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April 20, 2015

Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers®

We are heading towards the end of April and are finally in the home stretch. As teachers, this may literally feel like a stretch. We need to stretch our teaching time to fit everything that must be completed before the end of the school year: field trips, final projects, prep for AP and other major exams, and more. Let TeachersFirst be your virtual yoga. We will stretch with you!


This Day in History
What happened today in history, and why does it matter? Dates That Matter offers a new prompt every day, asking questions to help students connect an important history event to what they know. Instead of tossing out a factoid, Dates That Matter builds understanding through context. Share Dates That Matter on you interactive whiteboard or projector.


We have two sessions remaining in our Spring 2015 OK2Ask season. Registration remains OPEN for all spring sessions. Keep your eyes open for our Summer 2015 schedule, to be released in late May! 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. Most sessions meet from 7:00-8:30 pm EASTERN time.

  • Building Ethical Digital Citizens; Tue Apr. 28
  • Ready. Set. Summer: Student Tools to Stay Fresh and Teacher Professional “Refreshments”; Mon May 4


April Showers of Activity
Find ideas for Take Your Son or Daughter To Work Day, National Poetry Month, Earth Day, Autism Awareness, and more. Start planning now for Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, and don’t forget the Google Science Fair submission deadline! Turn to the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar for April and May and throughout the entire year.


Adventures through Europe
Geo and Meri are starting towards the end of their journey to find Dewey: the Truth-Sniffing Dog. As they leave Europe and enter their final continent of Antarctica, the mission will conclude. Will Dewey be found? If your students have been following these teen bloggers around the world, be sure to check out our review material.  


Poetry Month for You  
April is National Poetry Month. What does your class do to celebrate? Maybe you don’t have time to celebrate at all? This week’s teacher poll asks: Do you recognize Poetry Month in your classes? Place your vote on the teacher poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Taking Care of Me
Discover healthy habits including fitness, nutrition, sports, and more. Our newest installment of CurriConnects explores personal wellness (just in time for warmer weather). This collection includes both fiction and non-fiction for all ages. These books could accompany a unit (or lesson) about nutrition, fitness, sports, or healthy choices.

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.


Take Your Pick
What kind of projects do you do in your class? What was your favorite class project (or assignment) this year? The XW1W question for the week of April 19: What was your favorite class project this year?

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 online tools, YouTube videos, and more:

  • The Battle of Appomattox
  • Triangle Factory Fire
  • Online Stopwatch
  • Geography Challenges Galore
  • A Tree Octopus
  • Play the Pipe
  • Easy Jeopardy
  • RAFT
  • And more

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this April 26 or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived April 19 Features here, and don’t miss our many other recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured Sites page.


Grab your virtual mat and allow TeachersFirst to help you and your students prepare for the final stretch of the year. 


The TeachersFirst Team