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Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™

This week we honor a man who made the world stop and think about civil rights. Every day as teachers, we hear students moan about what is “fair.” Take some time to talk about the real nature of fairness. No matter what your curriculum, fairness fits.


Respect your elders
Share a little to learn a lot. Across the World Once a Week (#xw1w) takes just a moment or two of class time for students get a peak into everyday life in other places. Share responses about life where you live and learn about others with Across the World Once a Week (XW1W). This quick activity uses microblogging and something called a hashtag. It’s easy! Get started now with these simple directions and FAQ. Tell your teacher friends!
XW1W for the week of January 20: Describe the oldest person who lives in your home. 


MLK and more
This week we honor Martin Luther King Jr. TeachersFirst has exclusive lesson plans for celebrating MLK in elementary grades. It is also the presidential inauguration (formal swearing in Jan 20 with public celebrations Jan 21). Look ahead to the 100th day of school and Feburuary’s Black History Month. Find resources for these events and more on the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar.


Confused by copyright?
Sometimes it just seems easier to say, “No images, no copy/pasting, and no copies.” But we know we should model and teach the right thing to do. If you are confused by all the variations of Copyright, Creative Commons and ethical use of electronic resources, TeachersFirst’s Copyright and Fair Use Resources will help you find helpful sites to clarify what you can legally do. We also share reviewed sources for finding images , music and more that are permissible for classroom use.


FREE for YOU to learn
Winter is peak season for OK2Ask®! Registration is now open for OK2Ask® FREE learning opportunities through March.  Registration for April and May sessions will open about 60 days in advance. Join other teachers in live, friendly, online sessions for self-directed professional development. Most sessions are 75 minutes, but please read the details of each. Check for times and descriptions to register NOW:

Energizing Math: Ideas, Resources, and Collaboration for K-8 Math Teachers; Thursday January 24

Google Goodies! Hidden Treasures and Teacher Favorites; Thursday February 7

Light up Literacy: PreK-3 Reading/Language Arts Ideas and Resources; Monday February 11

Wiki Workshop: An Open Help and Collaboration Session (Extended Time Session); Monday February 25

Hands Off, Vanna: Giving Students Control of Interactive Whiteboard Learning; Thursday March 7

Blooms 2.0: Promoting ALL levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy through Technology; Monday March 11

Sharing and Solutions for Technology Coaches/Trainers (60 min session); Thursday March 21


Where to next?
Geo and Meri are trying to decide where to go after Sydney as they hunt for Dewey on Globetracker’s Mission. Your students in grades 2-6 can vote to help as they learn geography, map skills, landforms, and more by following Globetracker’s Mission, Ready to Go any time at bottom center on the TeachersFirst home page. Discover why teachers send fan mail to Globetracker (and what Holy Idaho means).


MLK your way
How do you recognize Martin Luther King Day in your class/school?
Share what you think in the weekly teacher poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Featured Sites
This week in our Featured Sites, find new looks at olden times and new tools to do something new:

  • Lincoln and Whaling sites
  • Science and math simplified—in Spanish!
  • Blooms, Marzano, and questions
  • Sickness symptoms mapped
  • A new view of Ethanol
  • Dirty jobs
  • Poetry brought to life
  • Excellent elementary activities
  • Instant activities from your copy/paste
  • A trio of useful tools

And more. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this January 27 or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived January 20 Features here, and don’t miss our many additional recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured sites page.


May you witness random acts of fairness this week.

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