TeachersFirst Professional Exclusives

TeachersFirst’s Professional Exclusives help you learn as a teacher, try new technologies, explore new teaching strategies, or understand student differences. Discover how and why to use wikis from the Wiki Walk-Through. Learn to adapt for ESL students in a regular classroom. Learn the how and why of better rubrics – and locate or create them easily. Every TeachersFirst professional exclusive is written by experienced teachers and includes the pragmatic, teacher-friendly details that you count on from our Thinking Teachers.

 

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Across the World Once a Week: Collaborative Microblogging for Cross-Cultural Understanding - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Across the World Once a Week (XW1W) is a teaching idea that uses today's instant technologies to share answers to the same question across the world once a week. XW1W ...more
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Across the World Once a Week (XW1W) is a teaching idea that uses today's instant technologies to share answers to the same question across the world once a week. XW1W is a simple, social way for students to learn about real life in other cultures from real kids all across the world. By simply "hashtagging" Twitter or blog responses to a weekly question about daily life, students can share and learn about other cultures from their international peers. Find out more and read the details of this offering from TeachersFirst. The page displays the current weekly question as well as a Twitter feed of recent responses. (If you see a black "box," your school may be blocking Twitter feeds.) Don't miss the FAQ page to help you get started.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (125), cultures (108), twitter (42)

In the Classroom

Join XW1W with your class using a single Twitter account or any blog or wiki tool where you can share student answers to the weekly question. If you cannot access Twitter at school, that is not a problem. You do not even have to use Twitter (though this is a great way dip your toes into Twitter). See the FAQ page for specific hints on using XW1W with your students. Share the XW1W idea with teaching colleagues in other places, and perhaps even with families to try at home. Want to learn more about Twitter and teaching. See TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

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Building Schoolwide Literacy With Free Web 2.0 Tools: A Grade by Grade Elementary Model - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 8
2 Favorites 0  Comments
TeachersFirst offers this model for elementary (or middle) schools to build skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening systematically in a schoolwide model including students,...more
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TeachersFirst offers this model for elementary (or middle) schools to build skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening systematically in a schoolwide model including students, teachers, and parents. The free web 2.0 tools suggested here are by no means the only tools that might work. These exemplary tools were chosen by the TeachersFirst Editors for ease of use and versatility in classroom and home use, and could easily be implemented at grade levels other than those suggested here. As students and teachers master a new tool at each grade level, they develop rich literacy skills and vital technology skills, all in the context of reading, writing, speaking and listening across the curriculum.

tag(s): listening (86), speaking (24)

In the Classroom

Explore the tools and project suggestions by grade for your individual use as a teacher or work together with others in your school to build literacy across all subjects and grades by systematically adopting and repeatedly using a fixed collection of tools so students master the tool skills as an aside to reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Try the practical suggestions for implementing this model in your school or grade level team.

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TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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There is nothing twicky about a wiki. Learn about this online collaboration tool: what a wiki is, how you might use it in your classroom, how to explain it to ...more
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There is nothing twicky about a wiki. Learn about this online collaboration tool: what a wiki is, how you might use it in your classroom, how to explain it to parents and administration, and how to get started. There are over 50 examples of activities you can do with a wiki and links to a free tool to get started. A fresh revision of the Walk-Through in 2008 includes comparison reviews of the top three wiki tools for education. We even give you the downloadable handout to send home.

tag(s): wikis (15)

In the Classroom

This is listed as a TeachersFirst "edge" entry, but our step-by-step walk-through takes the edge off and makes your wiki a walk in the park. Check it out now, while there is still FREE classroom wiki space available from the three wiki tools we review in detail.
 

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Bulletin Board Hang Ups - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 12
17 Favorites 0  Comments
TeachersFirst provides this collection of printable quotations, ready for your classroom or bulletin board. Inspire, engage, or challenge your students to think with quotes from famous...more
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TeachersFirst provides this collection of printable quotations, ready for your classroom or bulletin board. Inspire, engage, or challenge your students to think with quotes from famous leaders, sports figures, thinkers, and writers. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): bulletin boards (20), quotations (25)

In the Classroom

They look great printed on brightly colored paper! As an opening day activity, challenge small groups of students to interpret the quote hanging closest to them and predict how it may be important in your course this year. For younger students, ask them to write a paraphrase or to illustrate the quote. Be sure to change the quotes periodically and give a prize to the first student who notices. Or give a pop-quiz during the last week of school, asking students to recall as many of the year's quotes as they can (working in small groups will probably help). If you have classroom blogs, ask students to choose and reflect on a specific quote and its relevance to your class throughout the past year.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Adapt-a-Strategy for ESL/ELL - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Adapt your existing lesson plans using these simple strategies to help ESL students. Click on the activity type you have planned and find suggestions and resources to help your ESL/ELL...more
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Adapt your existing lesson plans using these simple strategies to help ESL students. Click on the activity type you have planned and find suggestions and resources to help your ESL/ELL students be successful with the lesson. Some of the same strategies may help with students with IEPs for speech and language or learning support.

tag(s): teaching strategies (25)

In the Classroom

Share this one with your colleagues who also have ESL/ELL students.

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Top Ten Tips for Working With ESL/ELL Students - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Teaching ESL./ELL students in your regular classroom can be a challenge. You feel great empathy for the children who enter your room, bewildered, but you have the rest of the ...more
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Teaching ESL./ELL students in your regular classroom can be a challenge. You feel great empathy for the children who enter your room, bewildered, but you have the rest of the class to think of, too. TeachersFirst offers these Top Ten Tips for Teachers working with ESL/ELL students to help you find appropriate ways to differentiate instruction and make minor adjustments for the individual student and maximize the benefit of having these new students in the class.

tag(s): teaching strategies (25)

In the Classroom

From TeacherFirst, this site is a helpful resource for new ELL teachers, or to pass along to general education teachers who are eager to know how to best assimilate a new ELL student into their classroom. Save the site as a favorite on your desktop to allow easy reference whenever, and pass it along to interested peers!

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Blog Basics for the Classroom - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
10 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This comprehensive tutorial gives all the details on using gated blogs safely in the classroom, including explanations of blogging basics, a TeachersFirst Step-by-Step on how to start...more
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This comprehensive tutorial gives all the details on using gated blogs safely in the classroom, including explanations of blogging basics, a TeachersFirst Step-by-Step on how to start one, complete charts of the features of several free blogging tools for teachers, and over two dozen ideas for how to use a blog with your students. Make "writing to learn" approachable and exciting. You will even find a customizable Blogger's Agreement to download and use with students and parents so everyone knows the expectations and consequences for your class blogs.

tag(s): blogs (84)

In the Classroom

You could use this step by step as the framework for a self-directed or "buddy" professional development project. Share it with your principal or professional development coordinator. USe the strategies and ideas here to start a blog for your class or for each student. Don't miss suggestions for a Teacher as Blogger so you can model blogging, too.
 

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Rubrics to the Rescue - TeachersFirst- Melissa Henning, M.Ed.

Grades
1 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
TeachersFirst expains the essentials of rubrics: What are they, why use them, types of rubrics, and ideas forinvolving students in creating rubrics. The article includes links to online...more
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TeachersFirst expains the essentials of rubrics: What are they, why use them, types of rubrics, and ideas forinvolving students in creating rubrics. The article includes links to online tools for creating rubrics or to find ready-made rubrics, ready for download. Teachers old and new will like the succinct explanations and ready tools for authentic assessment.

tag(s): assessment (117), newbies (15), rubrics (29)

In the Classroom

Mark this resource as a Favorite for quick access to everything you need to create a project-based learning assignment or assessment for any project.

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