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Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™

You are almost there! The longest teaching stretch of the school year in most U.S. schools ends—appropriately—with Thanksgiving. At TeachersFirst we are thankful for your dedication to your students. We know that the teachers who use TeachersFirst do so on their own time to find the very best for their classes. May your Thanksgiving be a time for rest, family, and renewal.


TeachersFirst Best Find: Enhanced Searching
Recently, a TeachersFirst veteran user and “evangelist” attending one of our OK2Ask™ sessions squealed in surprise when she realized that the TeachersFirst keyword search tool is available on every page of TeachersFirst. Located top-right on our home page and in the left sidebar of every other page, this search tool allows you to search by phrase, by “all” of several terms, or by “any” of several terms. A little clever searching will yield the perfect results: multiplication whiteboard (all) locates multiplication site suitable for interactive whiteboard. Civil war wiki (all) yields resources and ideas for using your class wiki during a unit on the civil war. Cells mitosis meiosis (any) will yield many resources related to these biology topics. Try the keyword search with the curriculum topics most troublesome for your students. Quickly find just what your students need from our database of over 13,000 educator-reviewed resources!


Stuffed with resources
The TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar is “stuffed” with resources for date-related topics such as Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Month with one click.  Secondary teachers will find calendar resources for serious topics in upper level classes. Click to the calendar from the TeachersFirst home page. Look ahead now for resources related to Pearl Harbor/World War II, HIV/Aids Awareness, and December gift giving events.


Mastering Maps
Maps are everywhere, but our students (and many adults) seem to need a little voice to tell us how to follow them. Excite your students to master maps of all kinds as they follow Geo and Meri on Globetracker’s Mission. The intrepid teens have just arrived in Vegas as they try to locate Louie, the mapmaker. As your students in grades 2-6 follow the teens’ travels, they will see many maps. Let them navigate the Mission each week on an interactive whiteboard or computer center -- and learn more! The link to Globetracker’s Mission is always “Ready to Go” in the lower center of the TeachersFirst home page.


OK2Ask features free membership timesavers
Start the New Year with practical help from TeachersFirst. In response to input from our fall OK2Ask™ sessions, we have revised our January plans a bit to include a special January 12 session on how to use the free, timesaving member features and tools built into TeachersFirst 3.0.  If you have read about the TeachersFirst member features but simply haven’t had time to play with them, this live online session is for you. See the full OK2Ask™ schedule for the New Year. January is jam-packed with offerings to inspire during winter’s dreary days. Stay warm and learn!

Great Timesavers: Tools and tips to maximize TeachersFirst's free membership;  January 12, 2012;  Read the details


This Week's Poll
What are you most thankful for at Thanksgiving break? Share your thoughts by taking the poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


XW1W question for the week of November 20: Which holiday brings the greatest number of your family together?  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 tools and informative sources you can rate, comment on, or mark as Favorites and SHARE on your TeachersFirst public page (all FREE options of FREE TeachersFirst membership):

  • Tools to make decisions and speech bubbles
  • Women scientists
  • Two beautiful wildlife/environment sites
  • Training for your geometry eye
  • A handy site-finding tool
  • Ideas for making books- the old-fashioned way
  • A duo of high level science sites
  • Photoshopped (or not?) detector

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


Stuff your classes with learning this short week, then turn off the computer for a day with family!

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