My First Chat

Last week I entered into my first chat on Twitter. Here’s how it went. Since I’m teaching Children’s Literature right now to undergraduate future teachers, I wanted to add Twitter as part of our curriculum. I made it optional, but I was pleased that each of them was interested. I was looking for a chat that we might participate in together, so I sent out this tweet hoping to hear from librarians or teachers who were discussing children’s literature.

Screen shot 2011-07-15 at 11.00.57 PM

Within a few minutes I received a reply from Greg Pincus:

Screen shot 2011-07-15 at 11.04.19 PM“Great!” I told him, “I’ll be there.” Or something like that, in a tweet. I didn’t have enough time to forget or get too nervous because it was within the hour. I set the timer on my computer, so I wouldn’t work right through it.

The participants were authors of children’s literature, and the topic was “Why kidlit?” They were celebrating the second anniversary of the #kidlitchats. There were wonderful inspiring messages in 140 characters or less, like:

Screen shot 2011-07-15 at 11.11.32 PMand

Screen shot 2011-07-16 at 8.24.34 PM


Screen shot 2011-07-16 at 8.42.14 PM


Screen shot 2011-07-16 at 8.24.52 PMand

Screen shot 2011-07-16 at 8.26.52 PM

And somewhere in there Jennifer Prescott added this tweet.

Screen shot 2011-07-15 at 11.12.04 PMThat was fun! After the chat I signed up for the drawing, and I was surprised to find out a couple days later that I won, along with two others of her blog followers. How fun is that?

Screen shot 2011-07-15 at 11.19.07 PMShe does this with some regularity, so check out her blog, The Party Pony, for the August giveaway.

Anyway, that was a long introduction to say that I had waited all this time to really get involved in a chat, and it was worth it! The writers were gracious and interactive. I learned some things, hopefully contributed a bit, and won some books for my classroom. All in one hour, sitting in my jammies.

Another great example of 21st century learning and growing that can happen on Twitter!

14 thoughts on “My First Chat

  1. What a nice post! There are so many great authors who participate in #kidlitchat – and in other conversations around Twitter. The chat the other night was fun, fast and full of great information – pretty much the norm. Greg & Bonnie do a great job!

    So glad you won those books for your class! What a great ending to your first chat!! đŸ™‚

  2. What a great experience! I would love to get involved in a chat session! My time will come soon!

    Have you taught Children’s Lit before? I used to teach Microsoft Office and Internet classes at our local community college and it was a great experience.

    Thanks for the great post and motivation!


    1. Hi Theresa, thanks for coming to visit. I am surprised that you haven’t been involved in chats. I guess I would have assumed you had. It was a great experience. Have you seen the list from Cybraryman?

      I have been teaching this class for five years. It is a very fun class! Who would not want to read children’s lit all summer? And I love working with these students who usually are non-traditional students working hard to become teachers with families, full-time jobs, and what-have-you. Thanks again!


  3. This is a great post and what an awesome experience. I hope I can experience something this cool in the near future. Let me know if you hear of another one. I would love to be involved.

    I have grown to really enjoy the power of Twitter and the Internet to connect educators and others with similar goals or thoughts. It is powerful and positive if used that way.

    You are a motivational educator out to do right by your students and I respect your commitment.

    Have a great rest of the summer.


    1. Scott, thanks for the kind words. There are so many chats. Take your pick! I keep thinking I’ll try the #midleved chat on Friday evenings, but I tend to always be away or forget. Here is a great list of chats from Cybraryman. (A great person to follow if you don’t already. He reminds folks of when the chats are!)


  4. What a surprise to see my tweet in your post! During Twitter chats, there isn’t time to think. Maybe that’s what makes kidlitchats so fun–people speak with unguarded passion. During the school year, I usually don’t get done with my work as a principal in time for the chat. This was my first time in months. Anyone is welcome to join in Tuesday evenings from 6-7 p.m. (Pacific Time).

    Oh, and how great it is that you get to TEACH children’s lit. What a privilege! I can go on an on AND ON about picture books, middle grade fiction and young adult novels. You are one of the lucky ones!

    All the best!

    P.S. You might want to take a peek at my Boyz Read blog ( I am particularly interested in keeping (or getting) boys interested in reading so I feature books that I think might do the trick. Comments and followers are always welcome!

    1. Thanks, Gregory, for stopping by! I am now following the Boyz Read blog. Thanks for sharing it with my readers and me. That will be a great resource for my 7th and 8th grade boys.

      By the way, I’m glad you are still a principal too. Those cheering kids need your cart full of books coming into their room!


  5. Hey Denise,
    Love your post! It would be helpful to those who are nervous about joining a chat. It really does seem so scary until you participate in one. Because it goes so fast, some chats have specific wikis with a page for ‘chat archives’. Using the archive you can slowly go back over the night’s conversation and check out some of the wonderful links that were shared.

    So happy to see that you joined in the fun and are making some new Twitter friends!

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. @Nancy, thanks for mentioning the archive chats. I forgot about that. In fact, I actually have found some good information in the archives before. I’m always surprised how l…o…n…g they can be after just one hour of 140 characters! Thanks for adding information!

    @Scott, glad you followed Jerry (@cybraryman). I look forward to his tweets, and he’s very personable! đŸ™‚

  7. I recently joined chats too (#engchat English Chat and #bced British Columbia Educators). Wowser. What an experience!

    I had no idea what to expect. I thought I could just read along and tweet if I could.

    I quickly discovered I needed Hootsuite open with a stream for the hashtag (to follow along), a stream for mentions (in case someone commented to me), and the open stream so I could tweet when I had something to add or reply to a mention to me.

    Whew! Does that hour fly by? Yes.

    I also made two connections that may result in collaboration between classes.

    So, like you, the two hours on two chats were valuable in the information and contacts shared.

    Thanks for sharing your experience so these great comments could be added. Gregory Walters'( will be very helpful.

    Look forward to more learning from your sharing ! Sheri

Comments are closed.