Post or Pin? – Pinterest Pulls My Post Time

May 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Favorites

Besides simply being happily busier lately, there’s been a new kid on the social media block that’s peeked my interest and taken away a portion of my posting time.  By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard about and/or dabbled in the #3 most popular social network (beaten only by Facebook and Twitter) – Pinterest.  This rank is according to the latest report by Experian Marketing Services, and was acheived in a very short amount of time.

I’m here to post that I’m joyfully contributing to that jump!  During the past four months since I signed on, Pinterest is benefiting me both professionally and personally.  I’m so excited about this that I recently presented my case for Pinterest and other social media channels at a  recent literacy coach meeting at my school; I’m happy to say I have created some converters . . . slowly but surely.  🙂  For those of us still thinking that it is “another waste of time,” or “something I don’t have time to dabble with until summer,” perhaps this post will sway you to pin a few and see what happens!!  Even my principal, a converted social media enthusiast, emailed the faculty recently, tauting the benefits of teachers pinning boards!!  So, here it is . . . a rundown of how Pinterest is benefiting me (so far!):

My Professional Pinterest:

1.  I have the following educational boards on which I collect lesson plans, videos, articles, and images to use in and out of the classroom.

a.  Read, Read, Read: Collection of pictures, strategies and videos that motivate me and my students to read

b.  Yes to YA Books:  Books I or my reading students have read, enjoyed, and recommend to others

c.  Literacy Coaching:  a collection of tools to share with faculty as we spread best practices in literacy instruction that aligns with our common core standards.  Note:  I just started this board and look forward to continuing to add to it throughout the sumer as we “facelift” our current literacy coach program.  I am the coordinator of the literacy coach program at my school and truly enjoy getting out of my classroom and visiting/observing classes in other subject areas.  Watch for future pins that will reflect ALL content areas.

d.  Writing Well:   Here is where I pin resources for my own writing as well as lesson plan ideas for my own students.  Loads of writing prompts here!

e.  Greatly Good Grammar:  Need to brush up on your grammar?  I’m pinning quick and painless grammar tips here.

f.  Speak the Speech:  Collection of speeches, body language tips, interpersonal studies . . . As speech class is an entirely different curriculum all its own, I foresee this board growing into 3 – 4 boards.  Stay tuned!!

g. Excellent English Endeavors:  Those items that could be used in a number of different English classes (i.e. genre identification, spelling errors, etc)

h.  Shakespeare:   Board devoted to the Bard . . . links to sites, pictures and quick facts about him and his works.

i.  Education:  Items that can be useful to any educator – everything from appreciation gift ideas to school supplies to graphic organizers.

j.  Teacher Technology:  I will be referring back to this board quite often this summer as I prepare to flip my classrooms as much as I can.  I’m adding to this one every day, so stay tuned!!

k.  Carefully Counseling Careers:  As I contemplate pursuing my PhD in Counseling, a collection of resources for college and career.  One of the reasons I enjoy teaching Senior Expository Composition so much is because I revel in our college preparation unit.  After assisting my daughter through her own very successful college admissions journey, I feel experienced and passionate about this step everyone should be privileged to take in life.

l.  Cozy, Cool Classrooms: Ideas for setting up my classroom walls, bulletin boards, and organization

m.  High School Show & Tell: Videos my students can benefit from and/or simply enjoy

n.  Educational Leadership:  I just started this board; but, stay tuned for applications, articles and artifacts to aid in staff development, administration  (yes, I have my Type 75)

o.  Book Lovers’ Apparel/Accessories: Items that book-driven educators may enjoy wearing and/or using

Follow me on Pinterest!!

