February 22, 2014
Our classroom is now a connected classroom! We invite you to follow us on Twitter as we use this social media tool to share, connect, and collaborate with the world around us. This spring we will use our new account, @Kriese7thELA, to share glimpses of our work and life at school.
Our primary goal is to connect with classes and educational programs that add value to our learning. These include middle school classes active in student blogging. Twitter can be an educational tool, and we are excited about what it can offer us (see below for more of our ideas).
Our class tweets are embedded in a scroll on the front page of the class blog at wrmstkriese.edublogs.org, so it is not necessary for any student to have a Twitter account in order to follow the activity. However, several students do have Twitter accounts and have asked about officially following our class. It’s important to point out that anyone following our class Twitter account can have their accounts viewed by other users. The following guidelines, recently included in the February 13th edition of WRMS Reflections, are useful reminders for student safety:
- Students are encouraged to not use personally identifying information, such as names, birthdays, etc., in Twitter handles.
- Students are encouraged to not use location services with their accounts.
- Students and parents might consider setting up a different Twitter account for following school feeds.
- Parents are encouraged to follow their children on Twitter.
Note: Please keep in mind that we will only “follow back” classrooms and educational feeds in order to keep our focus on school.
Thank you for your support as we further our learning this year. We invite you to become a part of that learning by tweeting us with your encouragement, your feedback, and your ideas about our studies!
If you have any questions or concerns about social media in the middle school classroom, please feel free to contact me or our educational technologist, Greg Garner. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
West Ridge Middle School, 7th Grade ELA
What can we do with a class Twitter account?
- Connect with other classes around the world
- Read the writing of other students via links tweeted by their teachers
- Share our own writing more effectively by tweeting links to our blog posts
- Share photos showing our classroom learning in action
- Communicate with favorite authors—ask them some questions and share our thoughts about their work
- Share vocabulary words used in context (bonus points for tweeting vocab discoveries?)
- Share powerful examples of writer’s craft found in our independent reading
- Share our thoughts/ask questions about what we’re studying
- Post links to articles, poems, and stories we love—parents, that includes you!
- Share photographs and other extras that enrich our lessons
We’ll develop classroom hashtags so that in our sharing, we aren’t sharing TOO widely…for example, #ourphantomthoughts instead of #phantomoftheopera. Other hashtags we’ll use, such as #comments4kids, are tried and true connections to programs and conversations that support education.
A student can email Mrs. Kriese with a message or link to what he or she wants to tweet from @Kriese7thELA, or the student can fill out a blue slip and leave it in the newly created Twitter folder. Sometimes we’ll tweet as a group, and sometimes the teacher will post student tweets after school.
With special thanks to Mrs. Wideen, who makes her own classroom Twitter experience and parent letter available to the rest of us teachers here.