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Professional Practice

Illustration: Mar Hernández/Anna Goodson

Illustrated image of a collection of storage pockets on a hanging sheet. Inside each of the pockets is a cellular phone. Each pocket has a name written on it.

Technology has its place in the classroom; however, at times you may need to redirect attention from cellphones to the subject at hand. You can do this with the help of a hanging shoe organizer. When high school students neglect to stow away their mobiles in class, have them place their devices in one of the pockets. For younger students, get creative and ask anyone with a cellphone to pick a hanging pocket and personalize it. Then establish a routine of depositing their mobiles into their holder at the beginning of each class, allowing them to pick it up only when the lesson is over. They are less likely to be insulted when you integrate this as a standard process, and it’s the perfect opportunity for them to learn responsible cellphone use at school.

Brian Adduono,
OCT Barrie North Collegiate, Barrie

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A Dose of Pinspiration

By Melissa Campeau

In need of inspiration, organization or both? Click on for a quick fix. The virtual bulletin board — where users can set up themed “boards” to collect and share images (or “pins”) — is a teachers’ gold mine for curriculum-friendly classroom management tips, lessons and child-approved crafts. These four boards are packed with ideas to help keep your classroom fresh, and your students engaged and curious.

Enjoy organizational bliss
Is your crafts drawer a jumbled heap of mismatched supplies? Reading book nook full of toppling towers? Colleagues come to the rescue with clever storage tips, printable checklists and posters, nifty clutter-busting ideas and low-effort but high-impact display ideas for students’ art.
Follow it: Classroom Organization Ideas (; Monica Schroeder’s: The Schroeder Page (

Get students pinning
It’s engaging, so why not make Pinterest a teaching tool, too? Students can learn about collaboration by creating themed boards in teams. Want to introduce online research? Searching through carefully collected content is far more manageable than surfing the entire web.
Follow it: Curriculum and Methods Groupies (; School: Pinterest for Collaboration (

Refresh your resources
Lesson plans feeling a little tired? With its focus on images, Pinterest is a natural home for arts projects. But curated resource boards are also brimming with imaginative lesson plans for science, math and more. Tip: Add the word “Ontario” to your search to find curriculum-friendly ideas.
Follow it: Madame Aiello’s: Teaching FSL (; Ontario Teachers Resource (

Connect with other teachers
Finding the time to connect with your colleagues can be tricky. Use Pinterest to follow a teacher you admire, then swap plans and projects. Reach out to someone from another country for a fresh perspective and a chance to incorporate international best practices into your own classroom.
Follow it: Down Under Teacher (; Teacher from Italy (