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The Power of Pinterest: How Pinning Can Help Your Child Succeed

Many people associate Pinterest with crafts, fashion and DIY projects but did you know that it has become teachers' best kept secret?  In a previous life, I taught elementary school in a low-income neighborhood and unfortunately, the budget for classroom resources was non-existent.  It was my responsibility to purchase and create any resources that were utilized by my students.  Initially, this was a daunting thought but after exploring the internet for hours, I stumbled upon Pinterest.  Maybe I was a bit behind the times but previously, I had had very little experience with this online vision board website.  After a few quick searches for topics like Common Core, reading comprehension and problem solving activities, I realized that Pinterest was the answer to all of my questions.   

The benefit of Pinterest is that it is a compilation of thousands of teacher resources from around the world.  Every teacher has their own style and their own areas of expertise and by sharing resources, you are not only bettering yourself as a professional but also, you could stumble across the activity, worksheet, song, video, etc that you've desperately been needing.  Personally, I utilized Pinterest to create centers and guiding reading activities.  Activities that students could work on individually, in pairs or in small groups. Additionally, it became my go-to when looking for activities to help my students that were either below or above grade level.  So how does all of this relate to you as a parent?  That's easy; just like a teacher, you too can utilize these resources to help your child succeed.  Maybe your son or daughter needs remediation in math or maybe your child is performing above grade level and you are looking for enrichment activities.  Any and all of these things are right at your fingertips.     

Below are a couple of my favorite pins:   

1. State Capital Video: I loved this video for several reasons.  First off, it was a great visual representation of the states because it provided pictures of what made each state special.  The song lyrics were not only catchy but also appealed to my students, who were auditory learners.  They enjoyed the beat and without realizing it quickly found themselves singing along and learning their state capitals.     

2. Problem Solving Work Mat: This resource seems really simple and straightforward but it was really helpful with my struggling math students.  It helped them verbalize the steps of the problem solving process and visualize what they needed to do next.  For students that were still in the concrete stage, I would use manipulative to model the problems and have them record each step on their mat.    

3. Oreo Phases of the Moon: Not only was this a great visual representation of the moon's phases but also it was a great snack time activity!    

4. Paint Chip Contractions: I loved this resource because it visually represented what happens when you make a contraction.  Students were able to manipulate the paint chips and see how the two words become one and vice versa.  Plus, this resource is FREE. You just go down to your local hardware store and pick up some paint chips and then write on them.  Viola! Instant reading resource.    

5. Grammaropolis: To say that I love this website is an understatement.  It was my job to develop our English and Language Arts lesson plans and these mainly were related to parts of speech.  As you can probably guess, the parts of speech are not very interesting to 8 year olds...well that was until I found Grammarpolis! My students loved the videos and the action verb video was their favorite.   

So next time you need a good rainy day project, a remediation or enrichment activity, or ideas on how to help your child stay on track during the summer, check out Pinterest. I promise, you'll be hooked! 
Molly T
Elementary and Special Education Tutor
Mercer University
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