July 17, 2013

Summer Challenge 2013: Goal #5

This summer, we are being intentional about spending just a little bit of time doing some things that can make a big impact on our classroom. Join us as we try to create a stress-free school year! Did you miss the first part of this series? Check it out Let's Get Started and Goal #1, Goal #2, Goal #3, Goal #4.

Whew! How did that year-long planning go? Aren’t you glad it’s done?

Today’s goal is much more fun (in my opinion!):

Create a Pinterest account (if you don’t already have one) and create boards for each subject you will be teaching.

It’s no secret that I love love LOVE Pinterest. I pin everything from freezer recipes to homemade laundry detergent (don’t judge!). But did you know that it can be a MASSIVELY HUGE organization tool for teachers too?

Today, I am going to show you how to use Pinterest to make lesson planning more creative and efficient.

We’ve all stumbled across a mind-blowing idea while online that we know would absolutely work for a future unit, only to forget about it when it’s time to teach the lesson.

With Pinterest, you can ‘pin’ (aka- save) these ideas in an online file cabinet. You can create boards (think of them like folders in your file cabinet) and save ideas in them that you find online. When it’s time to teach a lesson, you go to your board and see all the ideas you’ve saved to give you inspiration.

So let’s get started:

Step 1: Create a Pinterest account if you haven’t done so already. (Okay, I know there are some of you who are all like “Why do I need this Pinterest thing in my life. I’m not doing it!” Just trust me. You will love it. It’s life changing. Sorta.) I could tell you how to create one, but this site has a great tutorial with pictures and everything already, so just visit them. Make sure you install the Pin It button (this site explains how to do that as well).

Step 2: Create a board for each unit you will be teaching. I know this will create a lot of boards, but that’s okay. It will make organizing your ideas much, much easier. For example, when I taught US History, I might have these boards:

- Geography
- Native Americans
- Explorers
- American Colonies
- Revolutionary War
- US Government
- Civil War
- Reconstruction
- Social Studies Review Tools

Step 3: As you find ideas on the web or on Pinterest’s site that you think might be useful for a particular topic, pin it to that unit’s board. Pin ideas, free printables, resources you’d like to purchase, books you’d like to get from the library to read, etc.

Step 4: When you are ready to write your lessons for a particular unit, look at the ideas on your board for an instant treasure trove of resources devoted specifically to that topic.

That’s that!

You’ve just create a virtual teaching toolbox for lesson planning. We’ll be using this in two weeks when our Summer Challenge resumes and we start to plan our first three weeks of lessons.

Until then, happy pinning!

Just joining us for the Summer Challenge? Don’t worry! You still have time to jump in with both feet! Here are the links to the mini-challenges we’ve accomplished over the last few weeks:

Goal 5: How to use Pinterest for lesson planning

Goal 6: Plan the first 3 weeks of lessons

Following along with the Summer Challenge? Grab my button here:

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