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Educators: Making the Most of Pinterest

EducationWorld is pleased to present these lesson planning ideas contributed by Kristin Marino. Marino writes for on a variety of education topics. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Nevada and is an avid Pinterest user.

pinterestWhile teachers have a variety of teaching tools at their disposal, perhaps their greatest resource is each other. In this spirit, teachers are taking to the social bookmarking site Pinterest to collect and share ideas for inside and outside the classroom.

Pinterest is a content-sharing site where users collaborate and inspire by curating ideas, images, videos and other pieces of content. The site helps busy educators gather the bits of Web-based information they intend to go back to but never do.

Some users find Pinterest much easier than other bookmarking sites because they don't have to scroll through their bookmarks every time they want to find that great idea they saw months ago.They can also browse other users’ ideas and repin those ideas to their own boards. Usually, a "repinned" pin will lead to the original source, where one can often find more information or details. If something on Pinterest looks interesting, following it can often lead to teacher blogs and other great resources.

We invite you to explore EducationWorld's Pinterest boards. While you're at it, check out some of the many compelling ways in which teachers are using Pinterest:

Lesson ideas

A search of the phrases "classroom," "teacher" and "lesson plans" brings up a wealth of images and ideas to use in the classroom. While one pin suggests using Cheetos to teach pollination from a board titled "Visually Literate Teacher," another explains how to create a rainbow in a jar using olive oil, corn syrup, dishwashing liquid, isopropyl alcohol and food coloring to learn about the density of different liquids and how they don't mix. A board titled "Lesson Plan Ideas" offers a plethora of inspiration including bubble prints, kindergarten Picasso guitars, fabric balloon bowls and landscape collages, to name a few.

A search of "literature lessons" yields lesson plans on literature for all ages. For a teacher planning a unit on Dr. Seuss, for example, Pinterest is the place to pick up new inspiration. Find entire boards dedicated to all things Seussical including book suggestions by grade level, lesson ideas and classroom decor. Beware of cuteness overload when you lay your eyes on Thing 1 and Thing 2 made from strawberries and blue-tinted cream cheese.

Classroom organization ideas

A search of "classroom organization" yields a treasure trove of pins dedicated to organized and visually appealing classrooms. You'll find ideas for storage and administrative items, label templates and scheduling. Photo after photo of sparkling cubbies and color-coordinated storage bins will give even the most disorganized teacher inspiration to get organized once and for all. One pin features clothespins adorned with student names used to keep track of where they belong in the classroom, pinned to a board titled "For the Love of Learning."

An invitation to learn

Teachers love decorating their doors because kids love walking through them.

A search for "classroom door decorate" brings up inspiring photos showing the ingenuity of teachers of every grade. Teachers decorate doors to welcome kids back to school, and to celebrate special occasions, seasons and holidays throughout the school year. In some cases, it even looks like students have pitched in, with amazing results. Even upper-grade teachers are getting into the act, with one algebra teacher decorating her door to look like an iPodScarecrowsMay flowersstar-bellied sneetches and "The Lorax" abound. Owls are a popular theme, with one door proclaiming "Look Whoooo is in 3rd Grade."

Learning happens here

The inside of the classroom is also well represented on Pinterest. Teachers share ingenious ideas for reading nooksblooming wall art, and a leafy vocab word tree.

While science classrooms aren't always known for their decorative flair, of particular note are the photos of well-organized and arranged science classrooms including a 5th-grade science classroom decorated for the beach and a "recycled" bulletin board for an environmental science classroom pinned from the blog Bulletin Board Ideas.

Final tips

Enjoy jumping into Pinterest if you haven't already, but don't get overwhelmed. Here are a few tips for newbies:

  • Only choose pins you love and repin selectively.
  • If you can't decide whether something is pin-worthy, grab it and take a closer look at it when you have more time.
  • It's easy to edit, add and remove boards and pins.
  • Think of descriptive names for your boards that reflect what you've pinned there.


Related resources

Share Ideas, Paper-Free; Pinterest for Educators
Pinterest 101 for Educators: Getting Started
Pinterest for Teachers: Follow “Power Pinners”
Five More Pinterest “Power Pinners” to Follow

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