Sunday, October 4, 2015

#twittertuesday for Elementary School Students

For the last several years, my co-teacher, +sheila monger and I have been using +Twitter with my fourth and fifth grade students. It provides and authentic writing experience with practice in succinctly capturing a main idea or essence. We encourage their parents to follow us and they work really hard to do their best work for this wider audience. I try to keep an eye on the twittersphere for trending hashtags and use them if applicable to link to current events. For example  On #GSPD we _________________ (global school play day) .I limit them to  ½ 140 or 70 characters...they have to fit it on the paper and I have to be able to read it from across the room.


Before the school year starts, I laminate 30 pieces of paper that fit on my back cabinets.  I create a handle for each student using the first few letters of their first and last name. For example Sandra McConnell would be SanMc. I write their handles and glue them to a name tag with an Egg, showing they are a new user on twitter. As the year progresses, some students created new avatars for themselves.

Be sure to start the year with digital citizenship lessons. We rely on +Common Sense Education lessons. We also use the acronym RAMENN with our kids. When posting make sure it's
R - relevant
A - appropriate
M - meaningful
E - edited - and our students added the last two...
N - is it nice?
N - is it necessary?

Each Tuesday I post the prompt and give students time to generate ideas and write. Sometimes the prompts generate a lot of reflection, other times not so much. After most of the tweets are posted to the wall, my tweeter of the week, a classroom job, chooses one to five posts that they want to have represent our class.  They rewrite the prompt in their journal (or take a picture with their iPad) and bring it to my computer to type into our class account in twitter, @mrsmccsclass. Often I will have them include photographs of the students’ tweets to include in the tweet. I have them do it at my computer because I do not want the students to have unrestricted, unsupervised access to twitter.

Although I am not in my classroom this year, our account is still active and you can see what other types of things we post.

General Student Instructions

  1. write a draft of the tweet in your journal. Be sure to include a hashtag summarizing or emphasizing your main idea. Proofread.
  2. have your post checked by an adult
  3. make edits, then with pencil, write your tweet on twitter paper
  4. go over letters with a marker (no more than two colors)
  5. post in the wall with blue tape at your @handle

Have fun with it! For sample prompts, visit this google doc.


  1. interesting idea to get students writing I am going to try it

  2. I just wanted to thank you & let you know that my cooperating teacher & I are incorporating your #twittertuesday idea into our 5th grade classroom in just a couple of weeks ❤

  3. I'd love to hear from both of you how it works for you, and any suggestions! Have fun!