As any Pinterest Pinner knows, it’s very easy to go down the proverbial rabbit hole. One pin leads to another and another, until you realize you’ve been on Pinterest for 37 hours straight! Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration (the average user spends only 98 minutes on Pinterest per month), but it can feel like hours because there are a lot of really thoughtful and creative ideas on Pinterest. And if you’re not a Pinner yet and have no idea what I’m talking about, Pinterest is a social network of virtual pin boards that allows you to bookmark ideas into collections based on your interests. It’s like window shopping for ideas!
If you’re a teacher, you may have used Pinterest to scope out some cool ideas for classroom design or tips and tricks for classroom management. But there is so much more available to strengthen your own professional development and generate powerful learning opportunities for your students. And if you can adopt ideas from other brilliant educators, why spend your time reinventing the wheel? That’s probably why there’s more than 500,000 education pins pinned daily on Pinterest.
Here are 4 Ways for Math Teachers to Use Pinterest:
1. Create boards for math standards or concepts
Be Pinfluential! Think of yourself as curating a collection of fine (mathematical) art – all related, maybe from the same artist or from artists that inspired other works of art. In other words, find content that your fellow math educators will find helpful, interesting and worth their time, not just to repin, but to put into practice. Then organize that content into different standards or concepts for easy reference. For example, you might have an entire board on “Fraction Addition,” or maybe it’s “Factoring Quadratics” that floats your boat.
2. Collaborate with other Pinners
Expand your professional learning community digitally by connecting with your colleagues, international educators, or educational leaders on Pinterest. You can easily collaborate using Pinterest’s new messaging feature to share pins and write thoughtful comments. You can even collaborate with parents and students by pinning images from your own classroom or providing opportunities to expand on classroom lessons at home.
3. Use printable games and lesson plans from Pinterest
There are a lot of great resources out there for printable games and lesson plans, but the trouble is finding the time to sort through all of the available options. That’s where Pinterest can help! Maybe you already follow a few blogs or websites that are inspiring (ahem, Edutopia and TEDEd). But why have all those links clogging up your browser bookmarks? Instead, consider pinning that stuff to your Pinterest boards for easy reference and easy sharing. What to find and pin to Pinterest: math activities, lessons, games, articles and videos!
4. Find technology solutions
Long gone are the days of classroom technology consisting solely of a class set of TI-83 graphing calculators. We are living in the 21st Century, technology is integrated into every aspect of our lives and classrooms, and our students are expected to be technology literate. Interactive white boards, LMSs, Apps, BYODs, 1:1 Implementations etc. etc. etc., the list can make you dizzy! So how do you find tech solutions for your classroom that really work? Start with our pinterest board on "Teacher Resources for Technology in the Classroom".
Bonus Idea: Research Math Heroes!
Everyone knows Albert Einstein and his theory of relativity (he must have a really good PR manager). But do your students know Euclid or Maryam Mirzakhani? Have your students research math heroes using Pinterest and curate their own collections of inspiring mathematicians.
About the Author
Debra Balint was an Regional Implementation Manager at MIND Research Institute.