#OLW2023 – Approximate

For my 9th year, I choose APPROXIMATE as my One Little Word (OLW).

Here are the words I chose over the years:
2015 – Responsiveness
2016 – Transparency
2017 – Routine
2018 – Active
2019 – Confident
2020 – Here / Hear
2021 – Structure
2022 – Healthy
2023 – Approximate

I was inspired to choose this word as I learned about Brian Cambourne’s Conditions for Learning from Colleen Cruz as a TCRWP Digital Institute. When I reviewed the eight conditions again APPROXIMATE pulled at me. I recall her tellng a story about a student learning in writing workshop about the period punctuation mark. After the lesson, the student placed a period on the far right hand side of every line of their written story. On the one hand, this shows that the student has not learned the correct way to use this punctuation. It goes at the end of a sentence of writing, not at the end of each row on lined paper. However, using Cambourne’s list of conditons, the student is APPROXIMATING how to use a period. With further use and more demonstration, they will learn how to use a period correctly. I want to have the mondset that what one does at first is NOT wrong, just a step along the learning path.

I sometimes find myself avoiding to try something if I am not sure I can do it correctly. I want to instead, be open to taking risks, try and be OK if I only approxiamte the task. Perfection is not the goal. Learning is the goal. Learning along the path, I want to celebrate when I approximate learning tasks!

After looking up the verb form in the synonym dictionary, the idea of being allied, a twin, an equal is also listed. This appeals to me, too. Being supportive is implied with these words and is a mantra I strive to attain. The next 3 Saturday’s I’ve signed up to learn about Black History from both Colleen Cruz and Sonya Cherry Paul. My first official LEARNING in 2023!! I’m glad to take this learning risk! (Space is still open and I KNOW the learning from these two brilliant women will be amaizing. If interested, click HERE.)

This year, in my work, my personal life and as I support of my family, I will be ok with how I learn and strive to be supportive.
In 2023, APPROXIMATE will be my guiding OLW. How about you?


9 thoughts on “#OLW2023 – Approximate

  1. kimhaynesjohnson says:

    Sally, this word reaches out to me. What I love most is the thought processes that go into word choices – and I would have never thought of “approximate” as a step along the learning path until you explained it. You sharpened my thinking on this one for sure! I need more of this in my life – – it’s a great way to attempt anything new – – to know that the first tries may be approximate. Wow! (My OLW 2023 is pray).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. margaretsmn says:

    I can’t remember who, but someone chose Try as their OLW and I think approximate is a fancier word for that simple concept. Throw perfectionism out the window and just try. “You do not have to be good,” wise words from Mary Oliver.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Glenda Funk says:

    I love the word “approximate” as a OLW. I think about my typos in blog posts and how I’ve learned to shrug my shoulders at them, knowing they’re close to correct. Approximate emphasizes process over product, a big benefit, too. Good enough for now is a good mantra supporting getting close. Now I have some looking and learning to do from the scholars you named. Bravo!


  4. Greg&Linda says:

    Love that second paragraph where you state that you want to be open to taking risks, to be imperfect. That is so what I need to do, too. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on your OLW.


  5. NYOCW says:

    Good word. I liked reading the history of your chosen words over the years. You are a good archivist of your own learning! I share your excitement about new learning in 2023!

    Golden line: “I want to instead, be open to taking risks, try and be OK if I only approximate the task.”


  6. Fran McCrackin says:

    Hi Sally, I didnt comment right away but I have been mulling over your great word approximate. I even talked about it with a friend recently. At first it reminded me of the ‘ish idea, and why elementary school teachers love reading that book, to free their students to try writing and drawing and more, and valuing their efforts. Then you add the ‘ally’ and ‘supportive’ aspects and I am even more intrigued. I hope you will write again about this word, perhaps mid—year and end-of-year, if not more. Set a timer!


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