By Teachers, For Teachers
Pinterest, oh how I love thee. This platform might actually deserve a sonnet more than a brief departure into old English, but I digress. Pinterest has, to say the least, become my go-to resource for everything education—and it’s FREE. Whether it is an article pinned (linked) by another user or a website, filtering my search through Pinterest turns up thousands of ideas. The pins include things like articles, teaching strategies, website links, blog links, Teacher Pay Teacher ideas, pictures, videos and professional journals. A new English language arts lesson using common core? Pinterest. Reading suggestions for a struggling 6th grader? Pinterest. You get the idea.
Available both through an app and a website, Pinterest organizes your favorites as visual bookmarks. Displayed in board style, users pin or re-pin a bookmark. As a user, I can organize my pins any way I'd like. I might have an organization board, a bulletin board board, a “To Kill a Mockingbird” board, or a music scale board, for example. People can follow my board if they share an interest and see what I pin; if they like it, they can re-pin it. I actually follow more than 20 boards myself.
If you’re still a bit lost as to how it works, don’t worry. Pinterest offers short tutorial videos to help you make sense of it all.
Speaking of making sense, here are five exciting ways you can use Pinterest in the classroom:
Prior to Pinterest, I used to bookmark websites I wanted to utilize in my browser. Sometimes, if I had extra time, I'd actually organize those links with folders to make things easier to digest. The big problem was … I never came back to them. It was a mess.
Happily, the ideas you’ll find on Pinterest are easy to use, easy to find, and usually tried and true. Having visual bookmarks makes it so much easier to reference, organize, and share materials than what I was accustomed to before. To that effect, and whether you’re a newbie or an established teacher, Pinterest can help you become a better educator. You’ll be able to find a plethora of lesson plans, sub plans, unit planning or parent involvement strategies, classroom hacks, and more with a few clicks. It’s an amazing tool that can help you differentiate instruction for your newest class or simply freshen up tired methods.
For those areas of teaching where you simply have no idea where to start, Pinterest proves invaluable. Here are a few areas where I may lean heavily on the helpful platform:
Natively, I may not have great creative style, but thanks to Pinterest, I have some of the best ideas waiting for me—transforming my space into the envy of my colleagues and observant students. I’ve used Pinterest to help me polish up the following:
As a library media director, I am often asked about up and coming titles and technology. I use Pinterest to help organize lists of books I want to read—many of which I gathered from other librarians’ boards.
By typing in Educational Apps into the Pinterest search box, I found selections for specific language arts strategies, apps that are great support for home schoolers, links to blogs that have helpful app reviews, and more. All of this has slimmed down my own research and given me more time to truly observe and connect with my students.
Here are some extremely heplful search terms to get your board started:
Truth be told, I’ve found the most interesting blogs on Pinterest. Often, an extra click onto their blog reveals additional resources I can use as an educator. I’ve found some great entries about family literacy night and the common core doing just that.
Similar to what I was saying about apps and books, I’ve found pinned lists like "Top Twenty Read Alouds for Grade 2" or "Fifty Apps for Teachers" from a bit of blog exploration. Don’t be afraid to dig deeper—many blog authors have years of archived material that can help you bolster your teaching toolkit.
Some of the blogs I have found simply support—through humor—how difficult being an educator can be. Many times, we don't get the opportunity (besides the teacher's lounge) to share our struggles. Reading some of the teaching adventures from fellow educators is heartwarming, not to mention reaffirming.
So you have once again found yourself in charge of planning the old Family Literacy Night. You've done detectives and mystery, genre walks, and traveled around the world with non-fiction and you’re starting to get worried you’ll run dry of ideas. Luckily, hundreds await you on Pinterest, all neatly organized with relevant links, materials, and organizational planning. Talk about a lifesaver. Are you in charge of other school-wide planning in the near future? Here are other events you can search for with great success:
Psssst ... when you are on Pinterest, be sure to create a separate board for all of the great recipes you’ll find (I’m a huge fan of the crockpot). Consider it a time-saving measure; a nod to how busy we all are as educators. Word to the wise, be mindful of your time when you start looking around—you can seriously lose hours on this website. If you’re able to keep your time in check, Pinterest is the platform we’ve all been waiting for as modern-day educators.
Follow me on Pinterest!
User: wrenjen or Jenny S