“There’s an entire universe in every single tweet, and it all really depends on the content as far as how it’s going to spread” – Jack Dorsey, creator of Twitter
I found within our first nine weeks that my students are extremely loyal individuals. After we read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, my students started reading the sequels independently. Once I suggest a particular author to one student, I will see him or her pulling that author again and again to read. What happens after I read three different Jane Yolen books to my fourth graders? They are hooked! When I told my students that I connected my last post to Jane Yolen via Twitter, their eyes were as big as saucers. Many students asked me throughout the day if Mrs. Yolen responded to my tweet, and we monitored my Twitter closely Friday.
My students’ loyalty paired with their interest with connecting with professional writers via Twitter got me thinking… what if we set up a classroom twitter account to connect to the authors we read? As a class we have been talking about vivid and specific vocabulary and I explained that if you wanted a response from someone on Twitter, you would have to give very specific comments or compliments.
I wasn’t sure how much my students understood about Twitter and I knew I didn’t want 23 tweets going out to Jane Yolen on the same day, so I created “Twitter Slips”. These were small slips of paper that gave a few requirements: 1) you must have 140 characters or less and 2) you must include your name. I set up a class Twitter account and I wanted my students to be able to include their first name so we could track who receives feedback on Twitter. I explained the 140 character limit as best I could and told them that to connect to someone via Twitter you have to include @ and their name. After giving them the basics, I let them write a comment to Jane Yolen. It was absolutely SILENT…. I am talking movie on while a principal is in the room silent. Not one person talked and everyone was focused on what they wanted to say to Jane Yolen.
I told the students from the 23 Twitters slips I received I would pick three to send out via our real class Twitter. The most surprising thing about our entire Twitter experiment was the fact that I could barely choose the “best” tweets from my 23 students. Even students that are more reluctant to write or say things within our 4 walls were very specific about why they enjoyed Jane Yolen’s books. Some tweets almost brought me close to tears.
Once I picked out the three tweets to go out, I chose a student to type the message into our twitter account. I told her she was not allowed to send out the comment until I approved it and checked the length. Once we were down to the third tweet, I showed the entire class why we have the 140 character limit and what it meant to connect to an individual via Twitter. I know that over time my students will get progressively stronger at connecting to professionals in the real world, and I look forward them learning a lifetime skill. Hopefully, with appropriate application to a social media network they will be able to connect to professional writers, and learn how to use networking sites appropriately. Message us at @BlalockStudents!
Share or like this with the world below. Comments and Questions are always welcome!