esl classroom Facebook
In order to encourage the students to write daily about things that are important or of interest to them, I have created Facebook in our classroom. During our break time and anytime students are finished their work they are free to update their status or write on a friend's wall. We only write positive and kind messages to one another. If you enjoy someones status you may use your own personal "Like" magnet to let that person know how you feel. We do not have a dislike button and there is no deleting messages until the end of the week when the board is wiped clear. I used school provided photos for the profile picture but this can also be updated with a drawing or another picture of their own.
The excitement about having Facebook in our classroom has lead to interest from other students who after school, like to come into our classroom and read what the other students are writing. Also, fellow teachers have shown an interest and stop by before class to check out what the kids have to say. After a couple of weeks of the jumbo Facebook, I have downsized to a smaller version using a blank Facebook template created by JP and the messages are written on recycled paper. The students can fill in with their own information such as name, hometown, birthday and friends. Finally, the bottom half of the page is where the wall messages are displayed using recycled A4 papers cut in half and slide into the bottom of the plastic sleeve using sticker magnets to keep them on the whiteboard. This saves on whiteboard markers and allows the students to write messages at their table before they post it to the wall. As further incentive if three or more people "Like" your comment then you can earn points in our classroom reward system. I also often take time to write students person messages and they are encouraged to write to my Facebook as well.
Overall, this has been a wonderful addition to my and JP's classrooms with children of varying English abilities. In the future I would consider posting this as a bulletin board outside of my classroom so that the school community could interact with the students as well.
JP's Classroom Facebook
JP's students are writing on his wall and everyone "likes" it!