Stanley The Hamster and #The23DayProject

It all began when I saw snaps of snapchat artists and their drawings. I was in aww of their playfulness and use of doodles in real life. I wanted to do that too.

August last year I was unpacking boxes in my new classroom. As I looked at the boxes I had left to unpack I suddenly an idea. What if my classroom had a pet. It would need to be something fast and easy to draw…what about a hamster. I picked up my phone, used the drawing option in snapchat and drew my very first Stanley the Hamster.

Holy wow, it wasn’t simple, it wasn’t even easy and how in the world do they? How would I have time to doodle a hamster over something I took a picture of going on in my classroom to share out while I was trying to teach….what was I thinking!

But Stanley didn’t let himself forgotten that easy.

He whispered to me, giggled and talked to me. He wasn’t just a class hamster doodle, he was my alter ego…Cute little stinker!

As I planned a presentation my friend she shared with me a story from her classroom about doodles her students had drawn, like mascots, like learning mascots (that idea is an idea to share in another post though). Suddenly Stanley was not only part of my imagination, now he was going to be part of a presentation and a part of my classroom… then he started showing up everywhere!

March came around and I saw a tweet for #The100DayProject  “A Free Global Art Project That Anyone Can Participate In” think creating the same thing for 100 days straight. 100 days, 100 days in a row. Holy wow… that sounded awesome. Holy word that sounds scary… uggg no….ahhhh yes! Holy my…Im in! I was going to draw Stanley for 100 days straight…I was in.

So on April 4th Stanley and I started on an this crazy 100 day adventure…

I drew Stanley everyday. He became part of every part of my life, from surfing on the steering wheel while I drove to orchestrating my daughter’s piano lesson to helping bake cookies to snuggles on the couch. Then somewhere along the way other friends started to join our adventures. Harold the fat, red glasses wearing, shy hamster and Lloyd the tiny, tough and over the top bunny made their ways back into our lives. Then came Ted the rainbow maned, snuggly, silent type unicorn became Stanley and friends. Oh the fun they we had!

June came and conference presentation after conference presentation combined with travel brought an end to the challenge for me. Being slightly competitive…who am I kidding I am totally competitive… I could be disappointed that I didnt’ make it the whole 100 days and honestly I was a little but then I wasn’t.  I made it 65 days. 65 days in a row!  But that’s not really why I wasn’t disappointed.

I wasn’t disappointed because when I think about those 65 days I learned that they taught me more than I could have ever imagined….

Have you ever done the same thing for 65 days in a row? I hadn’t

Do you know what happens when you do the same thing for 65 days? Freckin awesome stuff

Do you know how doing the same thing for 65 days make you feel? So proud you feel like crying and you do when you tell others about it (ok maybe that is just me)

Do you know what you learn when you create the same thing for 65 days? So much more than you ever thought you could or were capable of

Do you know what happens when you document your journey? Instant record of your journey, a visual display of your growth and progress, pictures of work from yourself that you never thought you were capable of! Others share words and thoughts and ask you and encourage you and cheer you on about your journey.

So what would happen if our students took a leap like this in our class?

What would happen if they picked a single skill, absolutely any skill and worked on it everyday for set amount of time?

What kind of experience would our students have?

What would it be like if we took this leap with our students and journeyed along side them?

What if our students and us picked a single skill (absolutely anything…academic or non-academic, creative or skill based…absolutely anything) and worked on it for 23 days (5 school days week, about 4 weeks, making it a month and a little beyond…and its a fun number isnt it)? 

What would they experience?

What would they have would they see in their journey?

What would they learn about themselves?

What would they learn from each other?

What would they learn from us?

What would we learn together? 

I’m certainly going to find out! 

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