You don't even have to pin to use Pinterest for ideas. Just type your keywords into the search field and suddenly your screen will fill with tons of great ideas! Sometimes a picture is all you need, but if you want more information, just follow the link to the source. You can get ideas on classroom decor, grade specific or subject specific activities, holidays etc. I am even starting to use Pinterest instead of google for some types of searches. If you find a board with lots of ideas, follow it. If you find a person with lots of great ideas, follow her. Then when you log into Pinterest, the latest pins from the boards and people you follow will pop right up. If you decide you don't like a board, just unfollow it.
Creating a board and adding pins is sooooo easy. The easiest way to add pins is just to repin ideas you find on other people's Pinterest boards. You can also get the the "Pin it" tool for your toolbar so that you can pin almost anything you find on the web. You can also pin your own stuff - pictures of your classroom, blog posts, teaching products, whatever. Just remember that Pinterest etiquette requires that you not use the site entirely for self promotion. A little is fine, a lot isn't.
One of my first boards was called "Teacher Ideas." While everyone loves a good tip or idea, this category proved to be too broad. Consider creating boards devoted to specific subjects such as math or social studies. You could even get more specific. Today I started a board on "Prefixes, Suffixes and Roots." Don't worry about creating too many boards, you can have as many as you want. A specific board will help followers and browsers find exactly what they need.
Go Beyond the Classroom
Teaching Boards are great and you will probably want to have a lot of them, but your life encompasses more than teaching, so your pins can too. It is fine to start a board with pictures of place you want to visit, favorite books, things that make you laugh etc. In fact, Pinterest is a great place to collect ideas. Maybe you need ideas for your child's next birthday party or are suddenly obsessed with crocheting brightly colored socks, or have a strange fascination with hugging salt and pepper shakers. With Pinterest you can keep all of those great ideas in one place - kind of like a visual bookmark.
Keep it Clean
Yes, sometimes something that is really funny has off color language or a picture that is maybe not quite ready for prime time. And yes you are an adult. But Pinterest is very public and you are a teacher. So I would highly suggest that you not pin anything you would not want your students or their parents to see. If your alter-ego, off-duty self really needs to head in this direction, open a new account with a fake profile. Shel Silverstein could write children's books at the same time he was writing for Playboy (true fact) but we live in a different world. Be smart with your pins.
And Finally, Follow Me!
I have a constantly growing set of very useful boards, including several collaborative boards with many amazing contributors. You are sure to get some terrific ideas for your classroom. You can Follow me here.
You can find more teachers who pin and link up your own blog at the Pinterest Link Up Party at Michelle's Math in the Middle!