According to market research, the average person spends nearly 2.5 hours on social media (S. Dixon, Aug 22, 2022). As educators, why not leverage that time to benefit your students, classrooms, and schools? This blog will share simple ways to engage the Twitter community to gain ideas and strategies for immediate use in your classrooms. You will also receive 4 tips that were quickly collected while on Twitter.
After setting up your initial Twitter account (or dusting it off as it has set dormant for awhile), there are three critical steps to maximize your learning time on the platform itself:
- Follow – simply look for other educators and follow their accounts. You can do that two ways by using the search bar on the top right corner of your Twitter page. The first way is to type “teachers” and a full list of accounts will appear. Another possibility is to insert a hashtag into that search bar – maybe #probjectbasedlearning – and a full list of posts using it are revealed. Now, in searching for accounts, be sure to follow us: @stridepdcenter!
- Engage – once you have followed some like-minded accounts, view their posts. Like or retweet the ones you find helpful as this is an encouragement to those individuals while also helping you find these later on under your tab “Tweets and replies.” While you may be an elementary teacher, also follow some middle school accounts as that can help you plan for vertical articulation of your content area.
- Share – when you have a great classroom tip, strategy, or resource, then share it widely with other teachers! Instead of “just taking” from the teacher community in Twitter, you get the opportunity to “give back.” By engaging and sharing, you will build some quick and long-lasting relationships with teachers across the world.
Four (4) Easy Twitter Tips
PARENT TIPS: here are two easy ways parents can reinforce what is taking place at school – (1) read to your elementary children while waiting in the car rider line before school because it begins to focus their mind while also expanding their literacy acquisition; and (2) ask your students at the end of the day one question and have them write it down in a notebook that you keep all year: “What is the biggest lesson you learned today?”
SHATTER BOARD: math is a subject that most students dread. As a teacher, have them write down their biggest fear or anxiety about math. Keep those on a board somewhere and design lessons to “shatter” that fear or anxiety. When you finish a lesson matched to that fear, go pull that written response and show the students how you are working to help them overcome those earlier notions about math.
POETRY CONNECTIONS: shifting over to ELA, students either love or hate it as they struggle to make connections with the abstract language. To help them, provide 3 prompts to the students: text to text (connect this to other literature), text to self (connect to your personal life), and text to world (connect to a current event in the world). You can use these same prompts with other literature as well.
FEEDBACK FOLIO: teachers want to see students use previous feedback in current projects while also clearly demonstration growth. One way to do that is create a “feedback folio” for each student that retains the data throughout the year. Simply create a chart where you put the date, project description, glows, and grows. That way, the student has a full-year of feedback they can review AND you have an immediate tool for student conferencing.
Again, those tips were found in about 15 minutes – it took longer to write up these short descriptions than find the tips!! Knowing that you are on social media anyway, devote some of that time for your professional development so that your students can grow and achieve!