Jack Berckemeyer, a high energy, hilarious educational consultant who taught our teachers a tremendous amount about student engagement and how to build effective middle school teams.
This year, our school adopted the phrase "Ready To Learn," which we are borrowing from Jack. The first day of school, our middle school teams shared what it means to be ready to learn with our students, and we are working hard at reinforcing the importance of this phrase each and every day so that it becomes a part of the culture at our school.
Prior to this year's Open House, the 6th grade students and teachers on my team put together a bulletin board inspired by Twitter and our new motto of "Ready To Learn." We gave students cards with pseudo-Twitter handles (@StudentName) and asked them to create tweets (messages of 140 characters or less) to show what it means for students to be #ReadyToLearn. The responses were awesome and our students loved the idea of getting to tweet, even if it was just on paper.
The feedback I received from students was so overwhelmingly positive as they began generating their tweets that I immediately knew we had to continue using paper tweets with students in the future. Right now I am toying with the idea of students writing Exit Tweets to reflect on what they learned in class as well as writing Celebration Tweets for when something great is happening in class. I am curious to hear of other suggestions, so if you have any ideas of ways we can use "paper tweets" with our students, please leave a comment below.