Well the summer is finally here, and with it comes a time to recharge our "batteries.":) That being said most teachers are almost always looking for different approaches to more fully engage their students in learning. Often teachers reflections focus on several issues including such ideas as looking for new techniques, practical ways to integrate technology, strategies to more fully engage struggling students, etc. As instructors face these challenges, they must still deal with limited school budgets. So free tools for our teaching kits must be the focus.
With that in mind, this post will explore a website that will serve as an excellent supplemental tool for any grade level or content area. That site is PINTEREST. Setting up your own account takes a few seconds. You will then want to build boards based on your subject, your lessons, and your interests. Here is one of mine (I have 32 boards on many content areas and personal interests). The theme here is TEACHER HUMOR (a fun way to interest the site). Of course this one is just for teachers:) In a more serious vein, here is my board on SPACE/SCIENCE. The use of the material here would easily provide context for all students (especially English language learners) and that should provide better access to language and content for all students. Further, you can send "content boards" to students to review as needed. They do not have to have an account to access them (if they are over 13, they can create their own accounts, but I would suggest you assign their usernames and passwords to make monitoring easier as well as providing parents access).
Another use of this site is to create lesson "boards" to store all your links, visuals, pdfs, etc. Think of them as visual bookmarks/favorites. This approach provides a quick route to all your plans for that a class with just a few clicks. Of course, nothing takes the place of a well ordered lesson, but with this tool, all of your websites and other support materials will be on a virtual "board" with a picture of the theme of each website saved.
So, if you have some quiet time over your vacation, play around with the site. Let me warn you ahead of time though that it can be addictive:)
Continue to enjoy your vacation:)
Denise, Cheryl, and Marnie
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