Saturday, November 2, 2013

Classroom Twitter Accounts? Yes! Yes! Yes!

Personally, I know the benefits of learning with a larger community which consists of many different types of experts, causes you to think and rethink your understandings, and which supports your next steps.  After listening to Sheryl Nussbaum Beach speak at our Ohio Innovative Learning Conference I knew I needed to make a commitment to connecting students to learners from a variety of places.    However, I hadn't really opened my door completely to this type of connecting for our classroom.  Last year, I started a class Twitter account, but used it in a very limited way.  Our lack of access at our school created logistic challenges and also made it hard to make these connections authentic.

This year I committed to connecting our classroom and it has really pushed the learning in our community.  Our classroom Twitter page, @snowleopards1M, has been busy this year.   During our morning and afternoon meetings, as well as across our day.

Here are just some of the benefits:

Connecting with Parents:  Our Twitter account allows me to share links to news updates, Shelfari changes, important dates and reminders with parents.  Best of all, it allows me to share work children are doing across the day with parents.

Share events and information with parents.

Share learning.

Sharing Our Learning:  Twitter has been the perfect place to share quotes from students, stories written during writer's workshop, solving during math and much more across our day with classrooms around the world.

Connecting with the World:  Through Twitter we have been able to connect to other classrooms in events and conversations.  These extended conversations grow our thinking and extend our learning as we work to connect new ideas to our learning, rethink our ideas based upon new learning, and share in common conversations.  We have joined the Global Read Aloud, #DotDay, participated in math conversations, and shared in learning experiences.

Global Read Aloud:  Eric Carle


Math Collaborative Conversations

Connecting with Classrooms in Our Building:  Students are inspired by the learning taking place in their friends' classrooms.  They are interested in the stories they share, the work they are doing as mathematicians, and the learning they share across the day.

Learning about Current Events:  We follow Wonderopolis, Time for Kids, National Geographic Kids,  Sports Illustrated Kids and local places such as our zoo to keep on current events.  This week we were excited to learn about a new baby kangaroo born at The Columbus Zoo.  We had just read about how small baby kangaroos were in the book Why?  by Lila Prap.  Imagine our excitement to find this tweet:

Following Favorite Authors:  Kudos to the many authors who share their lives, tweet about writing, and respond to classrooms on Twitter.  We follow a variety of authors students love including Peter Reynolds, Louise Borden, Todd Parr, Loren Long Ame Dyckman, and Lynn Plourde.

Classrooms to Follow
I'm still learning to use Twitter in the classroom.  There are a few accounts that really help me to think more about ways to use Twitter with my students and push the learning in our classroom:

Mrs. Wideen's Class:  @Mrs.WideensClass tweets much of their learning.   Following this class gives me ideas for using images in my tweets, ways to show learning, applications to consider for use, and so much more.  Additionally, Mrs. Wideen's Class will post questions they are studying.  My students like to think about these too.

Mrs. Cassidy's Class:  @mscassidysclass shares a lot of their learning too.  I find many conversations we can link to our learning here.

First Grade:  @frazier1st is right across the hall from us, but we continually learn from their tweets.  This class works collaboratively with classrooms around the globe.  They share their learning in a variety of ways across the day.

Ms. DeGroot's Class:  @mrsdegrootclass shares much of their learning too.  One of the things I like is that this class often asks questions or shares work to start a conversation.  Like this:

Ms. Jill's Crew:  @msjillscrew has done a lot of collaborative study comparing where they live with classrooms in other places.  I've enjoyed following these conversations and will be using some of her ideas for using Twitter as we move into our life science and global study learning.


  1. Great post Cathy. We have had a slower than usual start this year for a variety of reasons but we too use twitter for learning in our grade one classroom. I think you follow us already. We are @MsLsClass .

  2. I'd love to see our classrooms connect Cathy, but I think one of the issues is that each student is studying an individual topic, so for the teacher to help each tweet is a big challenge. Thank you for this, in all its details. I will read & ponder to try to see a way it will work for our school. Maybe starting small and tweeting about the whole class projects, read alouds, etc. will work. Again, thanks for making me think!

    1. Linda,
      I think you have a few great ways to share in your comments. We share things we are learning as a class, but also individual discoveries. I know my students would be very interested in some of the things your students are choosing to learn more about in the classroom.


  3. Cathy,

    Great post. I love how you pulled together so many great ideas in one place. We have only just dipped our toes into classroom tweeting but we are looking for ways to expand our "twitter learning". Thanks for sharing your ideas.


  4. I talked a bit about this last month when I presented at KSRA. I'm speaking about online collaboration through Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. again in Feb. I am certainly going to link to this piece, Cathy. You've really connected all the dots here!