itself into my life. I am also trying to continue to live my word through the school year and remain open to changes and possibilities. I will be teaching first grade next year and moving rooms. It’s nerve-wracking when I look around at everything I have established in kindergarten, but exciting to think of this as a new adventure and a more permanent one. I have taught first grade before, one year, but I’ve decided to move to first grade and possibly remain there for a little while.

I look at my classroom and am overwhelmed by all the decisions that lay on counter tops and inside cupboards. What will I find that I haven’t used in years and what will I discover I don’t have?

When I crafted the meanings of my word for myself I thought about Open as a gateway to an open eye, open heart, open pen and an open mind. I continue to work to open these areas of my life and allow entry to new things, new possibilities.

What is your OLW for 2015? How’s it going?



Betsy Hubbard View All

Daughter, sister, wife, mother, teacher, and writer.

13 thoughts on “OLW 2015 Check-In Leave a comment

  1. Betsy,
    I just read Elizabeth’s post on wait time which brought my OLW to mind, Listen. I see room for improvement in my ability to listen, really listen, but I am finding I am listening better. I am glad I chose this word and I am really glad you’re asking me to check in, it seems accountability keeps my OLW in the front of my mind.
    TO YOU~Yay! Welcome to first grade (my personal favorite), I hope you find the joy (with less shoe tying) here as you did in kindergarten!


  2. In my 5th grade class we all picked OLW for New Years. We are ending the year with our poetry unit. We are enjoying writing our own mini anthologies withe our OLW as the theme!!


  3. I have been doing OLW for years. This year I chose iWrite which I guess isn’t technically a real word, but it’s mine. I have embraced it every single day since January 1. I am creating goals for my summer and next year around who I am as a writer and how I will share that writer with my students so they see themselves as writers too.


  4. I haven’t done this before but will take a wild (or not so wild) guess that the acronym stands for “one little word.” I’ll take de-cluttering if it is available.


  5. My largest OLW occurred last year. I moved from a rural district to an urban district that works entirely with workshop. It was always what I wanted, but I’m not going to lie, I was terrified how everything would translate when it came to STAAR time. I’m happy to report that our grade level writing test scores went up+6 and reading +4. One of my two sections was at 84% in writing. The highest essay score was a 7.

    As a level, we’ve already pulled all our data, so we can prepare towards more success next year! WHEW!!!!!!


  6. My OLW is “shift”, making little changes. The big shift I’ve been working just happened. I decided that this would be my last year to apply for jobs to move from elementary to middle school. I would either get a job or sift form trying to move, to contentment at staying. Well, I interviewed and got the job I wanted last year!!! I will write a SOL post about this later, closer to the end of the school year. There will be shifts in my practice next school year as I teach older kids and move to a new school community.


  7. I love the idea of OLW and I wonder if it’s too late to pick mine? Good luck on switching to first! I am a big believer in change coming when you are ready for it. I taught kindergarten for ten years and loved it for a long time. I learned so much about young children and their literacy development. My last year in kindergarten was difficult and I didn’t know how much I needed a change until the opportunity came to switch to third grade at the end of last year. With 2 young children and 10 years of kindergarten stuff that accumulated, switching grade levels was very time consuming, expensive and lots of hard work. It has all been worth it! I feel so renewed, excited, and happy as I learn the ropes of third grade. A fresh start does make you open to new adventures!


  8. My OLW is Notice and I have been trying to keep it really present- just right there. There are many times in my days at school when I’m reminded to notice, but one of my favorites is right at the beginning of reading and language arts class, when my third or fourth graders first come into the room. I make a point to look carefully and notice each of them as they find a spot to begin DEAR time. It really helps. When I spot something that seems worth investigating (a sad face, tired eyes, pale or flushed cheeks) I quietly check in with that student first. Often a quick check in is all that is needed. I think we all like to be noticed and cared for.


  9. My word is “light hearted”. I am really struggling with this. The greek gods seem to be having a good time testing my resolved to remain light hearted by throwing all kinds of bolts of thunder at me.


  10. Moving grades is full of anxiety and excitement. Moving classrooms is just plain awful. I had to move this week and found out that our janitors are under contract and cannot move anything. So I found kid volunteers. They were happy to do it, but I don’t think they should have. I am hoping you have better help with moving than I did.


  11. Thank you for this post. I find myself in the same position as you. I have taught Kindergarten for eleven years and was just informed that I am going to first. I will remain “open” to the adventure.


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