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TF Update - October 2, 2016
Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers®

For Your Classroom

The U.S. Presidential election is only a few weeks away. This TeachersFirst Update is your Election Connection! Regardless of what grade level or subject you teach, explore the resources shared in this update to find tools and treasures to share with your students. For a look at some of our Editor’s favorite tools for teaching about the election, take a look at this curated list of resources for all grade levels. Get your students (grades 4 and above) involved in the voting process by taking a look at this site. Share the Cat in the Hat Campaign Headquarters with your elementary students. The presidential debates are in full swing; take a look at Media Literacy: How to Watch the Debates to find some pertinent information to share with your middle level and high school students

Professional Development

OK2Ask October Schedule
Join us for OK2Ask, our free online workshops. Register now to attend one of our helpful web workshops. Read our FAQ for general information about certificates, etc. Please be sure to read the detailed descriptions and suggested technology comfort levels BEFORE you register. Sign up here to be added to the OK2Ask Email list. Learn about all of the new PD sessions and opportunities!

Here is what is coming up:

Tuesday October 4, 7:00 - 8:30pm Eastern - My Students Need That! Chrome Features and Extensions for Accessibility.

Tuesday October 11, 7:00 - 8:30pm Eastern - Tech Integration Made Easy - Animoto

Tuesday October 25, 7:00 - 8:30pm Eastern - Introduction to Digital Storytelling (Part One of the Digital Storytelling Series)


Come Tweet with Us Twice in October
Join our Twitter Chats (#OK2Ask) on Thursday October 6th and Thursday October 20th. On Thursday October 6th we will be discussing Connected Educators Month. Our chat on Thursday October 20th will be all about Formative Assessment. Our Twitter chats are offered at 8pm Eastern. Sign up NOW to be placed on the email list for Twitter Chat announcements and reminders.



TeachersFirst Exclusives

By The People
Visit our CurriConnect booklist By The People to find books about various topics related to government: creating laws, enforcing laws, voting, what it means to be a citizen, and more. Use these books to prepare for Election Day, as part of a citizenship unit, or other topics in civics/government class. CurriConnects offers Lexile® leveled lists to find books related to curriculum topics.


Dates that Matter
Why does today matter? Dates that Matter offers a new prompt every day. It asks questions to help students connect an important historic event to what they know. Instead of tossing out a factoid, Dates that Matter builds understanding through context.


Media Literacy in a Presidential Election Year
We recently featured a blog about Media Literacy in a Presidential Election Year. Visit the blog to learn exactly what media literacy means and what it means to you. Learn about sites to better educate yourself (and your students) about news media and advertising.


Geo and Meri hit the road today - October 2nd! If you are a teacher of grades 2-6, join us on this fabulous geography journey. Help your students master geography terms, learn about the continents, and more through this “choose your adventure” style story. Each week the teens will explore a new location and each month is a new continent! Starting on October 2nd, the episode will update weekly - starting in New York City. The location will be based on the readers’ votes! Do you want to connect literacy into your geography lessons? Make sure to checkout TogetheRead at the beginning of each month! The October theme from TogetheRead is “North America.” TogetheRead provides a list of recommended books, questions, and activities designed to build stronger readers. The themes include books for all ages, centered around the same theme. Parents find questions to ask as the family reads, deepening comprehension before, during, and after reading. Included are free and low-cost ideas for activities families can do together, as well. TogetheRead involves the entire family in supporting literacy.


Outside Connections?
We all know that teachers work hard! This week’s Teacher Poll asks: How often does your class connect with others outside your building via video conferencing? Place your vote on the teacher poll on the TeachersFirst home page.

TeachersFirst Features

Find many fabulous election and government resources in this week's Featured Sites:

  • Cat in the Hat Campaign Headquarters
  • Political Party Quiz
  • Does Your Vote Count: The Electoral College Explained
  • Rock the Vote
  • Newsela - Students Vote 2016
  • Flackcheck
  • And more

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this October 16th, or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived October 2nd Features here, and don’t miss our many other recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured Sites page.

Regardless of what you teach, whom you teach, or where you teach, take advantage of these resources to educate your students about the voting process and the importance of exercising their right to vote.


Melissa Henning
Educational Content Manager
TeachersFirst/Source For Learning