Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Find more celebration posts at Ruth's blog.

Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.



Celebrate #1: He bought me roses.  The beauty of a single rose is enough to take my breath away.  Something so small and simple is really a sign of the hope. I need that hope this week.

Celebrate #2:  NCTE is coming!  I leave on Thursday and will be meeting up with many friends.  I celebrate that I am co-moderating two panels.  I will also be involved with 2 roundtable discussions.  But most of all, I will be surrounded by like-minded people who want the best for their students.





My NCTE schedule:

Sat., 8 AM: F.21 We See Their Faces: How Historical Fiction Advocates for Empathy, Diversity, and Social Change B311

Sat., 9:30 G.12 Writing for a Better World: Poetry Response to World Events B210

Sat., 1:15 I.27 Authentic Voice in a Digital World: Using Technology in Our Literate Lives B215

Sunday, 1:30 N.20 Teachers as Writers: Practices and Possibilities (an NCTE Roundtable Session) b206 


Celebrate #3:  Class Twitter account: @MrsSimonsSea.  My students are excited to have their very own Twitter account.  I look forward to exploring ways we can connect with authors and other classrooms.  If you have a class account, please follow us.  Our first Tweet was a 4th grade student’s podcast about the importance of pets.

Jenn Hayhurst tweeted back.

I can’t wait to share this with Andrew on Monday.  I celebrate online connections and building student confidence with social media.

Please come back tomorrow for DigiLitSunday! Our topic this week is “Purpose.”


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Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts


Months ago, some friends in my virtual professional learning network (PLN) decided to read Katherine Bomer’s new book from Heinemann, The Journey is Everything: Teaching Essays that Students Want to Write for People Who Want to Read Them.  We read and wrote responses to our reading in Google Docs to share our ideas, a virtual book club.

I decided to contact Katherine Bomer about doing a Twitter chat later in the summer.  She agreed with the disclaimer that she had never done a Twitter chat.  I explained that I had never curated one.

So the journey of discovery began.  Reading the book was the easy part.  Katherine’s voice in her writing is like she is sitting next to you having a conversation.  Yet at the same time, she is full of wisdom about essays, about writing, and about teaching.  There is so much goodness in this book, it was difficult to choose quotes to use in the Twitter chat.

I’m getting ahead of myself.  The first thing I did was to create an ad for the chat. I wanted something eye-catching that others could tweet and retweet.  I used Canva.  Canva was recommended by Dr. Mary Howard, another wise voice in education today.  She leads a weekly Twitter chat for Good to Great (#G2Great on Thursdays at 7:30 PM Central). You should follow her. @DrMaryHoward

A few weeks ago I invited some friends to participate in brainstorming questions.  A Twitter chat is usually an hour and includes 7 questions evenly spaced out by about 8 minutes.  (Mary Howard sent me a schedule she uses for G2Great.)   Tara Smith, Fran McVeigh, and Julieanne Harmatz contributed ideas and questions to the Google Doc. It got rather messy which is the way this kind of work is: messy, thoughtful, and inspiring.

Then I listened to this podcast from Heinemann.  I took notes and thought of more questions.  Jan Burkins offered me the advice to try out the questions to see if I could answer them in 140 characters.  That’s today’s task.  I am also going to test out pre-tweeting using Tweetdeck. Tweetdeck is necessary for following a chat. (For tonight, enter #DigiLitSunday.)

I spent a few hours putting the questions into a Canva Twitter background.  This way your questions can be longer than a tweet, but it also makes them attractive so they stand out from other tweets.  Here’s a sample question.

Journey Q 1

What is left to do is to make an image with all the questions to tweet out today before the chat.  This gives participants a heads up, time to think about their responses, and a way to participate more fully in the conversation.

Wish me luck.  I’m excited and nervous.  I have some great people backing me up.  I’m glad I’m doing this, but I don’t think we’ll chat every week.  Maybe once a month?

Please join us. Tweet and retweet. Share.

Twitter Chat with Katherine BomerSunday AUg. 28, 20166-00 CST (1) copy



Add your DigiLitSunday post to the links here.

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Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

Tweet from Michelle Haseltine

Tweet from Michelle Haseltine

I love Twitter Love. Nothing better than having colleagues/blogging friends recognize, honor, and celebrate you. And without you even knowing it! I was traveling yesterday. Presently, I’m in Atlanta for a friend’s son’s wedding. At the end of the long day, I checked my Twitter alerts. Were they really talking about me? I had to read the Tweets again.
Twitter love

Then this morning I received an email from Stenhouse offering a free preview of Kate Messner’s new book, 59 Reasons to Write. It took a while to thumb to page 198, but there I was. I had written a mock letter to myself as a reflection of Teachers Write camp. I must have sent it to Kate, but I have no recollection of that.

So today, I celebrate Kate Messner, Teachers Write, and Twitter Love. If you haven’t done it yet, order 50 Reasons today. You don’t need any more reasons.

59 reasons

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Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Today for DigiLit Sunday I have something on my mind about this internet PD community. I have tapped into so many teacher challenges this summer I run the risk of being overwhelmed. But instead I am fascinated and wonder what this may mean for my students and for the future of how we educate.

By participating in multiple online learning groups such as the Thinglink Teacher Challenge and Connected Learning (CLMOOC), I connect to other bloggers and find things that pique my interest. For example, Kim Douillard posted a weekly photo challenge in the CLMOOC Facebook group this week. Her blog site is Thinking through my Lens. I have a feeling Kim does not just use her phone for taking pictures, but that’s what I use. This week’s theme was #light. Just after I read her blog post, I took a walk outside to this amazing display of light.

Bayou morning photo by Margaret Simon

Bayou morning photo by Margaret Simon

Did you say “Ah!”? Yeah, me too. That’s my world and sometimes I forget to appreciate it. So I uploaded my amazing bayou scene to Twitter and got this response from Carol Varsalona.

Twitter with Carol

I will probably do this because I enjoy a challenge and especially one that makes me write. (Did I mention I am also doing Teachers Write camp with Kate Messner?)

So my Digital Learning question is this: How do we tap into student interests and create online learning environments for them to connect to and learn from? I teach gifted children. They have strong interest areas (obsessions, really). They are much more adept at computer skills than I am. Can we do this for them? Or is this being done and I don’t know about it? I did involve my students in the March Slice of Life Challenge put out by the Two (Six) Writing Teachers. They loved it. And for some, it was a deep learning experience.

Enter this conversation by leaving a comment. Should we have a Twitter chat or Google Hang out? I’ve never led one of those myself, but I’m willing to try.

Leave a link to your digilit post here.

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