Do you pin? If so, you’re not alone! Lots of parents are there too, and along with recipes, home decor and DIY projects, many of them are looking for learning ideas to try with their kids. So it makes excellent sense to use Pinterest as a tool to communicate your recommendations for home learning, to share useful articles, to collaborate with parents, and to showcase student work.
Ten tips for using Pinterest as a tool for easy parent communication:
- Consider setting up a new Pinterest account to use specifically for connecting with families. (Of course you could use your personal account, but many teachers like to keep their wedding/party/baby/planning boards separate.)
- You could set up boards for each subject you teach, and pin great ideas for home practice and enrichment. Want students to use a particular site to practice math or spelling? Pin it so families can quickly access it. Very handy, when parents need ideas at home, or when kids have some down time while waiting for a sibling at soccer practice.
- You can also set up unlimited private boards. If you have a student who needs extra practice, you could add only that student’s parent and share home learning ideas that you recommend specifically for that child. By adding a parent as a collaborator, they can also pin to the board. So this could be useful for parents who want to share successful strategies they’ve tried with their child, or other information to help you understand the child better.
- Want to encourage your students to keep learning over summer vacation? Create a summer learning board!
- Set up boards with links to books you recommend, organized according to reading level, topic or genre.
- Create parent education boards with links to articles and videos about any useful topic for your parent group.
- Are you assigning a research paper or other home projects? Pin resource sites to help students get started.
- Upload and share examples of student artwork or other classroom projects.
- Keep in mind that anyone can access your public boards, so avoid showing pictures of students’ faces or names. Consider whether you should keep all boards public, or create a few private boards and add only your class parents as collaborators.
- Share your classroom Pinterest account information with parents at back-to-school night. (Since it’s easy to access from phones or tablets, many parents will probably log on and follow your account while they wait for your presentation to begin!) Give a brief explanation of how you’ll be using Pinterest as one of your communication tools during the year.
Not interested in setting up your own classroom Pinterest account? In your weekly newsletter, or on your class website, you could save time and feature other existing boards with great ideas for home learning. Check out your favorite pinners and see if they have boards that you could share with parents.
Here are a few of my popular boards for parents…
- Books: A big collection of links to great books and book lists organized by theme.
- Book Making: All sorts of engaging book making projects.
- Literacy Activites: Games and other resources for literacy practice.
- Artsy: Great art projects to try at home. (Or at school!)
- Super Sight Words: Hands-on activities to help kids practice their sight words.
- Build & Learn: A collection of creative and educational building activities for kids.
- Learning Apps: Fun games for learning practice.
- Healthy Kids: Ideas to keep kids moving and eating healthy foods.
And here’s a handful of more fantastic boards from some of my favorite pinners…
- Reading and Writing Readiness (No Time for Flashcards)
- Summer Reading Ideas (Growing Book by Book)
- Struggling Readers (This Reading Mama)
- Hands on Spelling Ideas (This Reading Mama)
- Nonfiction (Imagination Soup)
- Math Activities (What Do We Do All Day?)
- Numbers (Playful Learning)
- The Garden Classroom (NurtureStore)
- Teach: STEM (Second Story Window)
- Science for Kids (Playdough to Plato)
- After School Activities and Adventures (The Educators’ Spin On It)
- Homeschool and Family Learning Resources (Laura Candler)
- Creative Learning (Zina Harrington)