Showing posts with label pinterest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pinterest. Show all posts

Top 5 Reasons Why I Never Complete My To-Do Spring Break List

Top 5 Reasons I Never Complete My Spring Break To-Do List  from

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Today is my last day of spring break. And while I SHOULD be frantically tackling my to-do list, I am here blogging about why I never complete it. Hmmm.


1. My to-do list is way too long. This year my list included: catch up on grading, organize my classroom, create new TpT products (too many to list), upload already completed TpT products (but make preview files for them), revise old units, read lots of books, go to baseball games, take lots of pictures at the games, organize & edit pictures, upload pics to Facebook & Flickr, plan out final days of school for seniors & sophomores, watch Frozen, watch 12 Years a Slave, go back to see my parents, and the list goes on... I think I accomplished five things (and they involve movies, baseball games, and pictures).

Movies I watched: 
I could not pick more opposite movies to watch, but both were very good. "Twelve Years a Slave" made me cry and "Frozen" made me laugh. 

12 years a slave

Yet both made me think: what is it inside humans that makes us do evil things? Greed? Selfishness? Lust for power? Funny how both movies touch on the same theme, albeit in much different ways.


2. Some of the things on my list really suck. If I could just list non-productive things (like watching movies and hanging out with family) on my list, I really wouldn't need a list. But I don't want to spend spring break doing sucky things like organizing my classroom. (Or any room, for that matter.) And grading papers is a chore no matter when I have to do it. Over break, I always think I'll have more time "tomorrow" to do these sucky things. Well, guess what I'll be doing TODAY when I finish this blog post!? (If you guessed pinning on Pinterest while procrastinating grading until about 9 p.m., you are probably right on the money.)

Spring break...aaaannnd it's gone. (from

3. Break is never long enough. Seriously. It should be at least two weeks. And I know many districts are lucky to get one day. (I feel for you all!) We need at least an extra week to recharge our batteries after spending the first week trying to accomplish our to-do lists.

Pin ALL the things!  (from
4. Pinterest. There. I said it. I have a problem and it involves wasting spending numerous hours pinning funny memes, teaching resources, books, and things that make you say "What the freak?" (or something like that).

But isn't this idea genius to catch the drip from your sports cooler (or jumbo thermos...what are these things called?)? It comes courtesy of our chemistry teacher, who took a 2 liter bottle and cut it to hang right over the spout to catch the dripping liquid and protect the floor. (And using a clear one will not only match/blend in, but it looks so much better than just putting a wad of paper towels or napkins on the floor under it.)
When I saw these set up in our teacher's lounge, I immediately thought of taking a picture and pinning it. Does that mean I have a problem??? ;)

5. I procrastinate. Yes, my name is Tracee and I'm a procrastinator. Why do I wait until the last minute for so many things? I don't know. I just do. In my defense, though, we did get our taxes done and it's not even April 15th yet. That has to count for something, right? ;)

Perhaps next year I'll create a more realistic spring break to-do list. If so, I think I could complete it with time to spare. For naps. Or more pinning. 

I could probably complete this list. (from Top 5 Reasons I Never Complete My To-Do Lists)

I did complete a few TpT-related things. If you purchased my DIVERGENT unit, MOCKINGJAY unit, POETRY RESOURCES, VOL. 1 bundle, ARGUMENT WRITING bundle, and other smaller items, check your "My Purchases" page on TpT to re-download the revised products. I've updated many files over break.

I've also added the following new products:

Poetry Book Assignment & Rubrics (

Poetry Book Assignment - includes the requirements/criteria, checklist of types of poems/forms & figurative language/poetic devices, rubrics for grading, and sample poems/books from students. 
All in editable PDF format.

Divergent Poetry Activities (

Divergent Poetry Activities - Numerous exercises to practice writing, reading, and analyzing poetry. Even if you don't teach this unit, you can use these activities to connect with students in your class who have read it.

