Kindergartners, Twitter and Common Core: The power of connected learning!

Original blog post is @ http://wbrennan.wordpress.com by @DrBillBrennan

Kindergartners, Twitter and Common Core: The power of connected learning!

A must share proposal from @BMcClelland24  


Last Monday (June 24) I had facilitated a full day workshop titled, Teaching and Learning for the Digital Age, for about 40 teachers in my district (Farmingdale Schools, NY). The entire day focused on coming to grips with the new context for learning.   We advocated for the need to accelerate our learning and sharing of ideas with each other and with the world through virtual communities of practice (VCOPs).  We advanced the notion that schools – organizations who need to be more efficient at adapting to change – should dissolve Technology Committees and move towards fluid like sharing within and outside the organization.  It was an amazing day of professional learning.  And, to help tell this story, I was honored to have Tony Sinanis (@Cantiague_Lead) and Jessica Johnson (@PrincipalJ)

Here are some tweets about the power of Twitter from our connected educators at Farmingdale Schools.

Twitter

During a short break, @BmMcClelland24 stopped me to share her ideas on how she would use Twitter in her Kindergarten classroom.  Bonnie’s enthusiasm and the ideas/research to support this work was incredible I thought others should see what she’s working on.

FDaleTwitter

The following was composed by @BMcClelland24.   (I’ve simply highlighted some key points).

Getting ready to begin my second year in kindergarten (after spending ten years in second and third), I continue to become amazed at all the potential this year can bring. The students are so young and fresh, and each day come in with a clean slate ready to be filled with oodles of learning. Most of all, they’re excited! They’re excited about every new book, math problem, and new alphabet letter that they encounter. Now, with so many new ideas that were presented at the technology course, I feel just like my kindergarteners not able to contain my excitement! I want to introduce my new class to Twitter. Disappointing enough, my classroom does not have a Smartboard. With so many technological advances in education, I feel useless to not being able to utilize this resource. Hopefully, with your help, I can obtain an iPad so that I can pilot my ideas and witness the potentials of connecting this eager group of learners and their parents with technology.

The opportunities are enormous…

  • First off, from an edtech standpoint, it’s a way for me to model along with my students and their parents the value of being connected and sharing with others
  • At an early age, my students will develop an awareness of audience
  • They will begin to understand the how-to of using social media in a responsible, respectable, and safe way.
  • They will experience the excitement of getting feedback from others who make the connections with what we’re sharing.
  • Evidence of learning. After a reading/writing workshop we can compose an “I can” statement to tweet
  • Retell practice. One of the skills in the common core is retell and being able to summarize a story. Students will be able to compose a short summary about our reading via a tweet.
  • Parent connections. Anxious and/or curious parents wanting to see what goes on in our classroom can “check-in” our posted pics of the students in action on Twitter
  • Shared writing lessons. At the beginning, we will work on our tweets together, writing them on chart paper before actually sending them. Kindergarteners need to see the print and engage in the some of the spelling before learning to write on their own.
  • Math lessons. Composing and discussing word problems.
  • Instant publishing. Taking a picture of written work and tweeting equal online publishing!
  • Engaging the students. What better way to get young children eager to do their best work than knowing that they will be able to share with a much bigger audience than our little classroom.
  • The ability to connect with other kindergarten teachers around the country [Bonnie has already made international connections] via Twitter to share and compare ideas
  • In addition, I’ve recently discovered such amazing ideas such as the Global Read Aloud and Kidblog that will completely enhance my students learning.

I feel the possibilities are endless. I’m looking forward to introducing my kindergarten class to the world of technology and learning along with them.

I’m interested in hearing your ideas as well. Let’s talk further. Thank you for your consideration!

  • Helen Gilmour

    Hi Bonnie,

    Thanks for your enthusiasm and ideas. I am a Kindergarten Teacher in Australia and will take on your idea of giving Kindergarten children a large audience to share their work via Twitter. I have an Interactive Whiteboard , so will use it accordingly. We use our Kindergarten Blog extensively to share the children's work, ideas etc to the school and wider community, but I am really inspired with your ideas/use of Twitter to teach children to be responsible with social media. Thanks. Helen