Blogger’s Note: I created #Hashtag180 for educators to share resources, specifically, by hashtagging curriculum standards and objectives. What if educators tweeted examples of curriculum, and then hashtagged their tweets with curriculum objectives? Let’s connect as a global community to make experiences better for our learners!

The beauty of #Hashtag180 is that it helps educators become better for students.

STOP what you’re doing. Right now! Look all around you.

While on a recent fifth grade field trip to the Washington, DC, area, I walked down to the Mount Vernon Wharf and took this picture. What do you see?

If you said: “I see a person reading on a bench on the bank of the Potomac River,” you are right.

Yet, as an elementary STEM specialist and fifth grade math/science teacher, I also see:

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In about ten seconds, several curriculum-related ideas came to mind.

The beauty of #Hashtag180 is that when you are hashtagging curriculum objectives in tweets from your learning spaces every day, this kind of thinking comes naturally. The more familiar you are with your curriculum, the more apparent curriculum-related opportunities present themselves in your every day life.

Look Out for Learning! Let’s break down this picture through the eyes of an educator, featuring the North Carolina Science Essential Standards and Common Core Math Standards.

1–Beautiful cumulus clouds! Large marshmallows with flat-bottoms and potentially-cauliflowering tops, towering up to 10,000 feet tall. Clouds form as a result of condensation–a big stage in the water cycle. I hashtag this science objective as: #sci5P21.

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2-See those trees on the far banks of the Potomac River? They have perfect access to the sun to create their own food through photosynthesis. In fifth grade, we call them producers. I hashtag this science objective as: #sci5L22.

LOFL53-The peaceful Potomac River–one of the major rivers flowing into the Chesapeake Bay–The largest estuary in North America. In fifth grade, we distinguish very carefully between freshwater, saltwater, and estuary ecosystems. I hashtag this science objective as: #sci5L21.

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4-I’m concerned for this student’s safety. If grains of sand randomly sprinkle the concrete embankment, thus decreasing friction between his shoes and the potentially slick surface, he could slip and injure himself. I hashtag this science objective as: #sci5P11.

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5-Agents of erosion (gravity, ice, wind, water) abound. I wonder if the concrete embankment was installed to prevent sand and sediments from eroding into the river? And could I reference this tweet when posing the next Oxbow Lake Challenge to fourth graders? I hashtag this science objective as: #sci4E23.

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Once again, here’s what a #Hashtag180, curriculum-minded educator may see:

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For numbers six, seven, eight, and nine, I first envisioned these Common Core Math Standards for geometry: #math5G3 and #math5G4.

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6-The horizontal bench seat makes a right angle with the right bench leg.

7-The horizontal bench seat is parallel to the ground and the concrete embankment.

8-The left and right bench legs are parallel to each other.

9-The left and right bench legs are perpendicular to the horizontal bench seat and the ground. And because of number seven, the legs are also perpendicular to the concrete embankment.

The beauty of #Hashtag180, is that–upon research and reflection of each specific objective–I saw how some concepts overlap and, therefore, may be integrated in future learning experiences.

Look AGAIN at number seven. In the future, I would have kindergarteners take turns sitting on this wooden bench seat because they specifically learn about this science objective that I have hashtagged: #sciKP22.

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The beauty of #Hashtag180 is that–upon research and reflection–vertical alignment becomes very apparent. Now, I plan with educators in other grade levels to enhance student learning experiences.

Look AGAIN at number seven. Didn’t this bench seat come from a tree (wood)? And wasn’t this objective already referenced in number ONE? No wait–It was number TWO–where fifth graders learn about trees as producers (objectively hashtagged #sci5L22).

The beauty of #Hashtag180 is that–upon research and reflection–you memorize your curriculum. This matters because the more you know–the better you can plan and administer learning experiences, continuously improving quality with a keen eye always on the Look-Out for Learning.

10-Thermal energy radiates from the sun to the earth. Land heats up faster than water. During the daytime (especially at 3:17pm), warm air above land rises, creating Low pressure. Cooler air above water sinks, creating High pressure. High pressure always chases Low pressure. Therefore, this learner may be feeling a gentle sea (Potomac River) breeze upon his face. Can you imagine eleven-year-olds learning THIS? I would hashtag these science objectives as: #sci5P31 and #sci5E13.

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The beauty of #Hashtag180 is that–upon research and reflection–educators can not only envision the abstract–but apply it to future learning experiences with students.

Are you for real?

Real Talk: #Hashtag180 understands that life and learning are waaaay broader–and sometimes more important–than just curriculum. Not necessarily every experience must be related to learning standards and objectives.

No matter how closely you follow your curriculum as THE guide for learning, #Hashtag180 encourages you to be on the lookout for these opportunities every day. Better yet–Let’s empower our learners to Look Out for Learning.