My Personal Pinterest:  (a sampling . . . too many to list all)

2.  I have a collection of boards on which I collect artifacts to aid me in my hobbies, personal goals and every day life.

a.  Fitness Fun:  This board holds a plethora of workout and training ideas for my close second passion – fitness.  When I retire from teaching, I plan on pursuing my personal training and nutritionist certification.  By that time, I’ll be working with the older generation of us who will probably still be wanting to train but not being told what to do by a perky 20 year old.  That’s where I’ll come in – a perky 60 year old.  🙂

b.  Nutrition Nuggets:   The power of food fascinates me.  The more I learn about food, the more reality sets in that we truly are what we eat.  Here is where I will be collecting facts and figures about nutrition.  This is also a fairly new board so plan on its immense growth!!

c.  My Visual Bucket List:  Honestly, when I signed on to Pinterest, this board was why.  I planned on pinning my bucket list desires and that’s about it.  Well, that certainly flew out the window quicker than a suffocating fly!!

d.  Yoga Love:  I LOVE yoga.  A dear friend introduced it to me a few years back, and I’ve been stretching my way happy ever since.  My only wish is that I had more time for it.  I make time once a week for Hot Yoga – but my body craves more.

e.  Quotable Quotations:  True followers of GG will remember I already have a category devoted to quotations on this site, Quotable Quotations.  I wouldn’t be a true English teacher if I didn’t love the written and spoken word.  This is the one board that gets the most repins.  I simply pin those words that I’m feeling at the moment.  Once, when having a difficult moment, I pinned a quotation that was exactly what I was feeling at the moment – I woke up the next morning to 1500 repins!!  Apparently, many could relate to what I was going through!!  Power of the pin!!

f.  i Heart iPhones:  where I collect new app and shortcut information

g.  Books Worth the Read:  when I’m not at school, I’m working out.  When I’m not working out, I’m reading (after a few pinning moments, of course!).  Here is a collection of my favorite books along with a few I plan on reading this summer, poolside of course.

h.  Now You See It InfoGraphics:  While I have infographics posted on other boards having to do with those subjects, here’s a collection of graphs that I find interesting and useful

i.  Food to Taste and For Fun Food:  Of course, I have to have the healthful and the not-so-much foods.  It’s all about eating right so one can afford to cheat once in a blue moon.  Pinterest is a FABULOUS place to hold recipes!!

j.  Particularly Pleasing Products and Ideal Ideas and Goods Good to Know . . . all boards that provide a convenient place for me to store products I wish to make note of/buy in the future, ideas I may wish to try, and life lessons good to know.

And the list goes on . . . check out my Pinterest page for all 47 of my boards.  

My Pinterest Tools:  

~ Pin a Quote:  Allows me to create and pin my own quotations

~ Pin Page:  Allows me to pin an entire web site

My predictions for continued Pinterest improvements in the coming months

a.  allowance for privacy settings – I know there are many of us who hope this comes soon.   🙂

b.  easier tracking of traffic – this will be a great tool for serious bloggers

c.  more “who to follow” tools – always helpful

There you have it – my take on one of the most popular social networks currently available.  Pinterest truly is a place to quickly hold and organize pieces of information that you wish to hold on to.  There are seemingly endless possibilities:  plan a special occasion, plan a lesson, collect for a portfolio, have students pin character boards, etc.

While I don’t see my zealous for Pinterest winding down any time soon, I will be making a concerted effort to divide my online time between pinning and posting.   In the meantime, join me on Pinterest @ www.pinterest/gradinggirl.  I look forward to your pins!!!  By the way, if you are currently on Pinterest, please feel free to click the little “Pin It” you see at the top or bottom of this page.  That will get this post on Pinterest – another great way to share information!!  Thank you!!!

Part Time Cowboy, Full Time Rockstar Rides to L.A.

February 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Music, Reviews

See a sampling of Grading Girl’s official press releases for this musician:

Darryl Markette Makes his Debut in Los Angeles

Darryl Markette, Chicago Singer Songwriter, to Debut in L.A. at Whisky A Go-Go

Chicago Artist, Darryl Markette, Makes L.A. Debut at Whisky A Go-Go

Darryl Markette Will Be Debuting at Whisky A Go-Go on March 4th

Chicago singer songwriter Darryl Markette will be making his LA debut at Hollywood’s infamous Whisky A Go-Go on Friday, March 4th at 9pm.  Joining Darryl Markette on stage, Los Angeles recording artist Byron Gore and international solo cellist Tina Guo will add their talent to Markette’s show.  Performing at venues spanning from Chicago to The BlueBird Café in Nashville to Gold Pan Saloon in Colorado, Markette sets a new standard for captivating fans and making those fans feel a part of something unique.  This night will feature three of Darryl Markette’s foot stomping, fist pumping originals, two of Gore’s soulful, heart-wrenching songs and a crafted collaboration between Markette and Gore with Guo’s breathtaking cello backsplash.