 For my clip art friends/followers:
Doodle Borders Clip Art for Commercial Use
Doodle Borders:
Swirly Dots (26 .png files)
Small Circles (28 .png files)
Small Boxes (20 .png files)
Basket Weave (26 .png files)

The highlight of my break? 
Watching my son play high school baseball! With the cruddy weather, this week was the first time they could get outside and actually play. 

KO - EP Baseball 2014 (photo by T.Orman  EP Baseball (photo: T.Orman

I hope you had (or will have) a very relaxing and productive (if that's what you want) spring break. If not...we're not too far from summer break, right!?

Yikes! Did I Pin That?

Be careful what you pin... From "Yikes! Did I Pin That?"

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Even though I stress this to my students, I have to admit I do not always verify and check all of my sources. ("What!? You're a teacher!" I know, I know... I think, as I hang my head in shame.)

Case in point: pinning on Pinterest. I have been known to become mesmerized by pretty or eye-popping pins that have funny, helpful, or thought-provoking quotes. I'll pin them onto my boards without clicking on them to see if they are legit or just links to SPAM or phishing sites. While Pinterest does a great job of alerting me to some of these pins, some are pretty sneaky about it.

Look at the example in the image above. The pin seems like a valuable resource for teachers: "The Ultimate List of Educational Websites." A quick glance at some of the sites (, makes you think it's legit. Clicking on it just takes you to a Pinterest link where the original pinner posted it, not the "source" site. It's not connected to a SPAM site, so it must be OK, right? No. Or, at least for me, definitely not something I want to hang up in my classroom.

As I looked closer, I noticed a few things that alerted me that the creator of this is probably not a teacher. The first tip was noticing "" as a website for books. It seemed a little out of place, plus I really despise "" as a poetry resource.,  Modern American Poetry, and Poetry Foundation are so much better.

The second (and third) examples are under the "Random Knowledge" websites. Hmmm....not the names of websites I've ever directed my students to go to. I can't imagine what our tech guys would say if I had a class full of teens trying to access "f***inghomepage" or "bada**oftheweek."

So I looked at the bottom to find the "source" of this image and found it, which is also listed as a great "Random Knowledge" website. Now, I don't know who these sexy Russians are, and they may have a perfectly legitimate website chock-full of useful educational information. But can you imagine your students' reactions (let alone a parent's reaction) upon seeing this list? Yikes! That's when I went back and deleted it from my board.

The moral of the lesson? Be careful what you pin. Oh, and follow the same instructions you give your students. Because I can already hear mine lecturing me, "Mrs. Orman! I thought you told us to ALWAYS check our sources!"

I know, I know...

Eight Awesome Ed Tech Boards to Follow on Pinterest

The Best Ed Tech Boards to Follow on Pinterest - My Top 8

Pinterest is an excellent tool for curating links, which makes it ideal for teachers to use. I teach in a 1:1 Mac school and am always looking for educational technology resources to incorporate into my curriculum. I've compiled a list of my top eight boards based on their content.

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My criteria for board selection: 

1. Quality of pins: the links need to work, aren't spammy, and are geared for teachers to use in their classrooms.

2. Variety of pins: the links should cover multiple grades, levels, and subjects; this makes it easy for a technology coordinator, librarian/media specialist, and/or administrator to find resources to share with all their teachers.

3. Number of pins: in order to offer the wide variety and good quality, the boards needed at least 100 pins.

My Top 8 Ed Tech Boards to Follow on Pinterest
Listed in order of the number of pins (as of June 23, 2013):

1. All Things Technology by Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives (Mary Lirette) (6,198 followers; 812 pins) This collaborative board is comprised of a wide variety of teachers who have curated an astounding number of links that may take you days to peruse, but well worth it!

2. Free Technology for Teachers by Richard Byrne  (3,076 followers; 729 pins) If you follow Richard's Free Technology for Teachers blog (and if you don't, you should!), this is an excellent collection of links to complement it. 

Technology Links for Teachers ( 1:1 Technology by Mrs Orman (4,341 followers; 468 pins) OK, so this is my own board, but there has to be some perks in writing the blog post, right? I promise it's worthy of the criteria.

