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February 2, 2015

Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers®

Did you know that Saturday February 7th is Ice Cream for Breakfast Day? This little-known event is the perfect “sweet” treat to make your February fabulous! TeachersFirst likes to share intellectual “ice cream” with you and your students every day. Choose your own toppings and enjoy your sweet treats!


Trotting on to Asia
Geo and Meri continue their mission on to Asia to find Dewey, the Truth-Sniffing Dog. Find out what country they will explore first on Globetracker’s Mission. 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.


Save some time
Did you know that 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!


Common Core FREE PD—Register Now!
Are you trying to wrap your head around Common Core Standards? We still have two sessions remaining in our Common Core series: Math Grades 6-12 and Writing Grades K-12. TeachersFirst brings you “just in time” topics to keep your professional development fresh! Check out the many offerings from OK2Ask® in 2015. Registration is now OPEN for all winter and spring sessions. 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.


February Fun!
This week we celebrate Groundhog Day. Plan ahead for the 100th Day of School, Valentine’s Day, National Inventors’ Day, Presidents Day, and Chinese New Year. And don’t forget 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.


What is Your Number?
How many students do you see/teach each day? Are you in a self-contained classroom with 30 or less students? Are you a specialist that teaches over 100 students in one day? This week’s teacher poll asks: How many students do you see each day? Place your vote on the teacher poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Presidents and Leaders
Prepare for Presidents’ Day in your classroom with this CurriConnects book list of 100 leaders (including several presidents). 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.


Close to the Base?
How close are you to the nearest military base? Have you ever visited the military base? Share the XW1W question for the week of February 1: Is there a military base near your home or school? Make this the year you make 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 Matisse, Bioengineering, Codes, and more:

  • Better Lesson
  • 20 Films not to miss
  • Pre-Sumter
  • Primary sources
  • Matisse for the young
  • Engineering games galore
  • Virtual photo tours
  • MAPS – GIS in action
  • Coding for the young
  • Student loan calculator
  • And more

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this February 8 or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived February 1 Features here, and don’t miss our many other recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured Sites page.


May your week (and weekend) be filled with many intellectual scoops of “ice cream.”

The TeachersFirst Team