Purchase tickets at and be placed in a raffle for one free round-trip ticket to Los Angeles for every ticket purchased. Whisky A Go-Go is located on Sunset Blvd, near Clark St.  See these crowd-pleasing musicians up-close and personal while you can.


WHAT:  Darryl Markette (acoustic rock) with special appearance by Los Angeles recording artist, Byron Gore (acoustic rock) and international cellist Tina Guo, at Whisky A Go-Go

WHERE:  Whisky A Go-Go at 8901 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA  90069

WHEN:  Friday, March 4th, 9 – 10pm

ENTRANCE:  $20/one ticket; $35/two tickets; $48/three tickets; $60/four tickets – one raffle drawing per ticket to win 1 round trip flight to Los Angeles.

ABOUT DARRYL MARKETTE:  In three short years, Darryl has cataloged over 100 original songs with passionate vocals, biting lyrics, and a catchy sing-along chorus.  Darryl’s passion bleeds through his songs as they take you on a journey from foot stomping pleasure to heartfelt pain.  Don’t confuse confidence for arrogance as this chisel jawed rocker brings more than a straw hat and a six string strapped on his back – Markette generates serious vocal heat as a true first tenor. Commanding stage presence and thought provoking lyrics combined with powerhouse vocals make this modern day, brawny cowboy spring forth memories of a young Johnny Cash mixed with a BonJovi~esque sex appeal; be prepared for a memorable evening as this self-proclaimed part-time cowboy, full-time rockstar croons the crowd.  Darryl Markette’s mission is simply to “…help make the world a better place through his songs humbly under God’s grace.” For the past three years, Darryl has led a crusade against breast cancer, with proceeds for his iTunes single Soldier In Pink going to Susan G Komen for the cure.  As a three time returning walker, Darryl hosts his 3rd annual Pinko De Mayo© performing with guest artists to raise funds for his Susan G Komen For The Cure 3 Day/60 mile Walk in Chicago: To hear more from Darryl Markette go to; and iTunes @

ABOUT BYRON GORE:  Byron Gore was drawn to music from an early age, captivated by its power to draw out emotions.  Originally from the UK, Gore has been recording and performing in Los Angeles for the past two year, mesmerizing audiences with his profound, emotionally deep music and smooth-as-silk sound.  His performances include a major Pre-Grammy’s show and a songwriter’s circle in Santa Monica.  Gore’s goal is to give his listeners a sense of what lies deep inside their own hearts and souls through the messages of his heartfelt songs.  Download Byron Gore’s songs on iTunes , including his debut CD at or visit for more information.

ABOUT TINA GUO:  At the age of 25, Tina Guo has already developed a fascinating international multi-faceted performing career as a solo classical cellist, rock/metal/fusion electric cellist, and acclaimed recording artist known for her distinctive sound and improvisatory style in major motion picture and television scores.  She is also a composer, producer, and published poet and writer.  Her vast performances include appearing as a soloist with the San Diego Symphony, at the American Country Music Awards with Carrie Underwood and on Dancing with the Stars performing with Carlos Santana and India Arie. For more information, visit

ABOUT WHISKY A GO-GO:  As long as there has been a Los Angeles rock scene, there has been the Whisky A Go-Go. An anchor on the Sunset Strip since its opening in 1964, the Whisky A Go-Go has played host to rock ‘n’ roll’s most important bands, from the Doors, Janis Joplin, and Led Zeppelin to today’s up and coming new artists such as Markette and Gore.  For more information, go to

ABOUT GRADING GIRL:  Think you’re all the rage?  Let Grading Girl give the grade!  A National Board certified English teacher who puts her writing skills to work both in and out of the classroom, she reviews a variety of entertainment, lifestyle, and literary experts to develop awareness, create buzz and build brand through media relations. Her success is a direct result of a personal, vibrant, practical approach that passes your brand with flying colors.  You can put this approach to work for you today –

For a detailed GG review of dmarkette’s music, visit Part Time Cowboy, Full Time Rockstar.