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Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™

Hop on the hayride and discover some new treats for learning. TeachersFirst has enough to fill your goodie bag for weeks. Maybe you can even swap favorite ideas with another teacher, celebrating your own “fall festival.”


Hauntingly helpful
Red Ribbon Week is coming: Oct 22-30. Many schools are having Fall Festivals and Halloween celebrations. The World Series is about to begin. Let TeachersFirst’s Classroom Planning Calendar, found front and center on our home page, help you prepare for these and many more coming attractions. Find teacher-reviewed resources and lesson ideas useful in nearly any subject or grade, just in time. No tricks, just treats.


Who ARE these people?
If you have ever wondered about The Source for Learning, TeachersFirst’s non-profit parent company, Discovery TV can help solve the mystery. Discovery’s Profiles Series will air a segment about The Source for Learning on Nov. 2nd at 7:00 am Eastern and Pacific. Catch a sneak peek here, since most teachers are pretty busy at 7 am!


One week and counting!
Globetracker’s Mission is just one week from its official embarkation date. Rad the preview episode now, then pack you bags. Plan to travel throughout North America via weekly episodes from October 23 until late April. Your students in grades 2-6 will learn standards-aligned geography, map skills, landforms, and more by following Geo and Meri’s weekly blog. Vote to decide what the teens should do next. If you have Google Earth, trace the Mission with the Google Earth files offered with each episode. Fine Globetracker’s Mission any time from the TeachersFirst home page, under “Ready to Go.”


Tired of impersonal poetry with a sleepy audience? Nevermore! Make poetry a spectacularly personal and spooky experience with TeachersFirst’s Interactive Raven Students learn about poetry and literary devices “hands on” via a computer mouse. Find out why the Interactive Raven is our all-time most popular “Exclusive” lesson. It’s Ready to Go for your projector, interactive whiteboard, or individual student computers. Leverage Poe’s powerful poetry just in time for this haunting season.


TeachersFirst Best Find: Who Did It?
Help students learn about scientific method and inquiry using the popular TeachersFirst Exclusive unit, Who Did It? Using Forensics and Science to Hone Laboratory Skills. October is the perfect time for a mystery! This unit, adaptable middle or high school grades, is complete with specific lesson plans, downloadable handouts, rubrics, and more. Who Did It is one of many terrific offerings under the TeachersFirst Exclusives tab.


Explorers Graveyard
If you teach about explorers at the start of your U.S. history curriculum in elementary or middle school, you’ll love this lesson idea to wrap up the unit just in time for Halloween. The graveyard idea is easily (eerily?) adaptable for other topics, as explained in the Options section.


Treats for teachers
Gather a bagful of great ideas, FREE, from OK2Ask™. This series of free, live, online "snack sessions" for self-directed teacher professional development and exploration works is accessible from any online computer. Register now for coming offerings and see the full OK2Ask™ schedule for this school year. OK2Ask™ is always available under TeachersFirst’s Professional tab.

Google Earth: Take your lessons INTO this world
Tuesday, October 18, 2011 (two times)- too late to preregister, but “drop ins” welcome! Just click to Enter the session on time from this page.

*Great Ideas: Exploring the Resources of TeachersFirst 3.0 to Plan Effective, Technology-Infused Lessons
Monday, November 7, 2011 (two times)
(*an ideal session for tech trainers trying to lure reluctant teachers)

Hands Off, Vanna: Giving Students Control of Interactive Whiteboard Learning
Wednesday, November 16 (two times) This session was a very popular offering at ISTE 2011.


This Week's Poll
Which trait is most important in a good principal? Choose the trait you hope to see. Take the poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


XW1W question for the week of October 16: Does your family grow any of your own food? 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.

Featured Sites
This week’s Featured Sites include new ways to see and learn:

  • Two world views
  • Amazing African fractals
  • Two primary grade treasures
  • Green Learning
  • A pair of useful tools
  • 19th century cotton trade
  • Human anatomy
  • Mummies!
  • Headline mysteries

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

Make this the week when you share a great teaching idea with another teacher. You never know what treats you will receive in return.


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