Friday, January 25, 2019

Instagram Made Me Do It: Teaching ideas from the gram

Teaching ideas from Instagram

Though Instagram can sometimes make teachers to feel less than enough or overwhelmed, I have found that a healthy amount of time spent on Instagram brings me a lot of inspiration, camaraderie, and ideas. Here are a few of my favorite ideas from the #teachergram community. 

Instagram Made Me Do It: Teaching ideas from the gram 

Teaching ideas from Instagram

1. Community Building Attendance Questions- I changed up my attendance routine based on a fun idea from @thetownieteacher . Instead of saying a student’s name and having them answer “here” or “present,” she asks a this or that question for a fun twist. Students reply with the answer to the question if they are present. I started doing this in January and can testify that it makes the start of class much more fun, fosters classroom community, and creates a routine that students look forward to each day. She has a lot of her questions saved on her story highlights (see above), and I made a handy list to refer to on days that I’m out of prompts. You can get the printable list I made by signing up for my newsletter below. 

Romeo and Juliet Classroom Transformation

2. Easy, Low-Budget Classroom Transformations- I first started following @theengagingstation because of her high school level classroom transformations and have gotten so many great ideas for my own classroom over the years including this one dollar and one hour LOTF transformation. It's funny how the universe works because Staci ended up being a presenter with me at our Keeping The Wonder Workshop where she presents on how to make magic for secondary students. 

Book Raffle

3. Book Raffles- I started following @Rockytopteacher because she's a fellow Tennessee teacher. I wasn't expecting to get many teaching ideas from her since she teaches lower grades, but boy was I wrong! She has since opened me up to following lots of other elementary teachers, and it's been amazing to see just how similar students can be whether they are in second grade or secondary! One "elementary" idea I got from Sarah is her book raffle strategy. To get students excited about reading, she hosts frequent book raffles in which she talks up the books then lets her students enter for the first chance to read the book. This is such a good strategy for students of any age! My high school students get really excited when they win the first chance to check out a book, and it gives me an opportunity to talk up current books that I know they will love. Below is the Halloween book raffle I hosted. 

Book Raffle

4. Nature Learning- Speaking of following younger grade teachers, an account that brings me endless joy is Little Pine Learners. She is a nature (home) schooling mom and her account is full of nature crafts and hands-on learning. I adore how she uses nature in her lessons! In fact, her account greatly inspired my hands-on Transcendentist Unit for big kids! It's one of my favorite creations because I believe so deeply in its content. 

5. Diversity-
It's hard to put this next part into specific examples, but Instagram has given me a platform to connect with and learn from diverse teachers. As one blogger put it, I work in a Lilly white school, so making connections with teachers of color has been one of the biggest benefits of my teachergram. While it shouldn't be their burden to educate me, I appreciate every opportunity to learn from their stories and teaching methods. Here are a few accounts I learn from on a weekly basis: @LoveTanesha (her Colorism story highlight and post are a must read), @valencia_valencia (every post she does is a work of art) and @thedapperap  (he cleverly uses bitmojis in his stories to teach important topics) @estherbrunat (she's hilarious and I love this post). These are just a few teachers who come to mind, so I encourage you to seek out your own accounts to follow and learn from. 

If you are interested in following teachers who inspire you, I highly suggest looking on Instagram for ideas. You can easily bookmark ideas (see the little bookmark in the bottom left corner of my photo above) to use for reference and ask questions for clarification. If you would like to connect with me, I'm on Instagram @BuildingBookLove .

Leave a comment with your favorite accounts to follow! 


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