4. EduTech Resources by Erin Klein (5,268 followers, 443 pins) All Kleinspiration fans should follow Erin on Pinterest, too. Her boards are as rich in content as her blog.

5. Classroom Technology by We Are Teachers (7,746 followers; 180 pins) You know they have teachers in mind when you browse their pin boards. Make sure to follow their Teacher Humor board, as well.

6. Teaching Ideas and Apps by Cool Cat Teacher (Vicki Davis)  (5,808 followers; 177 pins) Vicki's board always contains informative and resourceful links.

7. What the Tech by Toby -Wan Kenobi (Toby Price) (663 followers; 147 pins) The Jedipadmaster is just as entertaining, thought-provoking, and rewarding to follow on Pinterest as he is on Twitter. All schools should have an administrator like Toby.

8. Technology by The OC Blog (Charity Preston) (23,493 followers; 140 pins) Charity is the queen of organized classrooms and her technology board is no exception! 

I have an honorable mention list I will post at another time. These may not have excelled in all three areas of criteria, but they're still pretty darn good boards to follow.

What are your favorite educational technology boards? 
Link your favorites in the comments below.

Top Secondary Teachers to Follow on Pinterest

Top Secondary Teachers to Follow on Pinterest!

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Happy Summer, Friends! 
I don't know about you, but one of my favorite things to do in the summer is relax with a cup of coffee while listening to the Today show and pin away on Pinterest! Yep, it's definitely a time suck, but in the summer, who cares, right?

So here's a great list of my fellow secondary teachers that you should ALL follow on Pinterest!  OK, so there's really 18 secondary teachers featured, but since I'm telling YOU about them, we won't count me. :) All of these bloggers/pinners are active online and have a lot to offer secondary teachers. I hope you'll check out their pinboards & blogs. And in case you need a link to my Pinterest boards, I pin from my Mrs. Orman account and my Hunger Games Lessons account. To see the latest pins from either account just click here: Mrs. Orman's Pins and here: Hunger Games Lessons Pins.

Thanks for taking time to follow us! You can download a free activity (link at end of post) to use at the end of your school year or anytime! (I usually repeat it several times throughout the year.)

Meet The Tutor House!

The Tutor House

Bio:  Hi!  I'm Adrianne from The Tutor House.  I love tutoring and creating engaging lessons for math in reading for grades 3-8!  If you've ever thought about starting your own tutoring business, you should come on over to The Tutor House!

Follow Adrianne of The Tutor House on Pinterest. {Special thanks to Adrianne for putting together this  list for all of us!}

Meet Science Stuff! 

Bio:  Hi there!  My name is Amy Brown and I write a blog called "Science Stuff."  I am a 29-year teaching veteran of biology, chemistry and AP biology.  I love science and I love kids, so I have the best job in the world!  Hopefully, I have passed my love of nature and the environment on to many students.  My blog has tips and tricks for teaching science as well as a lot of free science teaching materials.  I hope to see you there!

Follow Amy of Science Stuff on Pinterest. {Amy is a great friend and the one who introduced me to Pinterest and showed me the ropes. Thanks, Amy!}

Meet Addie Education!

Addie Education ñ Teacher Talk

Bio:  I'm a middle / high-school teacher and I love to create ELA, Social Studies and Geography related resources.  I blog at Addie Education - Teacher Talk... come on by and see some of the fun things I do with my students.

Follow Addie Education on Pinterest.

Meet Charlene Tess!

Bio:  Hello, there. Iím Charlene Tess from Simple Steps to Sentence Sense. Grammar is my specialty. I have always loved taking sentences apart and putting them back together, and I successfully taught my students using the simple steps method for over three decades. Visit my blog to get helpful tips on grammar, usage, and writing.

Follow Charlene of Simple Steps to Sentence Sense on Pinterest.

Meet Tammy Manor!

