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Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™

For much of the world, August has Dog Days. For teachers, these are Tiger Days. We try to catch the school year tiger by the tail and wrestle it into some sort of (spirited) control. We have Tiggers bouncing around our classrooms after weeks of unhindered free time, and we must manage the tiger of our own stress so we have the endurance to stay healthy all year. We hope TeachersFirst has tiger-taming resources just in time  when you need them.


What do other people do?
In our global world, students today need to understand cultures far away and very different from their own day to day experience. Make this the year your class joins in Across the World Once a Week, a simple, quick project to build cross-cultural awareness and learn about some newer technologies as you share with classrooms 'round the world. Across the World Once a Week (XW1W) uses microblogging or blogging tools to share responses about everyday life from any corner of the world. The XW1W FAQ page explains it all. Make today’s instant communications an instant learning experience. The XW1W question for the week of August 21: What is your favorite schoolday lunch? 


Everybody wants me to join something... why should I?
The easy explanation why it’s worth it to join TeachersFirst for FREE: it saves you TIME (and that’s almost better than money!). Exciting new member features are now available on TF 3.0. Learn more about TeachersFirst’s FREE membership and join now to make things just a little easier this school year. You deserve it.


What teachers say...
See the highlights of teachers sharing from the TeachersFirst booth at the recent ISTE conference. We have edited short highlights into a video of less than 20 minutes so you can hear the latest and greatest from your fellow teachers. Whether you teach AP Chem or Kindergarten, you’ll find some fresh ideas from Thinking Teachers. What an inspiration for Back to School!


New and looking for ideas?
Don’t miss helpful, teacher-tested ideas and resources for first year teachers, those in a new teaching assignment, student teachers, or even teacher mentors. As budget cuts shift many out of their comfort zone, TeachersFirst can help. We have even added a “newbies” tag in our new site so you can easily find reviewed resources well-suited for new teachers. Follow the life of an enthusiastic newbie teacher and give some encouragement to her at Take One, Pass it On, our newbie teacher’s blog.


TeachersFirst BEST FINDS: Study Skills Resources
No matter what their ability level, every student needs to find his/her best way to study. Whether you teach high school AP students or third graders, the best way to help students learn how to learn is to talk about it and offer options in the context of your teaching units. TeachersFirst's Study Skills Resources include many online tools and strategies for test review, vocabulary study, concept mapping, flashcards, and more. Be sure to check out “In the Classroom” in the reviews for specific ideas for your subject/grade. Share these resources with your students as a Favorite on your public page and with parents at Back to School night. Make learning a participation sport!


Speed Dates
The sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina on August 28 is an opportunity for lessons on weather or natural disasters connected to real life events. Find resources quickly for this and many other August/September events on the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar, front and center on the TeachersFirst home page. Plan now for International Literacy Day, Constitution Day,  Sept 11, or National Hispanic Heritage Month.


This Week's Poll
My preferred way to contact parents is... ? What works best for you in your busy life as a teacher? Take the poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Featured Sites
This week’s Featured Sites include resources for all kids of learners, from the very visual to the highest level of abstract thinking:

  • Spectacular species
  • Erosion explained
  • A dynamic decision making tool
  • Myths!
  • Hashtags explained visually
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Visualizing geographic area
  • A great number sense game
  • Literacy finds
  • And more

Don’t miss all our recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured sites page.

May your week avoid the zoo and be a learning safari amid beautiful tigers.


Your “teacher to go,”
Candace Hackett Shively
Director of K-12 Initiatives