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Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™

We teachers triage our time. We tend to the emergencies, and then look for the best return on our remaining time investment. Sometimes that means a mini-tutoring session during our all-too-short lunch. Other times it is a terrific online resource where students can guide their own learning. Let TeachersFirst help you find the best return on your time investment. Thinking Teachers share your interests.


Time and time again
If you wish for 27-hour days, you will love TeachersFirst’s Timesavers and Handy Tools for Teachers in the Trenches. Find handy online tools, customizable, printable “take homes” for the elementary set, sensational substitute ideas, and more. We may not be able to change the clocks, but we can give back a bit of your precious time.


Marching on
March arrives on Friday, ushering in Music in our Schools Month and Women’s History Month. Prepare for Dr. Seuss’s birthday (March 2) and other events blowing in soon with the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar.


Relax and learn because YOU want to
March into March with OK2Ask®. Choose from a wide selection of live, online sessions for teacher self-directed professional development. Meet teachers from near and far as you discover effective ways to incorporate technology into your classroom. Registration is now open for spring OK2Ask® sessions. Find times and descriptions to register. Note that we have changed the date for one April offering. Even if you are an OK2Ask veteran, you will “see” some surprises during March! [Note: Due to low registration, we regret that TeachersFirst must cancel our OK2Ask® Wiki Workshop session for February 25]


Hands Off, Vanna: Giving Students Control of Interactive Whiteboard Learning; Thursday March 7

Blooms 2.0: Promoting ALL levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy through Technology; Monday March 11

Sharing and Solutions for Technology Coaches/Trainers (60 min session); Thursday March 21

Now I See! Infographics as content scaffold and creative, formative assessment... even if you don’t think visually; DATE CHANGE! - Tuesday, April 9

One to One: Ideas and Tips for Teaching in a 1:1 Classroom; Monday April 29


Civil War
As more and more attention focuses on the 150th anniversary of Civil War milestones, don’t miss a chance to bring your elementary students into the observance. Our new Civil War Read-alouds offer books and ideas you can use in elementary classes to discuss the Civil War and related topics of slavery, Gettysburg, and Lincoln. Practice discussing informational texts on a timely topic. We received positive comments about these pages within hours after they went online. Find out what has teachers buzzing.


Menu choices
Across the World Once a Week (#xw1w) gives your students a peek into everyday life in other places, even into what people eat. Share responses about life where you live and learn about others with Across the World Once a Week (XW1W). This quick activity uses microblogging and something called a hashtag. It’s easy! Get started now with these simple directions and FAQ. XW1W for the week of February 24: What is your favorite main dish for dinner?


On truth's trail?
Geo and Meri are in China (hopefully avoiding the hackers) as they visit Veritas International looking for clues on Globetracker’s Mission. Your students in grades 2-6 will discover geography, map skills, landforms, and more simply by following Globetracker’s Mission, Ready to Go any time at bottom center on the TeachersFirst home page.


Letting go
Which gadget would you have the most trouble giving up? Share your favorite via our weekly teacher poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Featured Sites
This week in our Featured Sites, find selections for young and old (if high school is ”old”):

  • Virtual manipulatives and math/science adventures for elementary
  • Map skills a la Scotland
  • Videos that will spark discussion!
  • Tales from different religions
  • Thinking like a historian
  • A virtual universe
  • Clever classroom management gadgets
  • Recycling explained
  • A cool listening tool

And MORE. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this March 3 or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived February 24 Features here, and don’t miss our many additional recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured sites page.

May you discover an unexpected moment of treasured time this week.

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