Bio:  Hi my name is Tammy and I've been teaching high school English for 13 years now. I know that teaching can be very stressful. My school is constantly changing the book list and I've taught every grade 6-12 as well. As a result I have unit plans for a large variety of novels, plays and memoirs. Come check out my store on TpT for a variety of ELA materials. Follow my blog for teaching related posts.

Follow Tammy on Pinterest.  

Meet Teach It Write!

TeachitWritelogo photo chalkboard-apple2_zps1805ea76.png 

Bio: Welcome! I am Connie from Teach it Write. I am a retired English teacher and Iím thrilled to now write curriculum full time that I love to share on my site My book, The House of Comprehension, shows how the elements of literature form the structure of any fiction or non-fiction text. Check it out on my blog site or on

Follow Connie of Teach it Write on Pinterest.

Meet Innovative Connections!

Innovative Connections

Bio:  Hey! I am Ann Marie from Innovative Connections. I enjoy blogging about various topics: Projects and lessons going on in my classroom, ideas I've learned or ideas I've thought of at the most random of moments (At 2 a.m. when I can't sleep, I can come up with some stellar ideas), teaching resources I find beneficial to fellow teachers and/or bloggers. Due to the wide range of grades I've had the pleasure of teaching, Innovative Connections caters mostly to language arts but loves to share and collaborate with teachers/bloggers of various grade levels.

Follow Ann Marie of Innovative Connections on Pinterest.

Meet 4mulaFun!

4mulaFun Blog Fan

Bio:  Hello, my name is Jennifer Smith-Sloane. I am a Middle School Math and Special Education teacher. I have a strong passion for differentiated instruction to meet the needs of each learner in and out of my classroom. I love seeing the light in a student's eyes when something finally clicks and I do everything that I can to make that happen as often as it can.  Visit my blog 4mulaFun!

Follow Jennifer of 4mulaFun on Pinterest.

Meet Miss Math Dork!


Bio:  Hiya there!  I'm Jamie but you may know me as MissMathDork! I am a lover of all things mathematical!  Patterns, sequences, geometric shapes, if it's mathematical, I'll find a way to make it fun!  Want to see some of my ideas? Check out my ideas and pictures at!  You won't be disappointed!

Follow Jaime of Miss Math Dork on Pinterest.

Meet A Space to Create!

Bio:  Meet Sabrina, author of A Space to Create.  Find teaching resources for art teachers and classroom teachers alike. My art lessons teach students the creative process enabling them to build confidence and have amazing results.  Come visit my blog A Space to Create! (K-12)

Follow Sabrina of A Space to Create on Pinterest.

Meet All Things Algebra!

All Things Algebra

Bio: Hi there!  I'm Gina from All Things Algebra.  I have taught Algebra and Pre-Algebra for seven years and have a passion for creating activites and games that engage my students.  If you are interested in finding ways to have more fun in math class, head on over and check out my blog!

Follow Gina of All Things Algebra on Pinterest.

Meet Numbers Rule My World!

Numbers Rule My World

Bio: Hi! I'm Krystina from Numbers Rule My World. I love incorporating hands-on activities and technology into the classroom for Math: grades 7-9. If you're looking for great ideas about math then you should come on over and check it out at Numbers Rule My World!

Follow Krystina of Numbers Rule My World on Pinterest.

Meet Liz's Lessons!

Liz's Lessons
Bio:  Bonjour! Hola! I'm Liz from Liz's Lessons. Languages are one of my passions, and I love teaching with technology. I create fun lessons for teaching secondary French, and Spanish. I also make formative assessments and technology activities in English, that can be used in any secondary classroom. If you are looking for some engaging activities for your classes, be sure to stop by Liz's Lessons!

Follow Liz of Liz's Lessons on Pinterest.

Meet Teaching FSL!

Bio:  This is Madame Aiello, author of Teaching FSL. Although I've taught other subjects as well, French as a Second Language has always been my passion. My focus is the higher grades, since I taught high school originally but teach grade 7 & 8 since six years ago. I share lots of resources, blog about second language teacher specific topics as well as those that apply to all teachers.

Follow Madame Aiello of Teaching FSL on Pinterest.

