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January 26, 2015

Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers®

The shoveling season has started. As you busily shovel to prepare for the end of semester grades, parent conferences, and testing season, use TeachersFirst to help you dig out of the mounds of work and explore some cool tools for your students and hot finds for you!


Save some time
Did you know TeachersFirst offers an optional, free membership that will save you TIME? If you are not already a member, check out reasons for joining, such as a handy list of the latest new offerings in YOUR subject area(s) and handy tools to mark and tag Favorite resources. Why not give yourself the gift of time. Sign up now. Tell your teacher friends; they’ll thank you for it!

Snow Day - Okay
We are now into the part of the year when many schools experience the dreaded Snow Day. Why not build in ways for students to avoid “slipping” even if they cannot safely get to school? Check out TeachersFirst's Snow Day resources, a combination of online learning tools, communities, and snow-related resources. Mark it on your class web page now so students will maintain learning traction despite cancellations.


Busy Month Indeed
February is a busy month of holidays, celebrations, and recognitions. Plan ahead for the 100th Day of School, Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, and National Inventors' Day. Start your February planning with resources for Black History Month and Dental Health Month. You’ll find resources for events and observances throughout 2015 in the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar.


TeachersFirst is here to help you plan for National Inventors’ Day or any unit on Inventions and Inventors. Check out our Instructional Unit: Inventors of the Industrial Revolution. We also have a CurriConnects Booklist: Inventors and Inventions. Use CurriConnects leveled lists to find books related to curriculum topics or subject areas. Any student can find a book on the topic at the appropriate interest and Lexile® level.


Hot on the Trail of Dewey
Geo and Meri continue their mission to find Dewey: the Truth-Sniffing Dog. They are spending another week traveling through Oceania in Globetracker's Mission. Do you know where Oceania is located? Do your students? Help students (grades 2-6) learn more by joining the Mission in 2015 to learn map skills, geography, landmarks, landforms, and much more. Your kids will love traveling the world through the eyes of teens Geo and Meri. Check out complete teacher information, standards, and lesson ideas for using the mission. There are even Google Earth files for you to “watch” the Mission unfold. For extra fun, set your class Twitter account to follow the teens’ Twitter account, @geoandmeri.


Early Bird?
Are you a morning bird? Do you enjoy getting a jumpstart on your day? Or do you prepare the night before and arrive right on time? This week’s teacher poll asks: How Early Do You Arrive Before School Starts? Place your vote on the teacher poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Common Core Series: Register Now!
Are you trying to wrap your head around Common Core Standards? Join TeachersFirst for our Common Core OK2Ask® series including Math, Literacy, and Writing. TeachersFirst brings you “just in time” topics to keep your professional development fresh! Check out the many offerings from OK2Ask in 2015. Register now for January and February sessions. Registration for March, April, and May will begin next week. Read our FAQ for general information about certificates, etc. Please be sure to read the detailed descriptions and suggested technology comfort levels BEFORE you register for the best match for your learning needs. See a full preview of offerings through May in this pdf. All sessions meet from 7:00-8:30 pm EASTERN time.


Let's Go Back in Time
What was life like in the early 20th century? Our newest installment of CurriConnects explores life during the years of 1900-1945. Read and learn about the Model T, flappers, women’s rights, Al Capone, the Dust Bowl, and much more! Use CurriConnects leveled lists to find books related to curriculum topics or subject areas. Build student literacy skills, reinforce the place of curriculum concepts in other contexts, and help students build the important reading strategy of connecting what they read to prior knowledge. Any student can find a book on the topic at the appropriate interest and Lexile® level.


Are you First?
Who is the first person awake at your house? Is it always the same person? Does that person have to wake up the rest of the family? Share the XW1W question for the week of January 25: Who is the first person awake at your house? Make this the year you create a class Twitter account to learn from classes near and far. Your students can hear about life in other places and cultures through #XW1W. TeachersFirst’s Across the World Once a Week (#xw1w) project uses simple tweets (or links to blog posts) to share the responses to a weekly question. Help your class “see” what life is like in other places. It all works because of something called a hashtag. Learn how to get started with these simple directions and FAQ.


Featured Sites
This week in our Featured Sites, find News, Lady Liberty, and Climate Change:

  • Time Machine for the climate
  • Do you want to build a Snowflake?
  • Cool Tools to organize you and your class
  • Interactive Math for the Young
  • Polar Palooza
  • Tour Lady Liberty—Virtually
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Organize Google Docs
  • Sight Words
  • Try the Email Game
  • And more

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this February 1 or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived January 25 Features here, and don’t miss our many other recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured Sites page.

May TeachersFirst help you shovel your way to success this week and throughout the year.

The TeachersFirst Team