In yoga, running or exercising in general, I have worked on becoming more mindful. This just means to be in the moment and think about what you are doing at that time and how it is benefiting you. This mindfulness has carried over into other areas of my life. Now I am realizing that mindful tweeting can really benefit my teaching. This resource that I am now aware of has already changed my teaching practices for the better!
When I thought of using twitter in my classroom, I originally thought that it would be a great place to share pictures of what my students are doing in the classroom. Parents were able to view what was going on, and I started to incorporate students into our twitter page. The first activity I implemented was our #whatilearnedtoday tweet of the day at the end of each day. Students were excited to share what they learned and see their learning become live on our twitter page.
My tweeting starting expanding from just my classroom. The next twitter activity that I implemented was a growth mindset twitter chat with Miss Grep’s class. I have blogged previously about this. We were watching the same growth mindset videos through Class Dojo and then we had discussions through twitter after. The online platform connected our classrooms. Then, my principal, her principal and other teachers that we worked with started seeing the conversations that we were having over twitter. They were asking about the resource, and in this way I shared these great videos with my colleagues. I was excited that others were able to see this, and I started seeing twitter as a resource for mine and other classrooms.
Through my course work, I was required to find twitter accounts that I was interested in to start following. I also started to tweet out resources that helped me. My twitter world completely changed. I found resources that I had access to in the classroom had their own twitter pages. Their accounts were sharing all of these new and different ways to use their programs that I had not realized were available to me. Digital programs like Flocabulary, SeeSaw, Class Dojo, Time for Kids, Scholastic, etc. were all posting new ways that I could use their resources. I started implementing the new practices in my classroom and sharing that out on my twitter page. Users from these digital programs started re-tweeting my tweets and commenting on how successful this use of their program was. I was now taking what I was finding on twitter and sharing with the digital world. I am feeling great that I am absorbing what I see on twitter, but then also creating new information. Through these comments and re-tweets, I was gaining new followers and finding new accounts to follow. In just two months of using Twitter, I have gained 75 different educational followers and I have found 82 accounts to follow.
Now that I was able to see the benefit of tweeting out resources, I was excited to continue. My fellow third grade teachers were starting to follow me regularly to see what I was posting. We have started implementing digital resources more significantly into our classroom routines now that we understand them more through twitter. I have started following twitter chats within these accounts to see how other teachers were implementing digital tools in their classrooms. For example, on a Flocabulary twitter chat that I viewed later, I was able to see that they have a “Week in Rap” video that recaps the current events of the week along with activities to go along with the video. I started using that in my classroom and shared the resources with my third grade colleagues. Another example is in seeing how another third grade teacher uses the blogging tool on SeeSaw in their classroom. I have not used this part of the program yet, and I was able to see step by step what she does through a link she posted to Twitter. Now, I feel confident to implement this in my classroom when we start our Expert projects next week!
Along with programs, I have found other educators to follow. One educator that I love to follow is Pernille Ripp. She posts great books to use in the classroom and ways to promote a love of reading. She shares projects that she is doing in the classroom that inspire me. One time she posted a google doc survey ( see link here: https://pernillesripp.com/2016/11/03/audience-needed-silly-poetry-videos/) to any teacher who would like to sign up to get an email of her students’ poem readings. I signed up and just this past weekend got an email from her with the link to all of her students’ readings. This is such a great idea to motivate students to practice their speaking skills by providing them with an authentic audience. I plan to watch them with my students this week, and in this way my class will also benefit by learning how to critique other students and learn from their great work.
This online professional network that I am creating has gotten me excited. I have completely rethought the way that I go about using resources in my classroom. I am being mindful to share these ideas that I have or resources that I find with my twitter network. Most of the items I share are practices that I have been implementing, but now I am being mindful to share it using pictures, links and hashtags. I am also more mindful when scrolling through my news feed. I love to find new resources and think mindfully of how I can implement that in my classroom and how it can help others that follow me. I am excited to continue my mindful tweeting and in seeing how it benefits me as a teacher.