Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Social Media in the Elementary Classroom

I have been blogging and using social media for a few years. As a teacher I use it to collaborate with other teachers, share ideas and learn new things for my classroom!

All of this collaborating and sharing was done at home and outside of school hours.
Basically "on my own time".
As is the case for most teachers I know!

Side Note: I don't know about you all, but Pinterest and Blogger are blocked at my school.
I really, really wish they were not!  
How did I ever plan without Pinterest and Social Media??
I truly feel social media has been a game changer in my teaching. I am a better teacher because of social media. Now I am not just talking about all of the "cute" ideas floating around out there. 
Don't get me wrong, I like those too! I am talking about the genuine collaboration, the sharing of ideas, and the connecting with other teachers! Twitter is a fabulous PLN.

I have been toying with the idea of using social media in my classroom for several months.
I read articles, blogs and watched videos.
Then I reread articles and blogs and watched more videos. 

stalked looked at Kayla Delzer's classroom Twitter account.

I bought her Digital Citizenship unit on TPT!

I even had my principal onboard with using Social Media!

Here was my problem..
I teach FIRST graders! 
5 and 6 year olds! 

This summer I was a summer school academic coach. I got to spend each day visiting classrooms. (When the million things on my To Do List were done, of course!)

Last week I was visiting an ESOL classroom. They were learning about volcanoes. Of course they got to make one erupt. I was taking a video. One of the first graders asked if we could put it on YouTube. His friend said, "Hey! Maybe it will go viral!"  

This was my sign. A six year old knows what it means for a video on YouTube to go viral. 

A lot of kids, even young ones, are on some form of social media or they are at least exposed to it. 

The scary thing is that kids are not scared of social media. Even scarier is that they don't know how to use social media responsibly or safely. 

That brings me to my first reason for deciding to take the plunge into using social media in my classroom.
I want to create Digital Citizens! 

I mentioned Kayla Delzer before. She is a master at creating digital citizens. I will be using her unit at the beginning of the school year. Click the picture below to purchase it.

My second reason goes back to why I love using social media. I want my students to be able to connect with, collaborate with and learn from others around the world. Just like I do!

This summer I stumbled across a children's book I wanted to use in my classroom. Of course I wanted to create a companion product to go along with it. We all know how some authors feel about teacherpreneurs using their literature.
To be safe I decided to contact the author to ask for her permission. I emailed her. Within minutes she emailed me back. Minutes I tell you!!! Not only did she give me permission, she gave me her blessing and is now working with me to finalize the product.
This was an amazing opportunity for me. I was beyond excited. I got to "chat" with a real author. I am an adult and was over the moon about it.

Can you imagine how excited students would be to hear from an author? 
A scientist?
An explorer? 
They could even connect with and collaborate with students around the world!!! 

So there you have it. I'm taking the plunge into social media in the classroom. I know it won't be perfect and I am sure we will hit some bumps along the way but I'm excited and ready for the challenge. 

Do you use social media in your classroom? Please give me pointers or share your stories with me!


  1. What a great idea! You're so right that even the youngest kiddos are quite digital savvy so it's important for them to be good digital citizens too!

    Team J's Second Grade Fun

  2. This is intriguing to me! What a cool idea. It makes writing real and purposeful for your kiddos!