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TeachersFirst Update - November 27, 2016
Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers®

For Your Classroom

December is only a few days away! Are you gearing up for the Hour of Code? This Update will feature many tools, articles, archives, and more to help you and your students to “get coding.” A great place to start is this week’s Featured Sites, all fabulous coding resources (most are recently added). If the Hour of Code is new to you, Code.org is a great place to start. Another fabulous site with ideas for the Hour of Code is Tynker. If you are just getting started with coding, this article will help to get your coding gears rolling. Maybe you are looking for tips and strategies to motivate your students to “get into gear” with coding, check out this article.


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The Days of December
December is chock full of special days, awareness weeks, commemorative dates, and more! December is HIV/AIDS Awareness Month. Use these resources to educate your students. We also remember the attacks on Pearl Harbor in December. Find resources to teach about Pearl Harbor and World War II. We can’t forget to mention (again) the Hour of Code, which happens to fall during Computer Science Education Week! December is probably best known as the gift-giving season. Whether you are looking for resources about Hanukkah, Christmas, or Kwanzaa, be sure to explore our curated lists on TeachersFirst.


Professional Development

OK2Ask Rewind
We just concluded a Fabulous Fall of free PD offered through our OK2Ask online workshops. If you didn’t get a chance to join us, our archived sessions are FREE to view anytime. Some of the fall topics included Digital Storytelling, Chrome Features and Extensions for Accessibility, Tech Integration Made Easy with Animoto, Coding for Kids, and others. Our archives are free to view. However, we do not offer PD certificates for viewing archived sessions.


Tweet Time!
Join us for our Twitter Chat (#OK2Ask) THIS Thursday December 1 - 1:1 Classrooms. We also have a session on Thursday December 15th titled Google Extensions. Our Twitter chats start at 8pm Eastern.

TeachersFirst Exclusives

Exploring Africa!
Our December TogetheRead theme takes us to the beautiful continent of Africa. TogetheRead provides a list of recommended books, questions, and activities designed to build stronger readers. The themes include books for all ages, centered on the same theme. Parents find questions to ask as the family reads, deepening comprehension before, during, and after reading. Included are free and low-cost ideas for activities families can do together, as well. TogetheRead involves the entire family in supporting literacy.


Coding, Coding... 1-2-3
We encourage all of our readers to try the Hour of Code and beyond! We are here to offer you support on the journey. We have created a curated list of what we consider the BEST coding resources that are currently reviewed on TeachersFirst. We also recently had an OK2Ask session all about Coding with Kids. View the archive together with other colleagues ready to take off with coding. Our most recent Twitter chat was also related to the Hour of Code and coding with kids. View the archived Twitter chat here.

What Level?
This week’s Teacher Poll asks: What level do you currently teach? Place your vote on the teacher poll on the TeachersFirst home page.

TeachersFirst Featured Sites

Explore this week’s Featured Sites:

  • FreeCodeCamp
  • Girls Who Code
  • CodeHow
  • Code Warriors
  • Thimble
  • Flappy Code
  • Dash
  • Code Hunt
  • Pencil Code Gym
  • And more

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this December 11th, or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived November 27th Features here, and don’t miss our many other recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured Sites page.

We hope that this Update got you excited to start coding with your kids. Coding is a fabulous way to motivate and challenge your students. Regardless of their age, student love to code. Happy Coding!

Melissa Henning
Educational Content Manager
TeachersFirst/Source For Learning