Since my last post I had yet another discovery around this idea of social networking with Kindergarten kids, wow! I have only recently set up a class twitter account that is used solely for the purpose of making connections with other Kindergarten classes. The children in my class seem to have naturally connected with this idea of making friends and sharing ideas with others in other places outside of our classroom.
As a teacher I really think carefully about “how to” develop this idea of making friends and connections with others. I share with the children that these are friends that we have connected with because of a common interest with something that we are learning about. This makes sense and is very real as well as explicit for the children.
Since this exposure and experience with twitter with my students they have really surprised me and made some unbelievable connections this week with twitter. We now have a designated wall outside our classroom that has “Twitter Birds”. The children created these symbols as well as smaller versions so they could actually “tweet” what they wanted to share. The children shared with me, “now we have a place where we can write what we want to share and “tweet”. I then came up with the idea of having the children put a twitter bird next to the “tweets” they want to tweet to our Kindergarten friends in Texas, Mrs. Birdsall and Mrs. Starns. The children name these people because they have either met them face to face or have met through SKYPE. Wow! These people are not strangers, but friends that we are getting to know because we share a common interest in regards to our learning.
In the photo you will see what our wall looks like outside our classroom. You will also be able to read some of the things that the children find interesting and want to share. If their is no t or twitter bird, then that child decided that they did not want to tweet that idea.
I continue to be amazed at how easily young children make connections and how fluid their thinking is.
1. Children share ideas about what they’re learning and understanding with others who share a similar experience. Sometimes we make connections with others who may want to learn from us too.
2. As a teacher of young children I model always safe, kind and responsible ways when connecting with others outside of our classroom.
3. I share all on line activity with my parent community. The focus is ALWAYS on learning. If not, we do not share.
4. I have parent permission from families of my students to “tweet” things we are learning about as well as experiences we have through our observations.
5. Twitter is just one platform that I use to connect, share and reflect about the magic of Kindergarten.