January 12, 2008

Birthday Bucket

Filed under: about me,edtech,education,learning,personal learning network — Candace Hackett Shively @ 11:22 am

I love this idea.
You’ve got to be kidding.
But, what about…

I just spent over an hour looking at RSS feeds from blogs I enjoy reading, and I’m fired up. My “personal learning network” includes blogs from teachers, a powerful new blog from the people we “teach” (HA!- they teach us), blogs from people who would probably consider everything I do or write to be trivial, blogs that intrigue me, blogs of well-organized people who write with the authority of an op-ed columnist, and blogs intended as outgoing information-providers not much interested in response. My Google Reader also has feeds from REALLY techie places whose content I add to my “I really should/want to learn about this” list  and feeds from traditional pubs that rework the same content multiple times each week into at least five versions to make their feeds look more prolific. But you don’t care who is on my reader, anyway.

But what a great way to start a birthday: finding things I am excited about, feel strongly about, must argue with, or am simply fascinated by: things I want to do, think about, learn, comment on, and more. This is my “bucket list” of things I want to do–not before I die, but before the bucket overflows. If I keep drawing things from the bucket, I can keep adding.  My bucket is latex and expands like a swim cap under a faucet (try that experiment sometime, if your children are not swimmers— you can make it large enough to HOLD a swimmer). The first addition this year is the idea of a Birthday Bucket.

The Birthday Bucket idea is a hitch-hike on the “Annual Report” contest (deadline tomorrow…I probably won’t make it this year). What better idea on your birthday than to reflect and build a visual representation-in-four of the past year’s accomplishments/events/questions/thoughts/travels, etc. ?

Of course, Think-Like-a-Teacher me says this is something we could ask students to share in lieu of unhealthy birthday treats on their own birthdays. Imagine a fresh 8-year old’s visual version of being 7-going-on-8. We say kids are not reflective at this age, but wouldn’t that be a terrific skill to start building at a young age? Imagine how it would blossom when adolescence injects new questioning…and how great the retrospective of Birthday Buckets would be when trying to decide about life after high school or (in a dream world) what to STUDY in high school. Here are the instructions:

Birthday Bucket
Create a way to SHOW (not tell) what you are learning, wondering, fired up about, simply MUST say something about, have accomplished, or just think is special about you right now and over the past year. Put the items in some sort of “Birthday Bucket” of at least four elements that others can ask about, explore, see, feel, hear, or even taste. The bucket must be preserved in some way so you can look at it in months/years to come. Use any tools you enjoy and at least one tool you have never tried before. 

Stir. Share freely. Welcome comments.

This blog entry is my Birthday Bucket for this year:

Birthday Bucket 08

1 Comment

  1. What a great idea. I love the visual aspect of it as well as a way of recording those ideas that you are passionately interested in but aren’t sure how you’ll make them happen. As we all know, the first step to achieving something is SAYING it. So, by acknowledging these bucket items we are saying them and then they just might happen! Very cool.

    Comment by Liza Lee Miller — January 12, 2008 @ 11:28 am

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