October 18, 2020

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Featured EDTECH Resources Reviewed by TeachersFirst

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Are you attending the virtual Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE) Annual Conference? We’ll see you there! Don’t miss our presentation about MySciLife on October 25th, and stop by our booth to learn more about our K-12 offerings!
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Character Counts! Week 2020

October 18–24 is Character Counts! Week, an annual event where millions of kids around the world celebrate the importance of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. Connect with other participants using #CharacterCountsWeek on social media! 

Grades 6-12

Teaching with Testimony

Learn through first-hand testimonies with these activities for middle and high school students. Lessons include standards, activities, student handouts, and background information about character, empathy, injustice, immigration, and more.

Grades 5-12

Who, Me? Biased?

With titles like "Peanut Butter, Jelly, and Racism," and "Why We're Awkward," this series of short videos from the NYT explores types of bias, how to address and change prejudices, and ways to tackle racism. Use them as talking stems for character.

Grades 7-12

Do Something.org

Guide your students to promote causes they care about and get motivated with realistic, creative inspiration for creating a culture of volunteerism. Find ways for your students to make a difference in their community and build character.

Grades 4-12

Choose 2 Matter

Invite your students to discover that what they do matters and to take action on their dreams and passions. Download the free ebook Genius Matters: A Framework for Epic Transformation to share with your students. Use the guide for class discussions.

Read all about Character in Reading Treks

Stories offer a great opportunity to share examples of kindness, courage, and other positive character traits. TeachersFirst's Reading Treks provide instructional guides and maps to connect students with the locations and themes from the stories they read. Many of the activities shared in the instructional guides lend themselves to distance and blended instruction. 

Grades 3-5

Reading Treks: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

Take your students on a virtual field trip with these resources and maps related to a story about a porcelain rabbit who learns that real happiness comes from opening his heart to friendship.

Grades 7-10

Reading Treks: Whirligig

Share this story and the related character activities about a teen who constructs whirligigs in the four corners of the United States as penance and redemption after he makes a fatal mistake.

Grades 4-8

Reading Treks: Every Single Second

Nella learns the importance of empathy and kindness and that every second matters in this story, where her life changes as racism tears apart her Little Italy neighborhood. Find remote learning activities.

Character Resources for Young Students

Teach your young students the value and importance of character and that kindness matters. The resources shared in this section include interactives, lesson ideas, and other resources to use with elementary students. 

Grades 2-6

The Adventures of Kara, Winston and the SMART Crew

Guide animated characters through a difficult online situation using games, quizzes, and teaching activities provided on this site. Teach your students that character matters—even when no one is watching or when you're online, choose to be kind.

Grades K-6

Circle Round

Discover over 40 storytelling podcasts for kids featuring diverse folktales about topics like kindness, persistence, and generosity. The podcasts are 10–20 minutes long. There are also live shows and road trip reels which are 60–120 minutes.

Grades K-12

Random Acts of Kindness

The Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Foundation is a non-profit organization founded upon the powerful belief in kindness. Inspire students to practice kindness and pass it on to others with lesson plans, classroom materials, projects, videos, and more.

This Week at TeachersFirst

Join us this week as we host a virtual workshop on Tuesday (10/20) at 7 PM ET. This week also kicks off our Microsoft Teams workshop series—the first session is this Thursday (10/22) at 7 PM ET. Read the details below, find a timely blog post, give your input in our weekly poll. 


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Tuesday, 10/20, 7 PM ET

Engage & Inspire: Choice Boards for Differentiation

Join us to learn to differentiate your instruction and assessment while encouraging the development of student voice with choice boards. Gain an understanding of Tomlinson's model for differentiation and plan for the use of choice boards in your lessons.

Learn about choice boards for both instructional and assessment purpose »


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Thursday, 10/22, 7 PM ET

Microsoft Teams Basics & Best Practices for Use in Remote Learning

Our Microsoft Teams series kicks off with the first of four workshops. Learn to manage the Microsoft Teams environment, create collaborative learning experiences for your students, and understand how to use channels to foster student communication.

Learn how to get the most out of Microsoft Teams »


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Infusing Technology Blog

Teaching Tolerance

Tolerance is a character trait that requires more than discussion and modeling. It's important to explicitly teach it through well-chosen lessons, beginning with our youngest students. Peruse this blog post for tips and websites to try with your class.

Cultivate a spirit of tolerance and acceptance of others through purposeful lessons »


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Share your thoughts with our community

Weekly Poll

This week our poll asks: "What do you consider the overall character trait that is greatest among your students? Would you choose kindness, tolerance, or patience as the strongest trait overall seen in your students?"

View the replies of others once you submit your choice »

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TeachersFirst is a collection of curated, classroom-ready content and ideas — including teacher-authored reviews of more than 15,000 web resources. Built-in guidance from seasoned professionals makes effective classroom technology use trouble-free. TeachersFirst is made available free to K12 teachers by The Source for Learning, Inc., a nonprofit that has been providing educational resources for more than 40 years.