Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Twitter in the Classroom

There are about 5,000,000 things I should be doing right now...namely, actually getting my act together to leave the house...not happening anytime soon...because one of the things on the "should be doing" list is "blog." It just doesn't feature prominently at the top of the list!

At this point in the summer, a lot of people in the bloggy world seem to have access to their classrooms. If you remember from last summer, I have to turn in my keys before finally going on holiday...and we can't pick them up for another month. So while so many of you wonderful teachers out there are busily working on your rooms steadily, here I sit thinking about my room...

Thought is a powerful thing; however, it doesn't seem to get the job done. I mentioned before that we had a couple of days after the official end of the school year in which we had to go in and do some work. During that time, I moved my classroom and did very little more. Which means that I have not yet gotten to set up any of the features that I loved about my room last year. Namely, I've been thinking about my Twitter Wall.

This wall was something that featured fairly prominently in my language arts program this year. Each child was given a space and a "username" to go with it. I had printed out those pieces, laminated them, and then used my leveling app to make sure that they were straight...no OCD here.
My mistake at that time was that I had run out of card stock and just printed on regular paper. Because of that, I wound up sending each kiddo home with their final tweet of the year and plan to re-print on card stock this go around. 

At the beginning of each story, I would ask the students to embody one of the characters and give them a specific topic to tweet about. For example, in the story "Raising Dragons," I told the class that they had just walked into a cave and found a dragon egg (just like the main character)...tweet your reaction. 

They would head to the back of the room with a dry-erase marker, and write out their tweets underneath their own username. My students loved it! Especially when they could write messages to their parents for Back-To-School-Night and Open House. 

I also linked up an actual Twitter account for my classroom that I used to tweet out homework reminders, compliments for the day, spirit day ideas, etc...This was something that I had sort of idealized in my head this year. I love the idea still, but I let it fall flat when other things were more important. Also, I didn't encourage parents to follow as much as I should have.

It is my intent this coming year to make a point of asking families to set up an account, even if they are only following me. This will be a quick, easy way to keep the families appraised of what's going on. 

Things to note:
-Tweeting will never take the place of a phone call or email to parents if there is something important going on. Even though we live in a very tech-available world, not every student or family has access to the internet and tweets shouldn't be used to pass along super-important information.
-Much like on my blog, I avoid using student names or faces. Twitter is still the wide-open-interwebz, and what you put there is around forever. Even if your students' family signed off on the photo-release for your school, it is probably wise to keep their faces and names private.

And finally, I did make an update this year and created a new account. Last year's account was my school/room number....but as I've mentioned several times...I moved rooms! So now I have a slightly more generic one....

Okie doke. Here's to text-heavy blogging with coffee in hand. Off to work on some of the things on my list!


  1. How do parents feel about their children using twitter in the classroom? I think its a great idea and would love to use it in my future classroom.

    1. While the kiddos use "Twitter" they are not actually using the website. I have a wall of tweets that the students may access during certain assignments. This way, parents don't need to worry that their child is using the wide open world of social media.
      My twitter account is open for parents to follow; however, I make a point to never post anything child-specific.