TeachersFirst Update Archives

Return to Update Archives List

February 24, 2014

Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers®

The usual comment during the last week of February is to ask whether March will come in like a lion or a lamb. This year, teachers who have been suffering through the unusually brutal winter just want March to get here quickly. Before we wish our lives away, let’s all take a moment to discover the benefits of being snowbound: We can explore more of the great stuff on TeachersFirst! Have you taken a fresh look lately?


Read, Tell, and Sell
Discover ways your students can promote books, contributing to a community of readers and writers and, at the same time, work toward Common Core Standards in Speaking and Listening. Find suggestions, step by step strategies, resources, and tips—from tech-savvy to low-tech or no tech—in our latest CCSS article, Read, Tell, and Sell: CCSS through student book promotions


Marching on
February is almost gone, and March about to breeze in as lion or lamb. March 2 is Dr. Suess' birthday. Challenge students to compose a clever Suess-rhyme about the concepts you are studying and read them aloud that day! Find more ideas to inspire any class at TeachersFirst’s Resources for Dr. Seuss.  March is also Women’s History Month and Music in our Schools Month. Turn to the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar for the March and the months to come.


It's OK2Ask® for spring
Register now for February - May sessions from OK2Ask, our free, online professional development series. Please be sure to READ the descriptions to be sure you have the prerequisites (if any) and/or technology comfort levels: Choose your favorite “snack session(s)” and register NOW (all at 7:00pm Eastern time).

  • Juggling the BYOD or 1:1 Classroom; Mon. Feb 24
  • Great Ideas: Exploring the Resources of TeachersFirst to Plan Effective, Technology-Infused Lessons; Thurs. Mar. 6
  • Google Series (Part 5): Google Earth and Maps Tues. Mar. 18
  • Common Core Math Ideas K-8; Mon. Mar. 24
  • Introduction to Writing with Common Core; Thurs. Mar. 27
  • Specialized for Special Needs: Ideas and Tools for Learning Support, Speech/language, Emotional Support, and more; Mon. Apr. 7
  • Google Series (Part 6): Cool Tools; Tues. Apr. 15
  • Gifted Resources Galore: Tips and Tools for Meeting the Needs of Your Gifted Students; Tues. Apr. 29
  • Ready.. Set.. Summer: Student Tools to Stay Fresh and Teacher Professional “Refreshments”; Thurs. May 8


Lessons for All
If you are looking for fresh ways to approach elementary student learning through multiple modalities, don’t miss Lessons for All, a collection of lessons in several subjects, all with tech options. You will find Nouns and Adjectives are Not Just Words, Silly Sentencesand Billy Goats Gruff


Motown to Montana
Geo and Meri have departed the motor city for Montana this week on Globetracker's Mission, still trying to track down the elusive Louie. Read new posts every Sunday to learn standards-based geography, landforms, and major U.S. landmarks in grades 2-6. Vote each week, telling the teens what to do next.


Winter comfort?
They say we are what we eat. We certainly learn much about a culture from learning about its food. Share the XW1W question for the week of Feb 23: What is your favorite winter "comfort food"? Help your students experience life through the eyes of others in distant places through #XW1W. Share with classrooms around the world. The Across the World Once a Week (#xw1w) project uses simple tweets or blog posts to share the responses to a weekly question and help you “see” what life is like in other places. It all works because of something called a hashtag. Get started now with these simple directions and FAQ.


Sports: pro or con?
What benefits do you see in school sports? Tell us in the teacher poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Featured Sites
This week in our Featured Sites, find some unusual topics and approaches:

  • A useful dictionary
  • LEGOS!
  • A cool calorie counter
  • Noise management
  • Water, water, water
  • The Civil War
  • Eyes
  • A music maker
  • And some clever tools

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this Mar 2 or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived February 23 Features here, and don’t miss our many additional recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured sites page.


May you and your students unveil unexpected learning right under your nose this week.

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