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January 20, 2104

Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers®

The school year is at least half over. Are you in a learning white-out? If you need a little help seeing through the snow or inspiration to fire you up through winter’s chill, TeachersFirst is here for you 365/24/7, free and ad-free.


Be the “expert”
Do you enjoy sharing great teaching resources with your colleagues and students? You can share the weekly TeachersFirst Featured Sites automatically on your class web age, blog, or wiki using one of the two embed widgets offered here. There are two formats, depending on the space you have available. Copy the embed code, paste it into your page (code view), and Save. Poof! The Featured Sites will change every Saturday night at midnight Eastern U.S. time, and you will always be “the expert” who shares the best, vetted resources for teaching and learning. Thinking Teachers—Teaching Thinkers! (Not sure how to use an embed code? Ask your edtech coach or technology integration specialist to show you or try this helpful resource.)


Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King Day is here. Find loads of resources and lesson ideas for all levels in TeachersFirst’s Resources for Martin Luther King, Jr, including the TeachersFirst Exclusive collection of elementary plans about MLK and a unit entitled They Had a Dream, Too.


Blizzards and preparing for February
If you are expecting snow, be sure to check out and share our Snow Day Resources on your class web page just in case. This page includes ideas for both online collaboration and snow-related learning. Also coming up: 100th Day of School and the Sochi Olympics. Opening ceremonies are February 7. Also in February: Dental Health Month and Black History Month. Turn to the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar for timely teaching ideas.


What grows in winter? Your brain!
Grow professionally during the winter doldrums with OK2Ask®. Our free, online professional development offerings inspire with a tasty new ideas. Choose a “snack session” and register NOW for these Jan/Feb sessions (all at 7:00pm Eastern time).  Please be sure to READ the descriptions to be sure you have the prerequisites (if any) and/or technology comfort levels:

  • Google Series (Part 3): Google for Every Classroom Tues. Jan. 21, 2014
  • Building Ethical Digital Citizens; Thurs. Jan. 30, 2014
  • Be the Best: Professional Resources; Thurs. Feb. 6, 2014
  • Google Series (Part 4): Using Google Templates; Tues. Feb 18, 2014
  • Juggling the BYOD or 1:1 Classroom; Mon. Feb 24, 2014


Rockin' the Rockies
Geo and Meri are in the Rockies this week. Who knows what weather perils await them as they look for Louie, the villain in this year’s Globetracker’s Mission. If you missed an installment during break, simply “rewind” using the <<episode link at the top. Read new posts every Sunday so your students (grades 2-6) can learn standards-based geography, landforms, and major U.S. landmarks. Vote each week, telling the teens what to do next.


Sew what?
Do-it-yourself is part of some cultures and not so much in others. Share the XW1W question for the week of January 19: Who in your family knows how to sew? Help your students experience life in far off places through #XW1W. Share with classrooms around the world. The Across the World Once a Week (#xw1w) project uses simple tweets or blog posts to share the responses to a weekly question and help you “see” what life is like in other places. It all works because of something called a hashtag. Get started now with these simple directions and FAQ.


MLK poll
How do you observe Martin Luther King Day in your class/school? Tell us how in the teacher poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Featured Sites
This week in our Featured Sites, find pairs and singles for many learning opportunities:

  • A pair of “world views”: immigration and ocean levels
  • A pair of handy bookmarking tools
  • Math for independent reading
  • A COOL video tool
  • Green houses (not greenhouses!)
  • A mobile friendly, online geometry tool
  • Letters and more letters
  • Fake tweets
  • Funding for classroom projects
  • State of the Union seen a new way
  • News “seen” a whole new way
  • And more

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this January 26 or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived January 19 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 find the warmth of new ideas this week.

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