Meet For the Love of Teaching Math!

For the Love of Teaching Math
Bio: I'm Andrea Kerr from For the Love of Teaching Math. It is my mission to change traditional math classrooms one game and activity at a time. If you like to incorporate hands-on, group activities and games into your classroom, check out For the Love of Teaching Math!

Follow Andrea of For the Love of Teaching Math on Pinterest.

Meet 2 Peas and a Dog!

2PeasAndADog Blog

Bio:  Hi Everyone! It's Kristy from 2 Peas and a Dog. I am a Canadian middle school teacher who loves to pin and blog about things related to Grades 6 and up.

Follow Kristy of 2 Peas and a Dog on Pinterest.

Meet Teaching Math by Hart!

Bio:  Hi! I'm Kim from Teaching Math by Hart. I am forever planning and thinking of new and innovative ways to teach math to my students. Why, you ask? Believe it or not, I think learning Math should be FUN and it should be REAL! If you are looking for some ideas to engage your students in math class, come check out Teaching Math by Hart - in the middle years classroom!

Follow Kim on Pinterest.

If you are one of the unfortunate who are still in school (believe me, I will be jealous of you come August when we go back & you're still off!), here's one of my favorite activities to share with my students. (It's a FREE download, by the way!)

Live and Learn End-of-the-Year (Or Anytime) Free Download Activity

Free Live & Learn End-of-the-Year (Or Anytime) Activity for ALL Ages

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It's very simple, but the results are memorable. 
You can read more about it on my Hunger Games Lessons blog HERE.

The Best Banned Books Pinterest PinBoards

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Banned Books Pinboards on Pinterest from Mrs. Orman's Classroom
Top Banned Books Boards on Pinterest

To conclude the celebration for Banned Books Week, I'd like to share my top 5 (or more...) favorite Banned Books Pinterest pinboards. These boards contain a variety of memes, inspirational quotes, activities, videos, and books that have all been challenged or banned.

1. Already mentioned on my list of Top 5 Book Boards but worth another shout-out is Banned Books by Random House (Collaborative board)

2. Banned Books Week by Somers Library

3. Banned Books Week Pinterest User

4. Banned, Challenged, Censored, & Censured by Missoula Public Library

5. Banned Books Week by RH Library (Collaborative board)

6. (Yes, I went over 5!)  Librarian Files: Banned Books Week by Regina Townsend - Great display examples for Banned Books Week!

What I love about these banned books boards is that they not only offer an excellent reading list for college-bound students, but they feature some of the best literary quotes from our favorite authors. You can find several book-related pinboards on my Pinterest page: Mrs. Orman's Pinterest Pinboards

Pinterest is full of amazing book pinners and boards that can give your students great reading suggestions when they are looking for a new book. There are so many libraries that are now pinning new books and library activity suggestions. One of my favorite boards to follow for librarians is the Teen Programming in Libraries (a collaborative board) by Heather Booth. Librarians are definitely an English teacher's best friend. (Plus, I was a K-12 librarian at a private school before I started teaching English and journalism, so I'm a little biased!)

To wrap up this post, I'd like to let you all know about a great giveaway Creation Castle is having for Banned Books Week: teaching resources based on literature at every grade level. Make sure to enter to win today! It ends at midnight tonight. P.S. High school teachers: You have an excellent chance to win since there are only 78 entries as of 9 a.m. this morning. I donated my To Kill a Mockingbird Teaching Unit and for the middle school giveaway, my Hunger Games Student Survival Pack & Teacher's Guide. Don't miss out on winning those & other great literature resources! {ENTER HERE}

The Best Pin Boards on Pinterest for Young Adult Books

To continue the celebration for the ALA's Banned Books Week, here are my favorite Pinterest pin boards to follow to keep up with the best and newest titles in Young Adult (YA) literature. Share the boards with your students when they are looking for a new book to read.
Young adult literature pinterest books
Top 5 YA Lit Book Boards on Pinterest

My Top 5 Picks for Young Adult Literature Book Boards:

1. New in Young Adult Fiction by GoodReads: At the start of every month, we'll post the most popular new releases in young adult fiction, the books that Goodreads members are adding to their to-read shelves!

