10 ways to use Pinterest in the classroom


Pinterest is a social networking site sweeping all sectors, and it’s really very useful, probably one of the most useful things we have found on the internet in some time.  Plus it’s free, and we are a thrifty team who like to save the pennies!  So here are a few ways you can use it to help you as a teacher, and help your children in the classroom. Of course, you can also come and follow our boards, and take the hard work out of planning!

Getting started:

First off, you may want to join Pinterest. Do you work as a team? You could get a team email and password and join as one, so that you can all contribute ideas to boards, making it less time consuming.  Once you have joined you get instructions on how to download the pinmarklet that allows you to begin pinning images and creating boards.

You don’t need to join though, you can simply browse boards that others have created – like ours – with no login, by clicking on the site and using the search facility.

Using Pinterest as a teacher

1) Create collections based around a book

2) Create collections based around a theme

3) Create collections of books on a given theme

4) Search for ideas to enhance your classroom environment, indoor or outdoor

Using Pinterest in the classroom
5) Create 
story mood boards to support the children in writing their story settings and creating the right atmosphere.

6) Use Pinterest with the children to help them to box up stories. You could use photographs from drama activities and make ‘secret’ boards so the pictures are kept private.

7) Let the children use Pinterest to support their planning process when researching non-narrative topics – ask the children to pin pictures for each paragraph rather than copy and pasting endless text from websites!  The pictures can then serve as a reminder of what they have found out and help to scaffold writing in sections or paragraphs.

8) Make stories using story generator boards. When beginning a story children could select characterssettingsprops and events from boards that you have created – or borrow ours!

9) Use it as a starter for a lesson or the start of a topic. Show a prepared board and ask the children to discuss what the theme or topic might be, what they know already and what they might want to find out.

Using Pinterest as homework and to link with parents
10) Make boards of books to recommend to your class that they read at home; this Y6 board is a starting point.  Give them challenges – can you read 5 of the books, can you review one book on the board in the comments area etc.

Finally, you may want to follow us and our board. We also think it’s worth following those from Springboard Stories, the TES and the British Library.

If you are already up and running on Pinterest, then do leave a link in the comments so we can come and follow your boards. Following each other is a great way to develop resources and split the work load!  Do tell us if there are other boards you would like to see, and we’ll get busy.

Charlotte Reed – Primary English Consultant and self-confessed pinaddict

Liked this post? Try these: more about Pinterest and this post about Word Clouds


Looking for a big resource in a small book…?


Hands up who remembers Child Ed. How about Junior Ed? You know, those magazines kept on the shelf in the staffroom, jealously guarded by the teacher in charge of resources, tea money and organising the Christmas do. If, after promising faithfully to put them back in the correct magazine file in strict month order, you were lucky enough to be able to read them, they were always full of good stuff – teaching ideas, posters, advice and resource suggestions. No doubt some of you still have a pile of them somewhere…

So good news! This month saw the launch of a new bi-monthly magazine, Springboard Stories, which aims to fill the gap where Child Ed was. We were asked to contribute to the first edition by suggesting some of our favourite and most useful resources, in less than 50 words. Cue lots of discussion. We came up with the following:

  • Looking for a big resource in a small book? Pie Corbett’s Jumpstart books for 7 – 11 years are essential for every teachers’ toolkit. Packed with ideas, they cover learning-led word, sentence and text activities; and can be used for warm-ups or main lessons, They’re interactive, fun and adaptable for FS and KS1.

  • Sue Palmer’s Skeleton’s for Writing are indispensable for non-fiction across the curriculum. Relevant from YR-Y6 these visual aids for writing support children in creating non-fiction texts which meet the needs of their audience.

  • Social bookmarking site Pinterest is a tool enabling teachers to curate their own online resource collections. Fast to create, these visual collections save web pages for sharing with others or for supporting children with topic research. Check out our collections on Pinterest.

  • Looking to add breadth to your Guided Reading resources?  Look no further than Collins Big Cat! These books are lovely – written by top authors, with attractive illustrations and photographs, suggestions for Guided Reading sessions and reader response activities. Ready book-banded, the range contains 50% non-fiction and 50% fiction.

  • The Harris Burdick Mysteries, an intriguing book with a mystery at the start. We won’t spoil it! The book contains 12 pictures, titles and captions which inspire children to write their own tales. Great for KS2. It’s interesting to see the different directions the same start can take when giving children choice within a structure.

What would your 50 word suggestion be? Let us know and we could add it to our Resources for Teachers Pinterest board.

Rachel Clarke – Director, Primary English Education Consultancy Limited

Originally published on LoveToReadToMyClass.Wordpress.Com 13th September 2012.