Hello blogosphere! My friend Melissa invited me to compose a few guest posts on her blog, and I am delighted to share a few thoughts with you!
You may recall from earlier posts that Twitter is a wonderful tool for teachers to connect with and share ideas and experiences with each other. From reading feeds such as #sschat, teachers can share strategies and tips to improve their abilities in the classroom. Gone are the days of staring at your plan book, searching for ideas on general search engines, and struggling to come up with a way to make the content engaging. Now, help is just a few keystrokes away. Let me share with you another great resource that I promise you will be fun, and more than a little addicting.
You may have heard of it. If you have not used it and are not familiar with it, Pinterest is like a giant bulletin board. Basically, when you log into the main page, you will see pictures (called “pins”) that other people have posted to their own boards (organized by theme or topic). What people do is when they are browsing websites, if they see a picture of something that they really like, they click on the button to “pin” it, and then are redirected to Pinterest, where they pin the picture to the board of their choice. Then, when they visit their pinboards later, and click on the “pinned” picture, they are redirected to the site where the picture originated. I have pinned pictures of scarfs from knitting websites for future reference, then, months later, gone back and clicked on the pin to go to the website to get the pattern. It’s like bookmarking pages using pictures.
Let’s just say that when I discovered that there were educational themed pin boards out there that I went a little crazy. Over the course of a few days, I pinned over 75 different educational ideas to my “school ideas” board. I got these pins both from educational blogs that I visited, websites, and of course, other peoples boards. I learned several interesting things from Pinterest that I hope to use in my future classroom.
Interesting Ideas to Apply to Your Classroom
1. Did you know that plastic plates (the throw-away kind) can double as little dry erase boards? Glue one to a big popsicle stick and you have an instant response paddle. (not a people paddle…make sure you set guidelines with your class for proper use, especially if you teach the lower grades 🙂 )
2. Home Depot sells dry erase paint. And chalkboard paint. You can now paint any surface and create chalk/dry erase boards.
3. Using salt-dough clay and a little paint, you can have students study geography by creating a land mass with various landforms. Make a connection with world history by having students design the ideal land area to sustain a civilization. What do people need to survive? How do civilizations grow and prosper? What area would be best suited to help people thrive?
4. Remember playing “Guess Who” as a kid? Well, if you can find one of the old game boards (and if you have the time and patience) you can cut out and glue pictures of historical people onto the flip cards, and you have a fun and interactive review game!
All told, I have over 100 pins on my “school ideas” board, and the 4 above ideas don’t even scratch the surface of the wonderful sources that I have found. From classroom management strategies, to hands-on learning, to links for teaching to the Common Core, to classroom organization, to writing prompts and technology, the ideas (and pins!) are endless. Simply browse pins in the Education category and be prepared to spend at least an hour glued to your computer, reading up on a ton of wonderful resources.
Finally, one last pin for the road. I found a pin that links up to a blog, that lists over 200 pinboards full of education ideas. If those pinboards are anything like mine, and have about 100 pins on them each, then you are looking at potentially 20,000 different educational pins to browse and repin to your own board for you to reference later.
Enjoy and happy pinning!
This post was written by Guest Blogger- Mandi Morningstar. You can follow Mandi @Mandiamstar Mandi is a New York State certified 7-12 social studies teacher. She worked for 4 years teaching 9th and 10th grade Global History and Geography before being laid off. Mandi is currently looking for a classroom to call her own, and working as a substitute teacher in the meantime. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Ithaca College in 2007 with her BA in Social Studies Education, and from SUNY New Paltz in 2011 with her MS in Adolescent Education with a history concentration. Mandi and her fiance live in Beacon, NY with their cat, Yao-Man.