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Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™

Welcome to the sleepiest Monday of the school year. The second morning after losing that precious hour of sleep to Daylight Saving usually has students (and teachers) dragging. Wake everyone up with one of this week’s Featured Sites or an early celebration of Pi(e)? Day or St. Paddy’s. TeachersFirst has what you need to survive the trials of Daylight Saving and testing month.


Saturday March 17
TeachersFirst will be doing some minor server maintenance on Saturday, March 17. You may experience some brief interruptions trying to “reach” us that day. Don’t worry. The leprechauns did not get us!


Reading to connect and learn
Students who read make connections. TeachersFirst’s CurriConnects help students cement new curriculum concepts through independent reading. Topic examples include Maps, Math in the Real World, Earth Science, Explorers, Inventors, and more. Lists include interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles® to match with student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. Depending on the topic, lists include books up through high school. NEW topics just added are Money, Money, Money and Books for Tough Situations. While tough situations may not be part of the regular curriculum, they are often foremost on a student’s mind, possibly interfering with learning. Share CurriConnects with your students, colleagues, and library/media specialist. If you have eReader devices, why not load some of the books for sustained silent reading time?


Lesson Plan Exclusives
Some of TeachersFirst’s most popular pages are our exclusive lesson plans and teaching units. While a few are still being revised as part of our recent move to TeachersFirst 3.0, most now include new technology options. If you have never looked at the TeachersFirst “Exclusives” tab, give yourself an early spring break with some new teaching ideas.


Celebrating St Paddy's with Pi in your Ides
This week we celebrate Pi Day, the Ides of March, and St Patrick’s Day.  Even Julius Caesar would be green with envy to see the resources from the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar. The entire month is Women's History Month and Music in our Schools Month.  Teachers at any grade level will find timely resources to support curriculum.


Mining the Riches of History
TeachersFirst continues our monthly series of Help! I lost my library/media specialist! offerings with information literacy lessons about oral histories. Oral histories are a wonderful way for students to experience history first hand as they learn about primary sources, interviewing skills, or perhaps local or family history. Find step by step ideas and resources for your students to become hands-on historians.


How do YOU like TeachersFirst?
Visit our new Facebook page and tell us how you like TeachersFirst. How have we made a difference in your teaching life? Help us spread the word about TeachersFirst to others who may not know us. Tell your FB friend colleagues and others why you like TeachersFirst by posting your story on our wall. How quickly can we hit 1000 Likes?


Do U txt?
Do you use txt msgs to communicate to parents and students? Click your response to the weekly poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


In the Big Apple
Geo and Meri are in New York this week on Globetracker’s Mission. As they search the Big Apple for Louie, your students can help by voting to tell Geo and Meri what to do next.
Meanwhile, they will continue to learn standards-based map skills, geography and more.  (Shhhh! A hint to teachers on this year’s Mission:  The mission is scheduled to wrap up in mid-April, followed by a few weeks with review activities available to pull it all together and recap what students have learned.) Too busy with testing to stay “with” the Mission? Remember you can always rewind to prior episodes using the <<episode link at the top. Catch up when you have a chance.


Choices to learn from OK2Ask®
Want to learn about two cool tools any teacher could use? Don’t miss our Editor’s Choice OK2Ask® session coming soon.  In April, our newest session features wisdom to erase web worries. Don’t miss these upcoming OK2Ask® offerings: free, online teacher professional development “snack sessions”  that you attend from the comfort of your own computer. Check out the full OK2Ask® schedule for the remainder of the school year. We will announce our summer OK2Ask® schedule in May.

Editors’ Choices from the TeachersFirst Edge: TeachersFirst Editors’ Top Picks; Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at two times; Read the details and register

Web Worries: What teachers should know about online behavior; 
Thursday, April 12, 2012 at two times; Read the details and register


Around the World Once a Week (#xw1w)
XW1W  for the week of Mar 11: What do you use to tell the time? 
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 in our Featured Sites, find interactives to reinforce and tools to explore:

  • Fabulous financial literacy finds
  • A simple, powerful word study tool
  • Games to learn in many subjects
  • World population -- visually
  • History to see and search through timelines
  • Sun, Moon, and seasons
  • A comic tool for Legomaniacs
  • Quintessential quotations

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


May your class awaken to new ideas this week. Perhaps by Tuesday?


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