TeachersFirst Update Archives

Return to Update Archives List


Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™

As this Update goes “to press,” we are hearing ominous forecasts for the eastern seaboard thanks to Hurricane Irene.  May you stay safe and dry and your school and classroom a safe haven for your students, no matter where on earth you live and teach.


Hurricanes and Earthquakes!
It seems nature’s fury is in the news almost every day. If you teach science or social studies, you probably teach about some aspect of earth science, weather, government, or current events related to these events. Find reviewed resources for Hurricanes, Earthquakes, and many other topics in a snap in TeachersFirst’s Special Topics collections. Teach them what they’re talking about!


Hang out with the popular ones
Curious to know what other teachers are talking about? Don’t miss the “What’s Hot tab on TeachersFirst for the most timely additions. Especially “cool” is our What’s Popular page, showing which TeachersFirst resources have been most often marked as Favorites in the past 60 days.


The power of graphic organizers
Today’s visual students need ways to organize and “see” concepts. The Thinking Teachers of TeachersFirst have reviewed many great graphic organizer tools. We also include ideas students can use with graphic organizers within the “in the classroom” portion of many resources.  See solid ideas and tools for using mind maps, graphic organizers, concept maps (or whatever your name for them) in this extensive collection from TeachersFirst.


Tweet to learn
In our global world, students today need to understand cultures outside their own day to day (or “tourist”) experience. Join Across the World Once a Week with your class this year: a simple, quick project to build cross-cultural awareness and learn 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  tweets an instant learning experience. The XW1W question for the week of August 28: Do you help cook at home? What? 


Things My Parents Do Not Know
The September TogetheRead theme from our sister site, TeachersAndFamilies, is Things My Parents do not Know. This free family literacy feature incorporates books on a common theme for readers of all ages, activity ideas to go along with the theme, and prompts to build effective reading strategies as families share reading.  Families will appreciate something they can do for FREE. Share TogetheRead via a link on your class web page or online school newsletter, then give the book list to your local or school library for help finding the books for free. Through the magic of interlibrary loans, they may be able to locate many of the books. Teachers and librarians can also sign up for advanced notice of upcoming lists.


Everybody wants me to join something... why should I?
The easy explanation of 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. We don’t bombard you with junk emails or sell your info to anyone.


TeachersFirst BEST FINDS: Rubrics to the Rescue
As you launch your first projects of the year, you establish expectations to last for months. Use the very best rubrics possible to communicate what you expect before the project is due. TeachersFirst’s Rubrics to the Rescue helps you design ( or find) the best rubrics for almost any project. Even if you have been making rubrics for years, you will find reminders about making rubrics meaningful and reflective of the real priorities for learning. 


Speed Dates
Find resources quickly for many 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. Today’s students know little about September 11. Plan activities now to help them understand this pivotal date.


This Week's Poll
If forced to eliminate one technology device, which would you be willing to give up? In today’s budget-limited world, what could you live without? Take the poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Featured Sites
This week’s Featured Sites include tools to create, question, and learn:

  • A cool tool for art
  • Environmental issues and science questions
  • Electrical circuits
  • An IWB collection
  • Early literacy songs and rhymes
  • Learning to give
  • Sticky notes to organize yourself
  • A creative music tool
  • Five minute mysteries
  • Project based learning resources
  • And more

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


May your weekly forecast bring high expectations and low-pressure learning.

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