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Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™

Green: the color of money, envy, environmental concern, illness, naïveté, and salad. Oh… and the Irish! Celebrate a little leprechaun today. May you find a pot of gold in the lilt of laughter and the love of learning.


A little help, please?
As a TeachersFirst user, you know we believe in the importance of families in supporting their children’s learning. If you are willing, please share this survey request with your pre-K-12 NON-teacher parents. You can copy/paste  this message directly into an email or onto your class web page:

Dear parents,
One of the trusted web sites we use in our classroom, TeachersFirst, has asked us to share a survey with parents. TeachersFirst and their non-profit parent company, The Source for Learning, is planning a re-launch of their service for families and would like your input. Please take a few minutes to respond to this parent survey from a non-profit that helps our class with free learning resources. (Copy/paste this  address if the link above does not work: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/58KS3J5 )


Take a swing
Soon we will be celebrating the opening of baseball season. Batter up for a lesson with TeachersFirst’s Baseball Resources. Practice a few learning swings now.


Signs and sites of the times
The media are talking about Yahoo’s and Facebook’s female CEOs, just in time for Women’s History Month. Timely, indeed! For timesaving planning, find resources for Easter and Comic/Cartoon resources to make something less foolish for April 1st. Plan for these and other events with the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar.


An elementary handle on Common Core
If you teach elementary, you may be struggling to plan ways for students to grasp informational texts and do short, focused research projects (SFRPs) a la Common Core. Find an example of one such project from a veteran elementary library/media specialist. If you teach the water cycle, you won’t want to miss this The Common Core Shift: Short, Focused Research Projects in Elementary Grades. (We have corrected a link since last week so you can access the Vermont lesson plan mentioned in the article.)

Improving times
The economic indicators tell us that the times are improving, but financial literacy is still a lagging indicator of our students’ knowledge. Try TeachersFirst's Understanding Economics and Money: TeachersFirst Editors' Choices to raise interest and invest in their futures.


Global to local
Our world is so very small, but so is our students’ awareness of other places and people. Our students need to know about other places and cultures. Choose a resource or two from TeachersFirst’s China and Cross-Cultural Resources to make them think beyond our town and gain a more worldly perspective. Find awesome project ideas and powerful tools to draw us all closer.


Open house!
OK2Ask® has moved into new “quarters,” and we invite you to see our new home! Sign up for a free session of OK2Ask live, online sessions for teacher self-directed professional development. Our new home is built by Adobe® Connect™ and requires nothing but the Flash plug in you most likely have on your computer—and an Internet connection. (Tablet users can download the Adobe Connect app to attend, though we recommend having a regular keyboard to be able to participate fully.) Registration is now open for ALL remaining spring OK2Ask® sessions. Find times and descriptions to register:


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

Now I See! Infographics as content scaffold and creative, formative assessment, even if you don’t think visually; DATE CHANGE! Tuesday, April 9

One to One: Ideas and Tips for Teaching in a 1:1 Classroom; Monday April 29

Ready, Set, Summer: Student Tools to Stay Fresh and Teacher Professional “Refreshments”; Monday May 6


Leprechauns or not?
Gives you students a peek into everyday life in other places with Across the World Once a Week (#xw1w). Share responses about life where you live and learn about others. This quick activity uses microblogging and something called a hashtag. It’s easy! Get started now with these simple directions and FAQ. XW1W for the week of March 17: Do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day? How? 


Paris in the springtime
Geo and Meri are enjoying western Europe. Follow their adventure with your students as they wrap up the final weeks—and plot twists—of Globetracker’s Mission, Ready to Go any time at bottom center on the TeachersFirst home page.


Crunch Time
What do you emphasize most with your students as Big Test Season arrives? Share your priorities via the weekly teacher poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Featured Sites
This week in our Featured Sites, find an eclectic mix of thought-provokers and more”

  • China in pictures
  • Practice with capitals and compound words
  • Algebra—comprehensively!
  • World youth sharing their thoughts
  • Help for collaborative group calamities
  • Cool science
  • Amazing video annotations
  • Interactive “magazines”

And MORE. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this March 24 or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived March 17 Features here, and don’t miss our many additional recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured sites page.


May the road rise to meet you this week.

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