Last year, my fabulous colleague, Sara Ahmed, showed us all the twitter feed she has for her classroom. I found it so exciting that she was sharing the work she and her students were doing – with other teachers, with authors and with parents.
I created my own twitter feed in August in preparation for the beginning of this school year. (Each blog post is automatically shared via a tweet when I post here.) I started following news outlets to keep my social studies classes apprised of current events (see upcoming post). And when the school year started, I started documenting our work in class. It’s SO great. I love the chance to capture all the excellent work students do, sometimes with photos. Just think, how fun it is for my little sister (the only one who ever “favorites” [reads maybe?] my tweets) to know all that we are working on!
My challenge was bringing the twitter feed into class. When we read the news together, there is a lot of noise that distracts from the current events we are looking for. Probably I could tweak my feed so that all the sports and cultural news wouldn’t get in our way . . . Anyone know how to do this? Post in the comments, please.
BUT! This week, I was so excited by some journal responses from my students that I wanted to find a way for them to share – with each other. And then, I realized we could share with each other and with the world (or at least my 23 followers). So during class, while they peer-edited their paragraphs on development (a photo of which I also tweeted), they each had a chance to come up and tweet from their journal entry.
The assignment was: “If it were your job to design policies to decrease the single-use packaging in San Diego, what would you recommend? Give reasons to support your plans.” The kids did the typing and we worked together to make them provocative and educational. I had twitter opened on my projector so that as they worked, they could look up and see their classmates’ ideas. It was so cool!
Here is a sample tweet: WWSS7D? – Put a price on plastic bags. People don’t want to spend money on a useless thing like a single-use plastic bag. (WWSS7D? = What would Social Studies 7 do?)
Another: WWSS7D? – Stop using paper, textbooks and pencils all the time. How about computers, iPads and Leapfrogs?
Check out my twitter feed – @TBSVandeweghe.