TeachersFirst Update Archives

Return to Update Archives List


Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™

Many schools are embracing Common Core. As teachers, we also share a common “core” of cultural experiences with our classes. September 11 may not be part of your curriculum, but it lies deep in the core of adult memory. Constitution Day celebrates the core of American government. Hispanic Heritage Month underscores another “core” cultural experience. TeachersFirst shares resources for the core of learning in your classroom.


Ready set, GO
Tech savvy teens Geo and Meri depart on Globetracker’s Mission very soon. The introductory episode of Globetracker’s Mission: Finding Dewey is online now for social studies classes in grades 2-6. Introduce your students to Globetracker’s Mission any time during September. Take time to try out the accompanying Google Earth file. Beginning September 30, new episodes will appear weekly through late April, 2013, followed by review activities. Student votes help Geo and Meri decide what to do next. Students can navigate episode posts and Google Earth files at a center, interactive whiteboard, or projector. Need more ideas to use the mission? See the teacher info and lesson ideas. Teachers tell us Globetracker’s Mission has proven to be a more effective, engaging way for students to master standards-aligned map skills, landforms, and geography terms and concepts, making students more curious about maps, geography, and social studies.


Current Events
We are deeply into election season. Get The Scoop on Current Events (for grades K-6) to introduce basics about the news and discover kid-friendly news sources in this latest offering in our Help! I Lost my library/media specialist series. TeachersFirst will never fill the media specialist void, but we share a few ideas each month to help out.


Moments and Commemorations
Although today’s students were too young to remember, the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 is this week.  Help them understand by sharing Moment Tracker (a Featured Site last week). Constitution Day is a more positive, powerful celebration just days later. Find resources for National Hispanic Heritage Month and other upcoming occasions on the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar.



Across the World Once a Week (#xw1w)
Share the details of life where you live and learn about others with Across the World Once a Week (XW1W). This quick activity 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 with just a moment or two of class time. XW1W for the week of September 9: How much time per day do you spend on homework? 


Free snacks
Learn comfortably, on your own time in TeachersFirst’s OK2Ask®: free, online professional development “snack sessions.” The full schedule for September 2012 through May, 2013, is now available.  Munch new ideas together with teachers from faraway places. OK2Ask is a Thinking Teacher smorgasbord. We issue professional development certificates for those who participate fully. Registration is now open for the first session:

Great Timesavers: Tools and Tips to Maximize TeachersFirst’s free Membership; Monday September 24, 2012; 7:00- 8:15pm (EDT)


Brain Warmups  
How do you warm up minds at the start of class? Click your method in the weekly poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Featured Sites
This week in our Featured Sites, find lesson plans, professional inspiration, and activities for all ages:

  • Storytelling with words and art
  • Sensational science sites
  • Instant practice activities from your text
  • Seuss goes political
  • Learning treats for primary and below
  • Word maps
  • Current events for elementary
  • Rappin’ up math and science

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this Sept 16 or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived September 9 Features here, and don’t miss our many additional recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured sites page.


May your students question and discover a deeper core of learning this week.


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