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Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™

TF Update 09/18/2011
Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers®

As the autumnal equinox passes this week, we see a new season ahead. The days are getting crisp up north, and our fall rituals of football, cider, and raking are beginning. We hope this new season of learning will give you a chance to “rake in” some new teaching ideas, as well.


Looking Ahead
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Take time to plan ahead for activities in your classroom or school. Find resources for many upcoming events on the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar, front and center on the TeachersFirst home page. If you know an event we can help with, send a suggestion via the Contact Us link in our page footers. We love hearing from you.


This Week's Poll
Which professional development format do you prefer? Tell us how you like to learn. Take the poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


A story worth telling
As more and more teachers discover TeachersFirst, many ask how we manage to offer something for free and without advertising, especially in today’s tough times. If you don’t know the story of how TeachersFirst stays free, find out now. There are people who value what you do as a teacher. Tell a teacher friend. Share it on Facebook or Twitter. We rely on you to help tell the story.


Parents, Teachers, and TeachersFirst
Promote solid communication between home and school and invite parents to support what their children are learning in your classroom. Invite parents to watch The Balancing Act on the Lifetime® TV cable channel from 7:00-8:00 am on September 27 to see Candace Hackett Shively of TeachersFirst and the leaders of the National Association of Elementary School Principals and The Association for Middle Level Education.  The segment includes ideas for parents to support their child’s learning. They can even learn about TeachersFirst and your teacher public page!


XW1W question for the week of Sept 18: What is your favorite game to play with your family?  Across the World Once a Week (XW1W) uses microblogging or blogging tools to share responses about everyday life from any corner of the world. The XW1W FAQ page explains it all. Make today’s instant communications an instant learning experience.


Love to travel?
Hit the road in October with Geo and Meri on this year’s Globetracker’s Mission. You and your students in grades 2-6 can learn about geography, map skills, landforms, and more just by following Geo and Meri's blog each week. They will need your help deciding what to do each week, so plan to spend part of your 2011-12 school year with Globetracker's Mission. The mission information for 2011-12 is online now, with new weekly episodes beginning October 23. Plan now to travel North America this year.


OK2Ask starts soon!
Wish you had time to explore the new TeachersFirst? Set aside 75 minutes (and earn a professional development certificate) at our Sept 27 OK2Ask ™ session. OK2Ask™ is a series of free, live, online "snack sessions" for self-directed teacher professional development and exploration. Join us from any computer, and learn more about the rich offerings of TeachersFirst and great ideas you can use in your classroom.  Meet other teachers from across the globe in these teacher-friendly sessions. We make it easy, even if you have never tried live, online learning. Register now for Great Ideas on Sept 27. This “snack session” will SAVE you more time than you spend. Two convenient time slots available: 4:15-5:30 or 7:00-8:15 pm, EDT

  • Great Ideas: Exploring the Resources of TeachersFirst 3.0 to Plan Effective, Technology-Infused Lessons; Tuesday, September 27, 2011


The full OK2Ask™ schedule for this school year is now posted. For more information and FAQs, see the OK2Ask section under TeachersFirst’s Professional tab.


TeachersFirst Best Find: Sub Ideas
We hope you never have to miss a day of school, but we know sometimes it’s unavoidable. When you leave sub plans, don’t forget to include TeachersFirst’s Ideas and Resources for Substitutes. This collection includes teacher-reviewed resources for activities the sub can do if students finish work early. You will also find ideas to help you direct your substitute. For more Mind Stretching ideas any sub can use, browse our collection of reviewed Mind Stretchers.


Featured Sites
This week’s Featured Sites include a terrific trio, sensational science, and help with tough concepts:

  • A trio from Google
  • A Favorite Food map
  • Negro baseball leagues (in time for baseball playoff discussions)
  • A helpful writing tool
  • Molecules and atoms interactively
  • Fraction to decimal help
  • SOUNDS you can use and colorful fun
  • A decision making helper

And more! Don’t miss all our recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured sites page.


May you enjoy crisp moments, predicting rich fall harvests of understanding in your classes this week.


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