6 Methods Teachers Can Use to Stay Organized on Pinterest
Pinterest is a powerful source for teacher creativity. There’s one problem: The more excited you get about what you’re finding, the more you pin, the more your Pinterest presence comes to resemble that of a student’s messy cubby at the end of the school year. That can leave all of those great ideas festering in the pin pile, and you pulling out your hair as you try to find that one worksheet or exercise you know you pinned last year.
Never fear. There are lots of ways you can stay organized on Pinterest from the get-go or reorganize a Pinterest page that’s gotten out of control.
How to Organize Your Pinterest Boards
1. Give your boards specific names and subtopics
Think of how teachers have organized materials since long before the creators of Pinterest were even born. Most often, you’d see well-labeled binders and folders, broken down into different units and types.
Let’s say you’re a fourth-grade teacher and you’re looking for activity and worksheet ideas for the upcoming school year. You might have:
- Several general boards for every subject area like language arts, math, history and science. You might also have boards for areas like STEAM and the Maker Movement, and one board dedicated to common learning disabilities you think you’ll encounter this year.
- Sub-boards for every general board. For language arts, you might have a board where you can pin worksheets, activities and photos for each unit you’ll be teaching. You might also have one for reluctant readers, one for holiday-themed activities that incorporate language arts skills, and so on.
- Keep the general name. When you name your sub-board, it’s a good idea to keep the general board in the naming so that you remember where this sub-board falls. “Language Arts — Unit 1” is a good example.
2. Add keywords to each pin’s description
As your pin population grows, keywords can help you hunt down exactly what you’re looking for. Your keywords will be drawn both from the topic of what you’ve pinned and from within the text of what you’re pinning. For example, a quick math worksheet might have the keywords: math, mathunit4, timekillers. When you search any of those terms, you can select “ my pins” when the search results are offered so that you can find that very specific thing you were looking for.
3. Add comments to each pin
In addition to keywords, it’s best to add some detailed comments to the description summarizing what’s in the pin and why you added it. This will help remind you of why you decided this resource was so pinnable. If you plan on sharing these boards with teachers, students or parents, this description will help them understand your reasoning behind adding it and what they should get out of the resource.
4. Choose an appealing cover photo for each board
A nice cover photo that’s reflective of the board’s topic will be a boost to your visual learners.
5. Order your boards logically
Boards can be rearranged by simply clicking and dragging them to a desired spot. How you arrange them is up to you. You could go alphabetically, you could group by topic, or you could arrange by related themes. Or, dream up something new, as long as it makes sense to you.
6. Do some housekeeping
You don’t have to do it every week, but some occasional housekeeping will keep your boards fresh and easy to navigate. Get rid of any pins you’ve accidentally pinned twice and delete any pins that are in the wrong place. Reshuffle and rename your boards in a way that makes more sense to you as you continue to expand how you use Pinterest. Add new sub-categories if your previous ones have become too general.
Using Your Well-Organized Pinterest Boards
As we discuss in-depth in “How to Curate Educational Content for Pinterest,” educators most often use Pinterest for finding inspiring ideas, worksheets, quotes and lesson plans, filing them away for later, and sharing them with fellow educators. Organization is the key to doing all of this, but those aren’t the only things you’ll be able to do with a well-organized Pinterest presence. You will also:
1. Streamline weekly and annual planning
Load up your boards and see what you’ve either already planned out or marked as relevant for that unit. The longer you use Pinterest, the more you’ll have in there. You want your weekly hunt to be as short as possible. If you have a great lesson pinned that worked last year, all you have to do is find it again in the relevant board.
2. Inventory your books
Students won’t have to waste time searching for books that may or not be on your shelves when you devote an entire board or set of boards to your library inventory. If they know they want to read an R.L. Stine book, for example, all they have to do is pull up your Horror Books board and browse through to see if you’ve got what they’re looking for.
3. Talk about current events
Both you and the students can pin articles, videos and photos to your Current Events board for weekly discussion.
There are, of course many more ways to use Pinterest in the classroom. This is a start. The more organized you are, the better you’ll be able to take advantage of all that Pinterest has to offer. So get pinning, develop your organizational strategies and have fun.