Rich source for lesson plans?

Do you “Pin?”

Pinterest logoEarly childhood preservice teachers on the NSTA Learning Center forums are recommending Pinterest as a source for lesson plans and activities: “Dig into pinterest!!!! It has been my best friend as a student teacher this year!”

How can educators looking for science explorations or science content knowledge find resources that are supported by the fabulous research into how children learn? In “An Open Letter: To Pinterest, from a Teacher,” blogger Mary Wade wrote about her questions that help her choose more “truly inspiring, learning-based” Pinterest pins, questions such as:

  • Will this help me better understand and reach my students?
  • Will this enhance student ownership over learning?
    Will this encourage the 4 C’s (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, or creativity)?”
  • Will this help my students investigate concepts?
  • Is this centered more on empowering student-directed learning, or on getting students to sit still and listen?
The NAEYC Early Childhood Science Interest Forum's Pinterest page

The NAEYC Early Childhood Science Interest Forum’s Pinterest page.

Science Educator Maureen Stover shared her “mental checklist” that she uses when evaluating any internet resource, in an NSTA Learning Center forum comment:

  1. Is this an activity/resource that meets my lesson objective/goal?
  2. Is this activity on grade level (or can I easily modify it)?
  3. Is this activity reasonable to complete in my classroom?
  4. Is this activity safe?
  5. Is this activity affordable?
  6. Will this activity engage my students?

Maureen also tries to validate the content knowledge information from several sources to ensure the information is accurate.

I am going to try to make my Pinterest pin choices richer by reflecting on Mary Wade’s questions, and using Maureen Stover’s questions to be sure I add information about the concepts in the activity, links to the source and research about ECE, and explain how the science activity extends student understanding.

What makes a Pinterest pin a valuable resource for you?

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