Pinterest for Teachers

I jumped on the pinterest bandwagon last year because it was like a visual twitter site for me. I love that you can pin things by looking at photos. I’m much more of a visual learner! However, recently, besides using it to pin cute outfits, accessories and photos, I’m finding a lot more education related resources. It seems like more educators are using pinterest and it’s a great resource to find ideas for your classroom! Since we love freebies as teachers, I wanted to share some of the great things I’ve found. So check out my classroom inspiration board on my pinterest.

Also, I finally got the genious idea to put a pinterest sharing button on each of our two apples a day post! I created a two apples a day board on my page and started pinning our posts. So if you have a blog, I would highly recommend you do that! It will be a great way to help spread word of your blog as people “pin” your posts. Check out our two apples a day board and repin us!

If you have a pinterest board you want to share with us with education related resources, leave it in the comments section. We can share it out on our blog as well!

Don’t have it? Make it!

This school year Jee Young and I found ourselves going in completely different directions.  I am extremely excited and happy for her every time she talks about the resources she is enjoying at her new school in Singapore (and I am sure we will receive amazing blog posts about how to use these resources in our own classrooms!).

Whereas, this year I get to foster my creativity in a different way. My school is small, with a mission’s mindset. Almost everything the school makes they give away in scholarships to allow students the chance to an education they otherwise would not be able to afford (I know, so awesome!).

I was actually pleasantly surprised at the size of my classroom, it is a lot bigger than I imagined. The wall space is pretty great, but I was sad to discover that I didn’t have any large bulletin boards… so I made one! And by made one, I mean I taped up borders onto my walls and separated a space for my students’ work. Another way to display their work is to hang strings from the ceiling. When the strings are full the room looks so cosy and bright.

I also ran out of shelves for the books I brought with me, so I used baskets. I still need to organize them, but for now… it works!

I don’t have any rugs on my floors (yet, I am totally saving up or continuing to petition for them) so we are using nap time mats. They work out pretty well. I love how they are easy to move, but at the same time I wish they would stay put. Can’t have everything I guess.

What kind of international school are you at? If you have any ways to make something out of nothing you should TOTALLY share. Or what is something common for a school to have that you can use in a new way? Let us know!

Back to School Supplies: What’s in your Teaching Bag?

Going home almost every summer is incredible helpful for stocking up on teacher supplies! The top items on my list this year were:

-A stapler (really, at the very top- you know how much teachers staple… I had to get a nice one!)

-Those awesome large post-its that have become super popular (my grade teaching partner introduced me to them)

-Library card pockets (you know what I am talking about? I don’t know what else to call them)

-Word strips (I just love them!)

-Door decorating goodies

-And some type of ELL game/activity for teaching my boy at the orphanage

I love the Teachers Center!

I am overstocked on borders, posters, and blank books (Jee Young introduced me to the site www.barebooks.com, check it out for some great options of blank/lined books), but I realized when I came back my collection of stickers has seriously dwindled. Tears!

I was able to have a nice long Skype conversation with Jee Young this week, and it sounds like her new school is the BOMB. (Which in teacher terms, means she has a LOT of resources). But if you are in Korea, teacher resources are very limited.

What are the availability of resources in other countries? Do you make a mental list of what you want to get in the States (or your home country) like me?

I start teaching at my new school on Monday (this week is orientation and prepping my classroom). I went from second grade to kindergarten (and I had no idea until this week), who can give me advice on teaching the little ones? HELP!

Guest Blog Post: Resources for the Teacher

Jane is a talented, creative, and experienced fourth grade teacher from Chicago. Among her many talents we are amazed by her font like perfect teacher handwriting!  It would make any teacher jealous. It’s been a privilege to work with her at our school here in Seoul as she has become one of my closest friends. 

Ever since I started teaching I have always been attracted to the many teacher resource books you could find at teacher stores and bookstores.  I always wondered how it was possible that teachers could have so many great ideas to make learning so much fun.  I now realize that teachers probably have the most resources in books and now unlimitedly on the Internet (and each other of course).  Over the past few years I have been teaching in Korea I have not passed up the opportunity to pick up a few new teacher resource books while being at home during break.  It’s usually hard to determine in the few minutes you have whether the book will be really helpful to you until you actually start using the activities.  Here is one book and one Internet resource that I can genuinely say have been useful to me.

The Creative Teacher: An Encyclopedia of Ideas to Energize your Curriculum
This is a book that has something for every subject in short and long term project form for book reports, social studies reports, major math concepts, a random variety of science experiments, writing prompts, and even art projects.  What I particularly appreciate is that the templates can be copied directly from the book.  Although not everything that you will be teaching is included in this book, there are still a lot of creative and useful ideas.  Personally, I like to use the “Submarine Sandwich Book Report” and assign it for students to do over a longer break.  I also think these ideas can be used for a variety of grade levels and are a nice way to change up formats of reports and projects.

The Internet is also the home to an unending supply of resources, but I will share with you the one math website that I am always going to: Math Drills–http://www.math-drills.com  The math textbook we have been using is limited when it comes to reviewing or more practice with students which is why I find myself returning to this site.  It is very easy to print out these pre-made worksheets that are organized by the major math concept.  There are sites out there that can help you customize your worksheet, but I find I haven’t had any trouble finding the concepts I want my students to continue practicing with or review on.  The answers are also all available so no need for doing calculations!