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March 26, 2014 Pinterest-Inspired Project and Hallway Display By Lindsey Petlak
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

    I am absolutely, unapologetically obsessed with Pinterest. Whether it’s a delectable-looking recipe or jaw-dropping teaching tip, I get my best ideas from Pinterest, and probably spend a little too much time pinning! About a month ago, while on the site I had (what I hoped would be) an awesome idea: What if I used the concept of Pinterest pins as a way for students to quickly yet effectively provide a snapshot of their understanding for strategies and concepts? Read on to see the pinter-rific results!



    A Pinter-rific Idea

    Initially, I tried out the concept as a quick “check for understanding” task on a very specific concept. What the students produced, regardless of their academic ability levels, blew me away! So, as a class, we decided “Petlak’s Pinterest” would be the PERFECT hallway display to showcase everything we learned and worked so hard to produce during this past trimester. 


    We (Heart) Our Boards

    We decided that the titles for the “boards” on our page would be by subject and/or major projects. One of my teammates had a great idea for a different spin on the board titles and categories. She creatively titled her boards by 21st century learner strands. (Awesome twist on the idea, Stefanie!) You could come up with endless possibilities for pin board categories. 


    Categories for your boards could include:

    • Subject overview

    • Projects

    • 21st-century learning skills

    • Chapters of books

    • Single concepts with many components (for example: a board for nonfiction text features with pins representing each type of text feature)

    • Character traits with characters from various books assigned to each trait board

    • Technology tips and tricks

    • Writing process and traits of writing

    • Biographical information categories for one or many fiction or historical figures

    • "All About Me" student information display

    • Individual student portfolios (one pin board for each student to curate pins for portfolio pieces)

    Check out a few of our favorite pins:



    Academic Pinning 101

    How do you start an academic pinning revolution in your classroom? It’s super simple! I’ve included an example labeled with instructions as well as a FREE DOWNLOAD of the pin page I created for you to print and use. Happy pinning!


    1. Make sure your students understand the categorizing concepts of Pinterest pages, boards, and pins. (Check out my student instruction page providing examples of each.)

    2. Review the example with instructions and present to your students.

    3. Pass out pins, and let students use the generic sample to complete their specific pin.

    4. Display the pins by creating a title board, and glue the pins onto bulletin board paper to directly attach to a bulletin board or wall. (TIP: You can download a Pinterest-like font called Pacifico for FREE to use for any signage. Pinterest logos may be easily found and printed from Google Images.)



    Go Beyond the Boards

    One of the best features of Pinterest is that your pin is linked to outside websites, articles, or other pin origins. It was important to me to make sure this social media and technology-inspired idea was not just a static display. I wanted it to be interactive, integrate technology, and go “beyond the boards” on display in the hallway. See how we used QR codes to make our pins come to life!

    • QR Codes: Students often had digital products related to the pins they created. Whether it was a Google Presentation, document, video, or Educreation, parents could scan the QR code attached to its coordinating pin and be taken beyond the board to see the digital project.

    • Follow Me on Facebook: For one of the boards, students conducted research and created a Google Presentation about a historical figure. As an extension to that project, students also created a Fakebook page from the perspective of being that historical figure. In addition to our pins, students included a QR code linking to the presentations and then a “Follow Me on Facebook” button with a QR code that people could scan to be transported to the coordinating Fakebook page.




    Why This Project Was a Hit

    • Versatile application

    • Simple to complete

    • No prep for the teacher (if you print the FREE download!)

    • Great way to showcase either many versions of one concept or a wide range of concepts at once

    • Naturally differentiated for all students to be successful in showing what they know

    • Visually colorful, appealing, and organized

    • Ability to add to the Pinterest pin and extend to include tech applications

    • SUPER FUN!

    Have you used social media-inspired lessons, activities, or student work displays? If so, I'd love to hear all about them.  

    Please share and spread the ideas! Thanks for reading, and see you next week!



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