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Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™

Crisp. The word just sounds right. Mid-September brings the start of crisper weather and more focused attention on the learning at hand. We move beyond steamy distractions of summer and savor ideas that snap as we bite into them. Now is the time to collect bushels of crisp teaching resources using your free TeachersFirst membership.

Dog gone engaging! (but it's a secret)
Shhhh! The introductory episode of Globetracker’s Mission: Finding Dewey is online now. Geo and Meri, the blogging teens who share their travels with social studies classes in grades 2-6, do not know it yet, but they will be traveling seven continents in search of a missing, very special dog named Dewey. Preview and introduce Globetracker’s Mission any time between now and Sept. 30. Then follow new weekly episodes through late April, 2013. Vote to help Geo and Meri decide what to do next. Want to know more about the mission? See the teacher info and lesson ideas. You can also follow the teens on Twitter! 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.


Events and celebrations
Constitution Day celebrates our country’s heritage. National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the heritage of many among us. Find resources for these and other upcoming occasions on the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar, including Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Bullying Prevention Month (October), and Dinosaur Month (October).


Listen up!
Whether you teach ESL/ELL students, want to assist weaker readers, or simply want to improve listening skills, TeachersFirst’s collection of audio books offers something for everyone. Find interactive audio books and books with both text and sound. You might even find selections to use on your own MP3 player.


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 16: Where or when do you go barefoot? 


Trying to get up to speed with Twitter? Curious about what to do with your class wiki? Looking for ideas for student bloggers? TeachersFirst’s Professional Exclusives promote proven ideas (and practical tips) from experienced, Thinking Teachers on many teaching and tech topics. Explore on your own or along with a teaching buddy. You will find just what you need for FREE from a trusted source. If you learn from a page, click  the “Share” widget to Like it on Facebook.


Relax and learn
Discover great teaching ideas in TeachersFirst’s OK2Ask®: free, online professional development “snack sessions.” The full schedule for September 2012 through May, 2013, is now available.  Delight in new ideas with the friendly support of Thinking Teachers. Ask questions galore. It’s OK2Ask! Professional development certificates are available for those who participate fully. Register now for these sessions coming soon (7:00-8:15 pm Eastern time unless otherwise noted):

Great Timesavers: Tools and Tips to Maximize TeachersFirst’s free Membership; Monday September 24, 2012

Specialized for Special Needs: Ideas and tools for Learning Support, Speech/language, Emotional Support, and More; Thursday October 11, 2012


Doing YouTube?  
Would you like to know more about YouTube for teaching?
Click your choice in the weekly poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Featured Sites
This week in our Featured Sites, find new ways to “see” things and learn:

  • Going green
  • Image editing
  • Writing prompts and a cool tool
  • Tag clouds
  • A wonderful look at the wind
  • Primary learning games and videos
  • Thought-provoking lectures
  • “More like this” for web sites
  • Math puzzles

And more. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this Sept 23 or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived September 16 Features here, and don’t miss our many additional recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured sites page.


May you be surprised by crisp tastes of learning this week.


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