What an amazing year I am having with my students. I am always struck by the endless energy and excitement for learning and engaging with others. Young children are so curious and are great about asking questions to clarify things they want to know and pursue endless perseverance when trying to solve a problem.
Today I’m thinking about all of those things we are engaged in and how we are using social media and blogging as platforms to enhance and engage what we are learning and how. Through the use of these digital platforms I am able to offer my students, families and others who are interested in what we are exploring. As I have shared before young children are naturally curious so why not find ways for them to have conversations and reflect on what they are learning and curious about with others and experience “how to” have a conversation and reflect alongside others.
So we do…
Twitter is left on all day because we check it periodically to share/tweet out an idea or connect with others who are exploring similar ideas. It also offers us a way to ask questions and learn something new as well.
Our class blog provides snapshots of the big ideas we are exploring. Through our class blog parents have an opportunity to engage in face to face conversations with their child about what they are exploring. This is important because I want parents to be a part of our learning journey.
Many parents and others leave comments as well. This gives us an opportunity to respond to someone through blogging, another way to leave a comment/compliment about our learning.
Our class blog also provides ways for my students to share books we are reading, a map of the world as a way to see where people are from who are looking at our blog. This has been a nice opportunity for me to explore the world globally as well. Just by having a map my students begin to see how huge the world is and what we can all learn from each other. My students know the continents and get to “see” globally where people are who are interested in our learning explorations.
Parents appreciate the variety of ways they can connect with their child.
So far this year…
Parents have asked..
- “My child is home sick today. Should I tweet you and check in and also look at the class blog?”
- A family is on vacation for a week and asked:”What platform should we use to connect?”
- Another family is traveling in Japan and wants to connect to share. We use google Hangout. They send photos and a video of a speeding train to share some highlights from this country. Wonderful also for their child to see them and say hello.
- We have “Guest Readers” each month. Parents have the option of coming in to read a story. One parent asked to use GoogleHangout as a way to read to us because of the time of day they are not able to get into our classroom.
These are just a few ideas I am exploring with my students in regards to connecting with parents and globally. I think about how digital tools and platforms have opened up my classroom to the world and how we are also learning from others outside of our classroom walls.
Things inside/outside of @vermontkkids123 are really wonderful. I am grateful for the support of my families, students and school for all of the opportunities I am able to explore because I am encouraged to create, design and be innovative.
So what can you do?
- Create a class blog
- Find ways to share your learning experiences outside of your classroom walls.
- Twitter is an amazing platform. Think about using this as a way to have conversations globally with your students and families.
- Think about a learning exploration, map it out thinking about who you want to share with, why and how will this be accomplished.
- Take photographs and video of your students creating and designing. Offer opportunities for them to see, listen to and share what they notice. Think about how their ideas might add, enrich and enhance your learning goals.
- How will you invite and offer invitations for your families to connect and learn alongside you, their child others?
Learning is for everyone. The magic and heart of my work as a teacher is to offer hope and to develop relationships that will support my efforts to learn alongside my students, their families and others globally. I believe that being transparent and having an open mind when approaching learning explorations gives me opportunities to model the value and importance of perspective and how it is important when collaborating and learning.
Artwork inspired and created by some of my students. “Mrs. D. we want to have decorations on tables because it makes us happy.”