Starting the New School Year with Twitter

I’ve long been a proponent of a connected classroom. I like to start connecting my students with the world as early in the school year as possible. We’ve already begun blogging and this week I introduced the students to Twitter. I wanted to demonstrate for them that we could use this tool to learn from (and with) others.

So I projected our class Twitter account so that all the students could see it and we scrolled through the tweets. I explained that each class had a picture to show us who the tweets belonged to. We could see that some of the classes we follow had many tweets and some only had a few. I showed them our classroom avatar. Later, as the students become readers, they will be able to read the tweets for themselves, but this week, I read some of the tweets that interested them aloud, pointing to the words as I read.

What Did We Find in Our Feed?

They were fascinated that Mr. Greg had brushed his teeth in the classroom (I think I’ll have to do that this year as well!) when the class was writing how-to books.

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They wondered about the class that was tweeting in French, that mysterious language we have just begun to learn together.

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Then, we saw a tweet about a class that was working on Read to Self (reading independently) in the same way we were. This was exciting to the students because it is something they are actively working on. In fact, they noticed something about the way the students in the pictures were sitting that helped them to be better independent readers the very next day!

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Our Response

The students wondered where these classes lived, so we checked on a world map to see where these far away places were.

In typical five and six year old style, they had questions about these places. So together we composed and sent tweets to the other classes to find out more.

Did you catch all of the curricular outcomes we touched on in that short lesson? I counted objectives in reading, writing and social studies as well as digital and visual literacy. Tomorrow, I’m excited for the students to see the responses to the tweets they composed. Our learning conversation on Twitter has just begun. Why don’t you join our learning journey?

17 thoughts on “Starting the New School Year with Twitter

  1. Just sent you a tweet from our class twitter account. Would love to link up – we don’t have a public blog because of restrictions at school (all private and on Schoology) but I’d love to share over Twitter 🙂

  2. Kathy, I love this idea! I am always looking for “real world” ways to help students apply their learning and stay engaged. I think my 1st graders would love being connected to other students their age with similar interests. I will definitely be trying this.

  3. I love your idea of using Twitter. You have not only got your students learning how to interact with others but you are having them learn different subjects while they are doing it.

  4. I love the idea of using Twitter to collaborate and communicate with classes around the world. My students find it hard to understand concepts outside of our small community, and this is a way that helps provide them with a much larger perspective. I also love the fact that you were able to integrate and incorporate so many learning objectives into just a few Twitter conversations, and you provided your students with “real world” experiences. I cannot wait to try this with my first grade class!

  5. That is so cool! My children (6&4) have used Facebook and Twitter via my and my husband’s personal accounts to connect with friends we have in Asia. They are full of questions about culture and animals. I can only imagine the questions from a classroom full of curious young ones. Connecting with other classrooms around the world has to be amazing.

  6. I originally opened this article because we just finished how-to books in my class. I would have never thought to use Twitter in the classroom. What a great idea! I wish I would have seen this before we did our holidays around the world unit… Next year! Thank you

  7. I usually do not read a blog completely until it is interesting. I have started following your twitter account and read some of the tweets, and these are so cute. I am looking forward for more. Keep the good work up..

  8. Never thought about using Tweeter in the classroom…I don’t use it myself. Yet, I love the potential for collaboration with children across our country and world. I will definitely look into setting up an account for my classroom and perhaps even myself!

  9. This blog came at exactly the right time. As a tech enthusiast, and ESL teacher, I am always looking for more ways to feel confident to use technology with my students even though they are economically disadvantaged and culturally diverse. This post gave me hope that I can use twitter as book review feed for my students, and allow them to participate in what is posted and being added to our class portfolio. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Excellent way to use social media as an educational tool. Young people today tweet for social purposes, but can now be reminded of the educational collaboration that can take place. I especially like the french responses and how it connected to a geography lesson. My class used to be pen pals with a class in Malawi. I am not inspired to take up a class and be pen pals.

  11. What an awesome idea! I already have a personal twitter account, but hadn’t thought about a CLASS twitter account! I love the idea of connecting my 5 and 6 year olds to others around this country and the world- and using it to learn about others in a fun and interactive way!

  12. I must say that this is an amazing idea. I did not have a twitter account, however, after seeing what you have accomplished with your classroom and also seeing other classrooms and teachers doing the same thing, this is a great way of introducing your students to social media in a positive way. With using this as a learning, it is a great way to see what other educators and their students are doing, helping students understand how social media is used, giving great examples, sharing and receiving other ideas with others. I feel that this is something that could be very helpful for teachers and also open the doors for integrating technology into the classroom. Working with 3 and 4-year old students, I believe that this will be something they could enjoy; however, my 6th graders would show more of an interest in this idea. With most of them having social media accounts, they will have more fun with wanting to see the reactions of others, the posts, and pictures they will receive, etc.
    I applaud you for this and keep up the good work!!

  13. I love this idea! I am trying to get my kindergarteners involved more with technology in the classroom. Each student does have their own chrome book and we are learning to use google docs as well as going onto the usual educational websites. But the Twitter account idea has opened up a whole other world for me and the possibilities seem to be endless. Thank you so much for posting this brilliant idea!

  14. Wow! I am not usually a technology driven person, but your post really inspired me! I love how you are so organized and plan ahead to start your class off in tech based learning right away, even before they are able to read and access it independently! I have not heard much about primary classes so embedded in tech and the way you described makes me wonder why more of us don’t incorporate it! It seems that your students are highly motivated and that they are experiencing excitement and joy in learning through this model. I love the conversation that occurred in your room, the kids were thinking and inquiring in ways that just wouldn’t happen as easily, or at all, outside of this activity. The real life connections you are helping them build are so meaningful and rich. You are also teaching them how to be responsible tech consumers and contributors. I love how your activity hit so many content areas and how you let the activity take you where it did naturally. For example, exploring French and consulting a map. Can you tell I am excited?! I hope to hear more about your wonderful work and incorporate some of your ideas into my own classroom.

  15. I love this idea! I’ve created a twitter as an additional way to connect with parents but would love to get students more involved!! I think my students would love to know what other first graders are doing out there! Thanks for sharing!!

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