Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Hatching a hashtag

I read Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Spence this spring, thoroughly enjoying the librarian-author's apostrophes to formative books from her life. In planning for the coming school year, Spence's approach inspired me to use a similar structure with middle-school students as we develop our reading community.

My first draft mashed up a Google Form, Sheet, and Site with the help of Awesome Table -- a combination on which I've relied in the past. As a new wrinkle, I mused about how to connect student reviews with a wider audience, perhaps even including their favorite authors. Social media, particularly Twitter, has proven a positive outlet in that regard for me, so I added a choice in the form for students to republish their micro-letters as tweets.

Since Twitter's terms of service say users must be at least 13 and most of my students are not, I'll post reviews via my professional handle from those who opt in. (Class handles may someday prove worthwhile, but I'm not yet ready for that step.) I did capitulate, however, to the necessity for a hashtag that will help aggregate our work. And so, on Monday, #DearTitleHere was born -- both the feed and the site. I've seeded those with a few examples drawn from my summer reading, and I'll invite students to jump in next month.


  1. Thanks for including the links with your post! I didn't know what a literary apostrophe was; now I can share it with my students. I'm also sharing this post for my fourth and fifth grade ELA teachers; what a great way to review books!

  2. So cool. I fully intend to steal this idea!

  3. Oh yes, most definitely stealing! Just requested the book from the library and already envisioning how this could become part of one of my fall classes!

  4. Love this idea. I just ordered the book. I've never used Awesome Table before. Any tips you could provide as to how you put this site together would be much appreciated!

    1. Lets start with these sources from which I learned, Jill... Third-party article re: Awesome Table-- https://goodgoodwork.io/intro-to-awesome-tables-1/
      Awesome Table's own support site-- https://support.awesome-table.com/hc/en-us (which shows how to embed in Google Site)
      As for more on Google Sites side, here's a collection of tutorials-- https://sites.google.com/bvsd.org/sitesseeing/home/resources
      I'm thrilled you're looking into giving this a try! Ping me via Twitter direct message should questions arise.