social media can enrich our classrooms in more ways than one, here’s one super-easy way to embed into instruction

Social media.

Such a loaded phrase. At any given point in time, it can be a friend or a foe. Especially in our classrooms.

Social media was our friend for the past 10 days, and what a friend it turned out to be, we are all better for it. Bonus, it was super-easy to become friends.

Every January, we host a #10days10readalouds in our classroom. Part to jump-start reading after the holidays, part to inspire creativity ahead of our full launch of iTime, the composition of books tend to vary every year based on the learners*.

What changed for me this year was that we actually took our initiative outside the four walls of our classroom: we posted our work everyday on Twitter. Each post had a picture of the book along with the twitter handle of the author and/or the illustrator, and a wondering or a thought by a student in our class. That simple.

And you know what we got in back in return? Authors and illustrators actually reached  back to us, gave us feedback, and pushed our thinking even more! Check out our Twitter conversations here. We read their comments, we we appreciated their likes to our posts.

The results. Engaged learners. Readers who think deeply about the craft of the author. Visual aficionados who explore each illustration. Deep thinkers who build bridges across  literature. Learners who are connected with their extended learning community. Connected classroom.

* This year’s selection included:

  1. What do you do with an idea? by Kobi Yamada + Mae Besom
  2. What do you do with a problem? by Kobi Yamada+ Mae Besom
  3. dreaming up by Christy Hale
  4. Young Frank Architect by Frank Viva
  5. Young Charlotte Filmmaker by Frank Viva
  6. Iggy Peck Architect by Andrea Beaty + David Roberts
  7. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty + David Roberts
  8. Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty + David Roberts
  9. Antsy Ansel by Cindy Jenson-Elliott + Christy Hale
  10. What do you do with a chance? by Kobi Yamada+ Mae Besom

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