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Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™

How would you like to fill your autumn bushel basket? Book suggestions for your classroom? New teaching ideas? Ways to address Common Core? Student-centered learning resources? Ways to involve parents? Stress relievers for yourself? TeachersFirst offers bushels of what you want, just when you want it.


Short and sweet like trick or treat
Tweets are just that: quick messages, often sharing a link or a thought. Teachers and students can connect with peers around the world in seconds. Don’t leave the tweets to the political pundits. Make Twitter work for you. For ideas and tools to get started, see  TeachersFirst’s Twitter for Teachers Resources. Start small with something like Across the World Once a Week (see below).


NEW! Three plus one more
Support curriculum—and build reading skills—with CurriConnects for independent reading. We have just added FOUR new CurriConnects themes: Immigrants and Immigration, Civil War and Slavery, The Way Things Work, and now USA Regional Books.  These book lists include interest levels, ESL levels, Lexiles® and  ISBN numbers so your students can read successfully and can locate books in the school or public library. Perhaps request them on interlibrary loan. See ideas for using CurriConnects from K-12 without spending precious class time. Hook your students on reading with books at their level in support of the curriculum you are teaching.


Events to learn by
It’s Fall Festival season (and of course Halloween). Sports fans are looking forward to the World Series. November will bring Native American Heritage Month and of course Election Day. Find resources to connect curriculum to many upcoming events at the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar.


Crafty thinking
As you prepare for Native American Heritage Month, don’t miss TeachersFirst’s very popular Native American Crafts Unit.  Check it out now so you can collect materials for November.


Across the World Once a Week (#xw1w)
XW1W for the week of October 21: How many hours per day is the TV on in your home? 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.


Delivered fresh to your computer
Refresh yourself with OK2Ask®: free, online professional development “snack sessions” to learn and find fresh teaching ideas. Discover resources you can use tomorrow. If you work with teachers in you role as a coach or college professor, be sure to tell them about OK2Ask. Tech “coaches” by ANY name should join our first coaches’ sharing session coming in November. See the full schedule from now through May, 2013. Professional development certificates are available for those who participate fully. Register now for these sessions (all at 7:00-8:15 pm Eastern time):

Google Earth: Take Your Lessons INTO This World; THIS Monday October 22

Inspiring and Implementing: Sharing and Solutions for Technology Coaches/trainers; Thursday November 8

Great Ideas: Exploring the Resources of TeachersFirst 3.0 to Plan Effective, Technology-Infused Lessons; Thursday November 15


Tropical trek
Last week Globetracker readers voted to send Geo and Meri to Mexico City, the Caribbean Coast, or the Yucatan Peninsula. Find out what happens in Mexico City, Cancun, and Chichen Itza this week on Globetracker’s Mission. If you missed the first episodes, rewind using the <<episode arrows at the top. This Ready to Go content is always available bottom center on the TeachersFirst home page. Fire up your projector for geography, map skills, landforms, and more with your students in grades 2-6. You can even follow @geoandmeri on Twitter or see their tweets in the sidebar of their blog.


What do you say?
How do you answer when students ask who you're voting for? Respond to the weekly poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Featured Sites
This week in our Featured Sites, find professional information and tools as well as rich content for student use:

  • Math to engage families at home
  • ELA Common Core and more
  • A science grant for teachers
  • QR code ideas
  • Twitter chat info
  • Sensational science images
  • A professional portfolio for YOU
  • Tools for images and online books
  • Art of America

And more. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this October 28 or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived October 21 Features here, and don’t miss our many additional recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured sites page.


May your bushel basket overflow with just what you need this week.


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