2. Oakland Public Library TeenZone"Books, movies, videogames, events & more! Our 6 TeenZones are your spot to have fun, meet up, explore and participate! Come visit us." I can't choose just one of their pin boards. Seriously. You'll want to follow all of them.

3. Scholastic has several boards that feature YA book choices, so I'm lumping them together:

  - Dystopian Picks: Who doesn't love a good dystopia? And in YA lit, there's plenty of great new ones.

  - Summer Reading Picks: Even though this board contains many children's books, there are several good YA books, as well.

  - Baseball Picks: I love baseball and baseball-themed books. My only complaint is I wish there were   more books on the board!

One board I'd LOVE to see from Scholastic is a "BookBeat" board with links to all their titles from their BookBeat catalog. So how 'bout it, Scholastic? ;)

4. YA Favorites by Random House Kids: features some new titles you may not see elsewhere.

5. Young Adult Literature by Little Rock AFB Library: Offers a great selection of books for a variety of readers.

Worth Mentioning:
Greece Public Library's Teen Books is another awesome pin board for YA fiction. Actually, they have a great assortment of so many boards, they are worth a "Follow All"!

And the icing on the cake for those looking for YA authors to follow is YA Highway's post with a plethora of links to authors on Pinterest: YA Authors on Pinterest

If you are a teen librarian, an excellent collaborative board to follow is the Teen Programming in Libraries (a collaborative board)

Collaborate With Me!?
I've looked for collaborative boards that focus solely on YA title picks. I haven't come across too many,  and mine (Young Adult (YA) Literature) is a little sad and needs more pins. I tend to pin more on my Books for Boys and Books for Girls boards, so I'd love to make it a collaborative board. With 2,000+ followers, it might be a good opportunity to get some exposure, too. If you are interested, leave your Pinterest address below and I will add you.

Also, leave a link to any other boards I've forgotten (I know there are many more!).

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The Best Book Boards to Follow on Pinterest - Celebrating Banned Books Week

Find great book boards to follow on Pinterest!

Today kicks off the ALA's annual Banned Books Week, which celebrates our freedom to read.

To begin the celebration on my blog, I thought I would post my favorite book boards on Pinterest. You'll find contributors from all over the world sharing the books they love, ultra-cool libraries, and anything related to books. There's very few advertisements or self-promotion; these are just great book boards to celebrate reading. And with the weather turning cooler, some of the book nooks are just downright cozy-looking!

Check out my picks for the top 5 book boards to follow on Pinterest:

1. Book Community Board - a place to discover and appreciate books. Started by Jellybooks with over 1,600 contributors and 16,000 pins.

2. Junk Bookshop (books and more...) - of the library... - inspiring books (bookshelf, joke, etc....). Started by  Flynn "Knihovna" Carsen with 50+ contributors and over 13,000 pins.

3. Book Club -  Contributors pin their favorite adult and young adult books. Started by Kari O., with 380+ pinners and 2,270+ pins, you are sure to find some good reads here.

4. The Librarian's List: All-Time Favorite Books A list of our most beloved books created by librarians for librarians and the world! Started by O'Fallon Public Library with almost 400 contributors and 375+ pins.

5. Banned Books - "As they say, censorship causes blindness. We think it's important to honor Banned Books Week (9/30 - 10/6) all year round." Started by Random House Books with 11 contributors and over 100 pins.

Other notable boards or Pinterest users relating to books include:
Bookish News & Fun - A fun group board for book bloggers (reviews not posted here, though).
Literary Art 
All Things Books - This is my personal board of favorite images relating to books. I especially like the cozy reading nooks and amazing libraries from around the world.
Bernardsville Public Library
Friday Reads - If you look to Twitter on Fridays to see what people around the world are reading (#fridayreads), you can check out their Pinterest boards now, as well.
Scholastic - More about their boards in my next post...

