Y3W (Your Three Words)

Written By smcneely

On March 2, 2011

Read more

I’m not a morning person but once in a blue moon I find inspiration in the early hours of my day. Several months ago, I caught a clip on the weekend morning news called Y3W which stands for Your Three Words. All week people send in photos and videos with signs containing three words that capture the essence of their week. The images are strung together in a music video and for 2-3 minutes you get a window into the worlds of people all over the planet. A toddler holding a sign that say “New Big Brother”, or a beaming young girl displaying a sparkly diamond and a sign that reads, “I said yes!”, or a soldier returning home with a sign that says “home sweet home”. Some signs are clever, some are sweet, some are sad, but all tell a story in just three words.

This made me think about how students would rise to the challenge of channeling  a big idea into a compact three word statement and so I put my idea to the test with student scholars throughout the state of KY who were invited to participate in this year’s GEAR UP Alliance Institute. Their challenge: Tell me the three words that are driving your dream. What three words hold promise for you when the going gets tough? What three words do hold the essence of your aspirations?

The response was both powerful and inspiring. I had so many photos, I had to make two videos!

After completing this process, it made me think about all the ways Y3W could be inserted into the work I do with schools and students as reflection and celebration of learning. Here are a few possibilities:

  • book “talk”- kids who all read a common book could boil it down to the three words for each of them that capture the heart and soul of the text. The video could be used as a publicizing  tool to be shared in media centers or morning announcements
  • end of the year reflection on biggest lessons learned (this would be great graduation material!)
  • unit review

Any way you slice it, it’s an interesting process to force concision. I’m wondering what three words will best sum up my week? It’s only Wednesday, so I’m not ready yet to decide. What Three Words have your attention this week?