I began exploring Pinterest several years ago in anticipation of using it to share resources with our busy iTEAM teachers. Like thousands before me, I was instantly hooked. I gravitated to my favorite things … France, Scotland, cats, recipes, and inspirational quotes … just like over 75 million others around the world, creating boards and either finding great things on other people’s similarly themed boards to pin on my own or uploading my own photos to share with the community. It was fun! Part of the allure was that it’s easy. There was almost no learning curve at all. And it wasn’t all that time consuming. All I needed was a spare minute or two, and I could find some lovely things to pin and thereby share. So Pinterest was perfect for my busy life. It required only as much time as I had to spare and not a second more.
It was an easy step to move from those personal boards to setting up boards for the iTEAMchicago teachers, some of whom are themselves active pinners. Today iTEAMchicago has 34 boards themed around teaching science, STEM, and the NGSS.
To tempt you to go exploring, I wanted to share a couple of sample pins from those boards, ones I think other teachers might also find useful.
It’s no secret that I love Infographics, those often beautiful designed images that pack a whole lot of information into an easily unpacked graphic. Here’s one from Kids Discover on the Water Cycle, a topic all students cover at some point in their schooling. It’s from our board “Science Infographics to Wow Students.” You can find some spectacular astronomy infographics there too.
Liking infographics so much, I decided to try my hand at making one, with this result, which can help you make the case for using inquiry-based instruction:
NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) published a very helpful chart that can make interpreting the NGSS much easier.
And with Halloween upon us, who isn’t looking for something seasonal involving pumpkins? Students can predict how many of the pumpkin seeds will sprout. This is great for journal work, data gathering, and observation (drawing) and is geared for pre-K through 5.
Collecting useful resources in one place, makes so much sense. But our iTEAMchicago boards have a long way to go!
Mary Bianchi Chlada, one of STEM Institute’s Coach/Facilitators is an even more avid pinner. She has 501 very well-organized boards, with over 24,000 pins and 788 followers. Mary must be in the Pinterest Pantheon! And many of her boards are focused on teaching. What a fantastic resource and such fun to use in planning your classroom and your classes. Mary has agreed to become one of our designated pinners, specifically building our technology collection. I’m looking forward to seeing the iTEAMchicago boards blossom with her pins.
If you are interested in joining us, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Teaching is, after all, a collaborative effort. And Pinterest fosters exactly that across the world.
A case in point, just today I visited teacher Kristin Linde at Roosevelt Elementary in Chicago Heights and her colleague Haylee Hilton who run an after school Ignite Curiosity with STEM club for 5th through 8th graders, and the activity students were engaged in with absolute concentration for an hour and a half was an engineering project Kris found on Pinterest. She thought the students would love it and asked them and her colleagues to begin saving cardboard tubes of various sizes. I’ve never seen a more engaged group of kids than these eager young engineers!
For those not inclined to Pinterest, we also post resources on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, and Flickr, in addition to this blog. Plus, we park our activities on the Partners in Inquiry website. So choose your own adventure. Whichever social media is your pleasure, we have something there for you, all of them works in progress, so please stay tuned.
And to my fellow Pinterest devotees …
You can learn more about Golden Apple STEM Institute here.