Kids love social media; even my elementary school students. I’ve shamelessly used this love to motivate them to expand their vocabulary. I was inspired to have my kids “tweet” after seeing the various ways other teachers have students jot down their learning in Twitter format. Simply search Pinterest for examples. In our classroom, we use it to create grammatically correct sentences featuring a selected term.
Each week, I post a Twitter Word of the Week on the board. I generally select vocabulary words that my students might not be familiar with, but might find themselves confronted with while reading directions or tasks. I try to use a variety of higher level words to expand my students’ vocabulary: annotate, support, defend, etc. We review the definition of the word, I give them a couple of example sentences, and we discuss affixes that could be added to the word. Students then have the remainder of the week to create one single sentence using the word appropriately in a grammatically correct sentence.
Students write a rough draft of the sentence in their journals, self-edit, then “tweet” their sentence. Since we can’t use Twitter at school, we fake it. I update a discussion topic on our class blog weekly. This blog is found on our school hosted website, and is a safe place for students to learn blogging. Students use the Scan app on the iPads to scan a QR code that sends them directly to the discussion topic. After logging in, they simply type up their sentence and submit it. I grade the sentence for grammar conventions and appropriate use of the new word. It’s an easy way to expand my students vocabulary, a quick and easy ELA grade, and a great way to engage my students in what could otherwise be a fairly boring weekly task.