Long a favorite among craft enthusiasts, the popular DIY site Pinterest, in which users “pin” online images to virtual pin boards for later reference, is gaining ground in education. Educators using Pinterest in the classroom have access to professional development resources, lesson plans, curriculum ideas, and more.
Locating online educational resources can put even more demands on teachers’ time, which is often already stretched to the limit. Pinterest lets users organize resources and ideas in one central location, as opposed to bookmarking sites and then visiting those sites multiple times in order to remember what each site contains.
Each “pin” is taken from an image on a website, so that teachers can immediately see what idea or resource each site contains. Users create different boards and pin items into various categories—for instance, a teacher may have one board for English, another for professional development, and a third for math tips.
(Next page: How a first grade teacher uses Pinterest)Melissa Dillard, a first grade teacher at Protsman Elementary School in Indiana’s Lake Central School Corporation, uses Pinterest in the classroom to organize and find ideas for monthly and themed activities, as well as for curriculum resources and parent communication.
“It’s a teacher’s best friend—I go straight to Pinterest and do a search,” Dillard said of the site’s education potential. Dillard also uses Pinterest to let her students vote on class activities: she’ll pin several versions of an idea and lets students look at all the options and vote on which one they’d each like to do.
Because her first grade students can’t sit still for too long without fidgeting, Dillard created a “Brain Break” board to help her with classroom management. Each Brain Break is a short physical activity, such as dancing or a movement game, designed to help her students burn off some energy and approach their next lesson with fresh concentration.
Using Pinterest in the classroom, teachers also can share their own projects and visuals by taking pictures, posting those pictures online in a blog or other platform, and pinning those images to their own Pinterest boards.
Users can search for educational resources and a slew of Pinterest boards and pins will pop up:
- Ultimate List of Educational Websites
- Educational games for Kids
- Educational Gross Motor Activities
- iPad Apps for Struggling Readers
- Virtual Educational Field Trips
- 18 Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers
- 15 Great Educational Apps
- Educational Disability Resources
- 30 Fun Letter Activities for Kids
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