Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pinterest is alive and well in the classroom...

I love Pinterest!  It is an unbelievable  website filled with digital bulletin boards for every topic imaginable.  Teachers from all around the United States freely share their wonderfully creative lessons and activities on the site.  Pinning the things I find on boards can be a bit addictive, but actually tweaking them to meet the needs of my students has been such a blast!  Below are a few things that my little friends have been working on lately.
The Water Cycle:
I found a really cool stop motion video made with claymation on Pinterest.  I used the video as part of one of my lessons, and afterwards the students were assigned cooperative group projects.  First, the students had to create a story board describing each step in the cycle.  These were some of my favorites:

After the story boards were finished, each group got to select one step in the water cycle process and create a backdrop using markers, crayons, and Playdough. I figured if I bought enough Playdough to create our own stop motion video would wipe out my bank account! So, to compromise we will put together a slide show.

The clouds, grass, and lake are covered with tiny pieces of clay...

More clouds, swirls of water vapor, the sun, and plants made from clay...

The yellow streaks had me confused.  Christopher informed me that they are  flashes of lightening surrounded by precipitation.

Playdough was used for the mountain and river flowing down the side...

And finally, a river and lake beside a hill - all made from Playdough.

Hopefully, next week we will be able to put the background together in a slide show with typed descriptions of each portion of the cycle.
The second thing I found on Pinterest that I thought was pretty cool was an activity to illustrate, write, and use in sentences antonyms, synonyms, and homonyms.  Here is what my friends came up with. It is a little messier and more crowded than the one I saw on Pinterest.

My Ideas:
The best thing about using Pinterest, is the way it stimulates my own creative juices.  We started our novel study recently and I wanted to find some ways to improve last year's activities.  I like to use a reflective journal, but I didn't want it to be too structured.  I also didn't want it to be the only thing the students did to respond to the different chapters we would be reading.  So, here is a picture of the journal we created and one of the reader's response activities.
I had the students make the cover of their journal so that it looked like the barn that Wilbur and Charlotte live in.  It even has a barn door that opens to show Wilbur, and is complete with hay hanging out of an open hayloft door.
 In the reflective journal, the students had to write about the differences in Wilbur and Charlotte's diets.  They were so fascinated with all the gross things that Charlotte ate, that I couldn't resist having them create "dinner plates" for both characters.
Hopefully, the things that are going on in our classroom will continue to be the results of inspiration shared by wonderful teachers on the AWESOME website, Pinterest!

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