Looking back over the past year, it is amazing how many of my memories are tied to Pinterest. I was thinking about all the things I have found on Pinterest that made my classroom life better. Here are some of my favorites:
1) I bought two three-drawer containers. Using sentence strips from the Dollar Tree, I wrote the names of the week on fice of them and put one in each drawer. This is where I put the papers I have copied for each day. No more, "Where did I put that folder?" and no more laying something on top of papers that I need. It also lets me make the copies days and days in advance. I use the sixth drawer for extras or for items in the future. Click here to see what it looks like, although mine are stacked, not side-by-side.
2) On the first day of school, I like to do a fun project that allows me to practice some of my classroom rules with the kids. Last year, I found this adorable one-'Can You Save Fred?' The kids had to work together in groups and save a gummy worm named Fred. They loved it! Click here to go to get your copy. It is on TpT and it is absolutely free!
3) I am a Maker at heart and I love to take time out of our lessons to let my kids create and think. When I read about STEM on the Internet, I thought the two would work together wonderfully. I went to Pinterest and found a plethora of items to use. Here is my board. I haven't paid for any of the products on the for-pay links that are on there, but I plan to do so this year.
4) Sharpening pencils is such a hassle. Kids get off-task and the noise is just ugly. (Our sharpener is electric.) Some pencils just keep breaking, lengthening the process and involving the teacher. One day, while perusing the Pinterest, I found the answer to my dilemma. It takes me about five minutes a day to make this happen, but it is so worth it! First, I found one package of pencils (they are really cheap in July) and sharpened one for each child, plus a few more before the first day of school . On the first day of school, I collected everyone's pencil supply-minus special pencils. (Special pencils could only be sharpened before school.) During a short break-as in they were busy and knew what they were doing-I sharpened enough to have one more per child. These were placed in a container on my desk. Beside it was an empty container for dull or broken pencils. I really feel like I gained hours in teaching time doing this all year long. Like I said earlier, sharpening about five minutes after school and the pencil box was ready to go for the next day. You can get free labels here.
5) Simple things in life, that take me hours to make, are now available at my fingertips. For example, prepositions are best taught with a visual aid. Now I don't have to draw it or remember where I put it. I can copy a cool poster here and I am ready to go. Anyone else like to use 'I Have, Who Has?' You have to love this template. I know I do!
6) One day, realizing my kids needed a lesson on independence, I checked out the videos I had collected on my school videos board. There it was-the escalator video. We watched it and talked about the situation on the broken escalator. Then we talked about what students do (what they do) when they get "stuck." That little video did more in a couple minutes than I could have in a 15-minute talk! The truth is, I often find videos that meet a need in my classroom. Did I mention that I love Pinterest?
7) I also use Pinterest to organize my ideas. For example, we have a lot of organized fun on the last day of school. I have an end-of-the-year activities where I collect things all year. Then, close to the end of the year, I start a temporary board where I pin the actual things we will be doing that year. At the end, I replace the pins I liked, placing them on my general board. Finally, I delete the temporary board-hence the name! At any rate, this made the last day of school easy to pull together!
8) The bulletin board background in the picture below is another idea I fell in love with on Pinterest. I like bulletin boards, but I loathe putting up the background. Black material was placed on one (okay, two) of my boards two years ago and they are good to go again this year. The board changes a lot when you change the border and materials. I have yet to have it clash with any of my bulletin board ideas.
I tried the same idea with another background. It is on its last year because paper is not as strong as material and the ocean doesn't harmonize with as many ideas, but I also put up an ocean background when my students were studying the ocean. The next year, I found creative ways to make it work. Next year, the background may be black!
9) Notebooking has been fairly new to me, but Pinterest has not let me down. I now use notebooking in my math and science classes. A couple of the great pins I found are templates and setting up notebooks. I got mine from Runde's Room. It is a great resource-165 pages long.
10) Pinterest also allows me to share fabulous activities we do in our classroom. For example, when we studied World War II and made battle scenes like these. Another example is shown below, when they created moving objects from miscellaneous materials-our STEAM day!
I love Pinterest! Almost every day, I go on and find new ideas-some for now and some for later. I even pin some for others-I have a couple of boards just to share. I hope you enjoy what I have shared here! (Oh, and if you want to follow me on Pinterest, click here.)