Save Time & Enhance Learning: A Guide to Time-Saving Resources on TeachersFirst

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TeachersFirst offers many helpful free resources created and curated for educators by educators. Are you familiar with our OK2Ask workshops that cover timely topics to contribute to your professional learning goals? Do you use the TeachersFirst calendar to find resources for upcoming holidays and events? Have you discovered our special topics collections that save time and fill in the gaps in your curriculum? 

If you answered “no” to any of those questions, we’re here to help! Let’s look at some TeachersFirst resources that save time, enhance learning, and include ideas that will help you engage students. 

Curated Content: Searching the web is often time-consuming and overwhelming. TeachersFirst finds and curates free resources to save you time and frustration. 

  • Reviews are the bedrock of TeachersFirst. Our contributors go beyond a simple review of sites teachers can use in their classrooms by including recommended grade levels, a summary with pertinent information about the site, classroom use ideas, and tags to help you find additional related resources.
    • Edge reviews include additional information to help users understand the specific attributes of tools used to create materials like websites, presentations, images, and more. Edge reviews include a features section so that you know in advance whether a tool requires registration, offers a premium version in addition to the free features in the review, if your work can be shared with a URL, and more.
    • Creating a free TeachersFirst account gives you the opportunity to contribute to our community by rating resources and adding comments. Comments might include helpful tips and suggest lesson ideas to help fellow educators plan lessons.
  • Special Topics Collections are curated collections of free resources about specific topics, such as curricular content, holidays and observances, and educational frameworks. Each of our nearly 200 time-saving collections includes up to thirty of the best resources for the featured topic selected by TeachersFirst’s contributors (all of whom are educators themselves!).
  • Our Planning Calendar helps you find resources for upcoming holidays and events. It also includes links to upcoming professional development events offered by TeachersFirst, like our OK2Ask workshops. Choose any item from the calendar, then click the link to view related resources to use in your classroom.

Professional Learning: TeachersFirst provides numerous opportunities for professional development in both synchronous and asynchronous learning formats.

  • OK2Ask virtual workshops are hands-on professional development events that focus on free ways to integrate technology into your classroom. The current winter season includes workshops on digital reading tools, Google My Maps (reviewed here), Twee (reviewed here), and more.
    • Each OK2Ask session includes a specially curated resource site that links to all of the materials used in the workshop and additional resources for classroom use to extend professional learning and understanding. 
    • Choose workshops that feature tech tools or teaching frameworks that fit your personalized learning path. Sign-up is free and easy, and with 40–50 workshops offered a year, there’s plenty of topics to choose from! 
    • The OK2Ask archive shares recordings of over 150 previous webinars that cover a wide range of topics, making it easy to find self-guided learning opportunities all year long.
  • Professional Learning Units (PLU) are designed to accommodate the dynamic schedules of educators, these units allow you to progress at your own pace, taking breaks and returning when convenient. Some units feature assessments, enabling you to earn a one-hour certificate, while others provide a relaxed exploration without assessments. Covering a diverse range of topics, from innovative teaching strategies to tech integration, TeachersFirst’s Professional Learning units offer a flexible and enriching experience tailored to the unique needs of every educator.
  • The TeachersFirst Blog—a rich source of inspiration for educators seeking to integrate tech strategies into their classrooms. Published twice a week and authored by various experts within the TeachersFirst team, the blog covers a spectrum of topics, from the latest tech tools to AI in education, resources for the Hour of Code, and tech applications for Social-Emotional Learning (SEL). Whether you’re a tech enthusiast or a newcomer, the TeachersFirst Blog offers valuable insights to keep you informed, inspired, and empowered in the evolving landscape of educational technology.
  • Book Studies give you the opportunity to become part of a larger personalized learning network (PLN). Throughout the six-week book study (usually held in summer and winter), educators come together to discuss the featured book and complete application activities.

Resources that Fill the Gap: We recognize the need for time-saving resources that supply content to help you fill your gaps. Don’t miss these ready-to-use curriculum-focused materials. 

  • Reading Treks integrate maps and literature to create a virtual field trip of resources related to a text. There are Treks available for books for all grade ranges, and each has a teacher’s guide that includes correlations to standards and lesson ideass.
  • Help! I Lost My Media Specialist! Many articles provide ideas and resources for integrating research skills, digital citizenship, and language skills into classrooms. Topics include “Boys Will Be Boys – Keeping Boys Engaged in Reading” and “Music Speaks – Music Appreciation in Literature.
  • Gettysburg by the Numbers takes viewers on a web-based, interactive journey through the Battle of Gettysburg using numbers and interactives that engage learners and invite connections beyond dates and facts.
  • Globetracker’s Mission is an episodic story in blog-style format where fictitious brother and sister Geo and Meri take students in grades 2-6 on a journey to learn standards-based geography, landforms, and map skills in an engaging, interactive context.

Discover more time-saving resources and ways to integrate TeachersFirst’s resources into your curriculum to create engaging and effective lesson plans by registering for our upcoming OK2Ask virtual workshop, “Save Time, Enhance Learning, and Maximize Resources with TeachersFirst“. If you miss it, visit the archives to watch the recording at your convenience. 

What is your favorite time-saving resource on TeachersFirst? What recommendations do you have to help fellow educators find hidden gems on We always love hearing from our readers as we share and learn together!

About the author: Sharon Hall

Sharon Hall was a recipient of the Presidential Award of Excellence in Math teaching. With over 15 years of classroom experience as a National Board Certified teacher, Sharon shares her content knowledge and reflections on ideas for basic classroom technology integration with us.

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