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Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™

Saturday, February 4, is Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. This little-known event is just the thrill to change your outlook on a dreary winter day. TeachersFirst likes to share intellectual “ice cream” with you and your students every day: lesser known learning treats, reviewed and ready to change your learning outlook. Choose your own toppings.


See your shadow and more
Perhaps you ignore Groundhog Day or maybe you celebrate it as an American Superstition-tradition. Groundhog Day can be an invitation to study light and shadow or simply a delightful diversion. Find ideas for both on TeachersFirst’s Resources for Groundhog Day. Also in February: 100th day of school, Dental Health Month and Black History Month. Visit the Classroom Planning Calendarfor trusted resources at all levels to fit upcoming events.


Lost without your library/media specialist?
The latest installment in Help! I Lost My Library/Media Specialist is Biography Read-Alouds. These books and ideas for elementary grades include ideas for before and after reading and activities to make biographies come to life. Try them with your own class or share with your colleagues who are struggling through the budget cuts that stole your school library/media “connection.” 


Snow sculptures
Weather delays and cancellations wreak havoc on teaching and learning. But even snow can be shaped into new ways to learn. TeachersFirst’s Snow Day Resources include tools for “meeting” with your students while they are at home and creative ideas for making snow a learning catalyst. Explore the opportunities inherent in snow days! (Even if you teach in a warm climate, you’ll find ideas you can use).


What do YOU think?
Teachers know what works. Use your free TeachersFirst membership to tell others what works (or what doesn’t) about a resource. As you look at a review, you can click to rate it with stars and add a comment about how you used it, what happened, and more. Comments show not only on the review, but also rotate on the TeachersFirst home page. Tell others what YOU think. The most helpful comments each month are entered in a drawing for a Thinking Teacher T-shirt. Tell us what do YOU think.


At the Navaho Nation
Geo and Meri are still in the southwest this week on Globetracker’s Mission. Have your students share in what they’re learning about standards-based map skills, geography, by following the Globetracker’s Mission blog. These teens really get around!


Double Header
Everyone loves to learn if they can relax and enjoy it! OK2Ask® is the place to learn and relax with other teachers. The teachers who attend help each other and share ideas as they kick start new ways to teach. Coming this week from OK2Ask®’s free, online teacher professional development “snack sessions” is the first of a double-header on creating a class wiki. See the full OK2Ask® schedule.

Guided Wiki Walk: Step by step to create your own classroom wiki (TWO session workshop with “homework” between); Jan 30 AND Feb 6, 2012; Pre-registration is over, but you can read the details; then show up to Enter the Session ON TIME beginning this MONDAY. There is standby space available.

Google Docs: A focused workshop on Google docs Forms and Documents ONLY;
Extended session at ONE time; Tuesday, February 21, 2012; Read the details and register


Teacher Poll
How important are education issues in your vote for president? Click your thoughts on the weekly poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Around the World Once a Week (#xw1w)
XW1W  for the week of January 22: Do you "believe" Groundhog Day predictions? 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.


Featured Sites
This week in our Featured Sites, find useful sites—some simple, some sensational

  • Groundhog Day and 100th Day finds
  • A reading level tool and an ebook finder
  • A simple writing tool
  • Faux Facebook
  • AMAZING human anatomy
  • Japan seen beyond sushi
  • Thought-provoking charts
  • How to do almost anything
  • A gradebook tool
  • Make your own news collections

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


May your classes get the scoop on learning this week—perhaps with some extra sprinkles!


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