Are you making learning experiences authentic for students? Twitter is a powerful tool for teachers. I’ve used it to connect with teachers around the world, discover new teaching strategies, and share my favorite resources. Earlier this year I shared the Evolving Educator Team’s 140 Twitter Tips for Teachers. It is a fantastic book for teachers looking to master this platform for professional learning – regardless of the age of students they work with!
If you want your students to start tweeting, there are lots of ways to incorporate this social media platform into your classroom. Older students might have their own Twitter account and post reflections to class discussions online. Younger students can participate in Twitter-inspired activities or contribute ideas to their class Twitter feed. Here are 9 ways to get every student tweeting… even in Kindergarten!
Twitter in Elementary School
Students of all ages can tweet their exit slips at the end of class. Ask students to write down their big takeaway from the day’s lesson in 140 characters or less. Some students might post their Twitter-inspired exit slip in a class discussion forum while others might head straight to Twitter and include your class hashtag on their post.
Introduce hashtags as a way to categorize learning. Twitter users love hashtags because they help navigate a busy online platform. Hashtags are used to place tweets in certain categories like tweets about #edtech or #GBL (game-based learning). Create hashtags with your class that go along with an activity like categorizing books by genres or strategies to solve a math problem.
Use Twitter to share student work. Teachers can tweet their student’s work including creations posted online or snapshots of student projects. Remember to make sure you have permission to share student work and images online.
Tips for Using Twitter
Help students understand the importance of writing short and powerful sentences by making connections to Twitter. Ask students to write a synopsis of a book or identify a key argument in a text using only 140 characters. You might choose to share their writing on your class Twitter feed.
Ask students to create a tweetable image using Spark Post. Students can use this creation tool to capture a favorite quote or capture a lingering question about a topic.
Next time your students attend an assembly or watch a video in your class set up a backchannel. Similar to the tweeting that takes place during a live sporting event or television show, students can comment in real time.
Incorporate Twitter into English Language Arts and Social Studies lessons. Start by asking students to create a Twitter profile for a character of a book or figure from history. You might ask students to simulate a conversation between two characters in classic literature. You could also suggest a conversation with a past president with a contemporary figure.
Hashtags and more!
Hashtags are often used as call to actions and also a way for spark a conversation on a topic. Choose a relevant hashtag like #HerStoryCampaign and have students generate tweets you can post to a class account.
A few years ago I shared a post titled “Tweeting the Read Aloud” on Edutopia. Twitter is certainly a great way to connect your students with experts and authors from around the world.
How have you used Twitter with your students? Share your stories in the comments below!