As a fellow education professional, I began my review of Kelly Cranstoun’s “Education” Pinterest board (https://www.pinterest.com/kelcranstoun/education/) with great interest. A colleague who had seen Ms. Cranstoun, a Pearson humanities specialist, present at the 2013 NCSS Conference in St. Louis had forwarded the board to me. It turned out to be a treasure trove of web resources, from practical classroom solutions and advanced lesson planning to fun activities covering a wide range of grades.
While there is a fair number of linked sites (or “pins”) that feature straightforward, but fascinating, media content, Ms. Cranstoun’s board also contains the most recent technological apps for a plethora of learning activities, from Math Fact Practice for the iPad 5 to “Level It,” an app that lets you scan your book’s ISBN and view the Guided Reading, Grade Level Equivalent, DRA, and Lexile levels for the book.
The board also contains numerous resources for Common Core Standards: Common Core checklists, Common Core implementation recommendations, games that utilize Common Core concepts and standards, iPad apps, and more.
Other interesting resources include databases of essential websites every teacher should know, more than 3,000 songs that can be used in the classroom, hosts of picture sites, educational games, tutorials, reading and writing prompts, and other motivators.
The page is rife with practical ideas for the classroom, not only in terms of academic activities, but also in terms of its physical layout, such as storage bins that separate desks to improve the classroom’s flow. Particularly striking (and certainly useful for the teacher who has gone hoarse repeating instructions) were the Talk Points, small reusable modules that can record messages students can listen to for directions at different stations.
My favorite “pin” was a virtual field trip to Mount Vernon, home of George Washington. Students are able to view the rooms of the house and estate from several interior and exterior angles, providing a different perspective on the day-to-day lives of the Founders in the 18th century. Interesting and anecdotal text information accompanies the “tour.”
While perhaps understatedly titled, Ms. Cranstoun’s board provides a wealth of educational ideas, notions, and academic material. This “pin” collection would be a definite boon to any educational professional, especially those working in K-6 grade settings. We are pleased to recommend it.
(This blog post was written by guest blogger and Director of Social Studies Content Development at A Pass Educational Group LLC, Stephen Gibson.)