Next up: The best book boards for young adult literature.

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Are You a Teacher? Do You Love Pinterest? Join the Edu-Pinner Link-Up

In case you haven't noticed, I love Pinterest. I'm a self-proclaimed pinhead and proud of it. I recently joined Rainbows Within Reach's "Great Edu-Pinner Link-Up." Thanks to Debbie from Rainbows for putting together this awesome collection of educational Pinterest users. She is number one and has 25K+ followers! Isn't that amazing? I am number 85. I think the last I checked I had a little over 2K, so I have a ways to go. I try to follow back, but if you link up your Pinterest url below, it'll be much easier for me.

I pin a lot of teaching tips, resources, freebies, and humor onto my boards. And, of course, anything related to The Hunger Games trilogy. But my Hunger Games boards are only a small fraction of what I pin. In fact, guess which pin is my most popular? It's from my humor board and I pinned it on Jan. 1, 2012. Yep, it's a comic.
According to PinReach, this is my most popular pin.
My more popular boards are:
Teaching The Hunger Games Trilogy
Teaching Resources
Back to School
Books Worth Reading
1:1 Technology
Education (lots of infographics and misc. posts related to education)

I'd love to see more secondary teachers on the list. I do love the elementary teachers, so no offense to any of you at all. Looking into your classrooms and seeing all the fun things you get to do with your students makes me a little envious. But then I remember that you also have to help your students blow their noses and I'm back to being OK with teaching high school. So come on, middle and high school teachers...let's see your pin boards!
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Designing Your Cover Page - The Rule of Thirds

Photographers know that one way to create an appealing photograph is to follow the "rule of thirds." The rule of thirds is simply breaking up the picture into nine equal parts using two vertical and two horizontal lines. The places where the lines meet are "focal points" and your most important elements should be placed along these lines.

To demonstrate this in photography, see the graphic below. One image naturally follows the rule of thirds and becomes even more visually appealing when it is cropped. The other image is not naturally set up to follow the grid, but after it is cropped, it does become a more interesting picture.

You can use this same principle in design. I use iWork's Pages (Mac) for most of my designs. It is very similar to Adobe's InDesign software, which I used in journalism. You can follow the rule of thirds in any design software, including Microsoft Word. However, using Pages and InDesign make it easier for you to create a grid that you can see, but will not print. In both programs, just place your cursor in the ruler, then hold it down and drag your cursor to the place you want the line. Once you start dragging, a blue line will appear.
Start with a blank document in Pages (or InDesign).

Place your cursor in the ruler, then click and drag it. A blue line will appear. Unclick when the line is where you want it.

To make the horizontal lines, drag from the top ruler.
The lines can always be adjusted by placing your cursor on them and moving them. To get rid of them, just move them right off the page, and they will disappear. (I do not know if Microsoft Word or Powerpoint have the design gridlines feature, but you can always download a template HERE; just be sure to delete it after you've designed your page and before you print, because that one will show up.)
Repeat this step until you have nine equal parts.
Notice that the four intersections will be places that the viewer's eye is drawn. This is where you want to place your dominant features or elements. Also, following the horizontal or vertical lines with a dominant feature (like the title or a large graphic) will be more eye-appealing.
Many people will be tempted to place a dominant image right in the center of the page. I have been guilty of that, as well. But the more stimulating designs will place a dominant image off-center, following one of the vertical or horizontal lines.
Below are examples of a cover page and a page from one of my Powerpoint presentations that demonstrate the rule of thirds. Notice that the cover page does not have any dynamic images, but because the title is placed on the upper horizontal line, it is more appealing. You can use lighting effects to also draw the viewer's eye to one of the focal points, as demonstrated in the presentation page example.

This does not mean that you should always follow the rule of thirds. But if you are struggling with design and want to try something that will catch the viewer's eye (perhaps make your pages more "pin-worthy" on Pinterest), try this method out and see if it works for you. Good luck!

You can download this tutorial FREE in my teacher store, which includes two gridline .png graphics and additional tips:

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