Saturday, January 14, 2012

Pinterest: Is it an addiction or a potential path to better teaching?

I've discovered Pinterest!  It is a guilty pleasure at the end of a long day to scroll through image after image of beautiful things and nice ideas.  It's like an ever evolving magazine on steroids that I can "rip" pages out of to keep AND contribute to if I am so inclined.  Yet - what do I find myself constantly on the look out while I'm on pinterest?  More teacher stuff!  

Between my pinning and repinning crochet patterns and recipes, I am drawn to all of the wonderful teacher blogs and teacher pins.    To the untrained eye it would appear that I'm vegged out and relaxing, but don't be fooled, I'm actually consuming really great teacher thinking.  I love that by allowing me to save links to cool ideas, I am creating a visual reference file for future use. I love even more the freedom with which teachers are opening up their doors and sharing their knowledge with each other.  In the end, our students will do better when we can share our best thinking.

If you haven't had a look yet, you should check it out.  However, you should be forewarned, back before I joined Pinterest and only look at Pinterest there was quite a bit of what I would call trash that had to be weeded through to get through the good stuff. This is because initially Pinterest is set to show "Everything" and they really mean EVERYTHING.   They do monitor their pins and so don't allow the truly foul.  But since I find that often I am far more offended by most PG13 movies than the occasional R rated film I got tired of the trashy pins in a hurry.  The good news is that once you join, you primarily see the pins of the folks you follow or pins from searches you conduct yourself.  The more I've used Pinterest, the cleaner it's gotten.  

Love the Pictures!
The one thing that Pinterest has taught me is that a picture is worth a thousand words.  More pictures please.  I want the blogs I read to be filled with pictures that show me exactly what the words are saying.

Just yesterday I was hopping from one pin to another and stumbled across a blog entry from a music teacher who  teaches recorder COMPLETELY differently than I do.   The difference in method (I think) would make a huge difference in how successful my students feel.. Here is the link for that blog.

You see, in most method books for recorder you start with your left hand on top and learn the left hand notes first B,A,G...... This is fine with me as I am left handed, but I know well, just how much I loathe trying to do anything with my virtually useless right hand.  I have a tremendous amount of sympathy for my more right dominant students who just cannot get over the "left hand hurdle".    Imagine my delight when I was reading her blog and checking out her self published resources.  I discovered that she does teach a 1 left hand note first G, but them immediately teaches a left/right hand note E.......I literally tried it the very next day and it was a very good thing.

Right now I'm on the hunt for music teacher blogs that have posted about classroom set up.  While on Pinterest I've already found several things I think I might use.

Here is a link to a wonderful 2nd grade blog where I found

I still haven't decided if I'll make these or not, but I love the idea of creating storage for my classroom that students can sit on.

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