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Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™

September is slipping by. Most schools have already hosted their annual evenings to meet the teacher/parents. You know your class well and have set your sights for where you hope they will be by Thanksgiving or New Years or year’s end. Now let TeachersFirst help set the sites you and your students will use to get there.


TeachersFirst BEST FIND: Help with the enigmatic student
You probably have one or two: that student who just does not seem to learn the same way the others do. Have you considered whether he/she may simply see the world differently? Take a look at him/her through the lens of Multiple Intelligences to find a way to connect. TeachersFirst’s Recognizing Multiple Intelligences offers inventories and examples of varied approaches to connect with that enigmatic young person.


Looking Ahead
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. It is also International Dinosaur Month. Coming soon is National Fire Prevention Week (Oct 9-15) and many more events you can find on the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar, front and center on the TeachersFirst home page.  We plan ahead!


This Week's Poll
What is the most important result of Back to School Night/Open House? Tell us what you hope to accomplish on these evenings. Take the poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


A story worth telling
As more and more teachers discover TeachersFirst, many ask how we manage to offer something for free and without advertising, especially in today’s tough times. If you don’t know the story of how TeachersFirst stays free, find out now. There are people who value what you do as a teacher. Tell a teacher friend. Share it on Facebook or Twitter. We rely on you to help tell the story.


Four Seasons
As we crunch our way into autumn, our sister site, TeachersAndFamilies, offers Four Seasons as the October TogetheRead theme for family literacy (for ALL ages, not just little ones). TogetheRead, a free feature, suggests books for all ages around a common theme—and activity ideas to go along with them. Built in are prompts to build effective reading strategies as families share reading time together or individually. Include the TogetheRead link on your class web page or online school newsletter, and be sure to give the book list to your local/school library for help finding the books for free. Fall into family reading fun.


Parents, Teachers, and TeachersFirst
Tell parent to watch The Balancing Act on the Lifetime® TV cable channel from 7:00-8:00 am THIS Tuesday! Promote solid communication between home and school and invite parents to support what their children are learning in your classroom. Invite parents to see Candace Hackett Shively of TeachersFirst and the leaders of the National Association of Elementary School Principals and The Association for Middle Level Education.  The segment includes ideas for parents to support their child’s learning. They can even learn about TeachersFirst and your teacher public page!


XW1W question for the week of Sept 25: How many classrooms does your school have?  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.


See North America without spending a cent
Don’t miss this year’s Globetracker’s Mission. You and your students in grades 2-6 can learn standards-aligned geography, map skills, landforms, and more just by following Geo and Meri's blog each week. The teens will need your help deciding what to do each week, so plan to spend part of your 2011-12 social studies classes with Globetracker's Mission. The introductory episode is online and ready for your classes now. New weekly episodes begin October 23. Pack your bags!


OK2Ask in October
There is still room to attend this Tuesday’s (Sept 27) OK2Ask™ session:

  • Great Ideas: Exploring the Resources of TeachersFirst 3.0 to Plan Effective, Technology-Infused Lessons

Although pre-registration is over, there will be room for “standby” teachers who show up and click to enter promptly at session time: 4:15 or 7:00 pm Eastern.

OK2Ask™ is a series of free, live, online "snack sessions" for self-directed teacher professional development and exploration. Join us from any computer, and learn more about the rich offerings of TeachersFirst and great ideas you can use in your classroom. Register now for our October offering and see the full OK2Ask™ schedule for this school year. For more information and FAQs, see the OK2Ask section under TeachersFirst’s Professional tab.

  • Google Earth: Take your lessons INTO this world
    Tuesday, October 18, 2011


TeachersFirst Best Finds: Dates That Matter goes mobile
As part of TeachersFirst’s move to version 3.0, we have made our site mobile-friendly, including popular features such as Dates That Matter. Find it quickly in the center column of our home page under “Classroom Ready to Go.” See a daily clue about something that happened today in history and click through a series of questions to connect the event to prior knowledge as you “figure out” what happened. Whether you share it on a projector, IWB, iTouches, or your own mobile phone while in line at the grocery store, Dates That Matter is ready to go!


Featured Sites
This week’s Featured Sites include sites from cartoon to real, from subject-specific to interdisciplinary:

  • A well designed cartoon creator
  • Cadavers (eek!)
  • Art and math connections
  • Two very different video sites
  • Powerful math practice- much more than a “dribble”!
  • Extensive science research
  • Handy IWB ideas -- and a great one for number sequences
  • Easy read new stories + materials

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


May you see the path ahead this week and observe students taking steady steps along the way.


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