TeachersFirst Special Topics Collections

TeachersFirst's Special Topics collections help you find just what you and your students need, just in time for an upcoming unit, a holiday, focused research, student-directed exploration, or projects on a curriculum topic or event. You can be comfortable sharing the Special Topic links with students or parents, knowing that TeachersFirst’s Thinking Teachers have selected and reviewed each resource. Find classroom and project suggestions within each review, use the collection to find just what you need for your lessons. Some teachers assign these lists as the core resources for a broader student assignment. Editor’s Choice collections offer "the best of the best" for topics of particular interest. TeachersFirst also offers collections on professional special topics to help you meet particular teaching challenges.

 

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TeachersFirst's BYOD Dream Tools: Free Tools that Work on ANY device! - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
This collection of reviewed tools from TeachersFirst includes apps that are available for FREE on iOS (iPad, iPhone), Android, and web devices. Ideal for BYOD classrooms or 1:1 computer/tablet...more
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This collection of reviewed tools from TeachersFirst includes apps that are available for FREE on iOS (iPad, iPhone), Android, and web devices. Ideal for BYOD classrooms or 1:1 computer/tablet programs, these reviewed tools allow users to create and access projects using the same app, no matter what kind of device they have.

tag(s): classroom management (135), DAT device agnostic tool (200)

In the Classroom

Mark this page in your Favorites to use when choosing or recommending tools for your students (or their parents). Be sure to read the "Edge Features" list at the end of each review to know whether you need to create individual accounts, how products can be shared, and other tips on using these DATs safely and within school policies. This is a must-have list for students collaborating on projects using different types of devices! If you teach gifted students working on advanced projects or have students all working on different projects all at the same time, use this collection of tools as a trusted starting point for students to create their products on any device they may bring to class (or work on from home).

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TeachersFirst's China and Cross-Cultural Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students build a better understanding of other cultures, especially China, through related...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students build a better understanding of other cultures, especially China, through related projects and classroom activities. Every culture tends to focus on its own way of thinking and doing. In order to prepare our students for life, twenty-first century classrooms must foster cross-cultural understanding as a vital aspect of learning in today's global society. This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students build a better understanding of other cultures, especially China, through related projects and classroom activities. TeachersFirst welcomes suggestions of additional free teaching resources for our team to review. Please mention "cross-cultural" in your message.

tag(s): china (66)

In the Classroom

Share this collection as a starter page for projects when your class is studying China. Have students create their own cross-cultural projects using an online poster tool such as GlogsterEDU, reviewed here or a comic creator from this collection.

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TeachersFirst's Earthquake Resources - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students understand how earthquakes happen and learn about famous earthquakes in history. Also...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students understand how earthquakes happen and learn about famous earthquakes in history. Also included are sites and tools well suited for projects about earthquakes.

tag(s): earthquakes (48), plate tectonics (23)

In the Classroom

Share this collection as a Favorite on your TeachersFirst public page so students can use the resources as part of a project during your unit on plate tectonics or natural disasters. Use the collection as a starting point, noting the resources that are more challenging for your more able students.

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TeachersFirst's Interactive Audio Books Resources - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books in interactive form so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience reading with...more
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These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books in interactive form so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience reading with audio and visual prompts or interactivity to reinforce and inspire literacy skills and enjoyment as they read. Be sure to explore each site, as many include multiple types of activities, including the interactive books.

tag(s): audio books (32)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your professional favorites AND share it on a class web page for access by students and parents. The helpful reviews suggest ideas for ways to use the audio books in the classroom or outside of school to reinforce literacy skills, improve English skills, or study literature in new ways.

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TeachersFirst's Mothers' Day Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Mothers' Day in this collection from TeachersFirst. The resources include many project ideas for elementary students. Some of the creative...more
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Mothers' Day in this collection from TeachersFirst. The resources include many project ideas for elementary students. Some of the creative tools will lure even older students into writing and creating much=appreciated gifts.

tag(s): mothers day (13)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to connect Mothers' Day to your curriculum in almost any subject or select one or two ideas to highlight along with your regular lessons.

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TeachersFirst's National History Day Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
6 to 12
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Whether your students actually compete in National History Day or not, the annual themes and the challenge of hands-on, primary resarch wrapped into the History Day project format is...more
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Whether your students actually compete in National History Day or not, the annual themes and the challenge of hands-on, primary resarch wrapped into the History Day project format is an engaging way for students to participate in their own learning and produce rigorous, meaningful projects they will never forget. This collection of TeachersFirst resources pulls from our offerings on primary sources as well as resources related to the 2010 National History Day theme of "Innovation in History." Explore and share these offerings as you plan a "history day" type event for your school or to assist students participating in National History Day.

tag(s): history day (23)

In the Classroom

Share this link on your class web page or use it as a jumping off point for students beginning research for National History Day projects or you school's own history celebration. Have students create their projects using free web based tools, such as those reviewed as part of the TeachersFirst Edge. To provide a way for students to help each other with the technology tasks, limit options to one or two tools such as ThingLink (,reviewed here,) for interviews or Bookemon (reviewed here) for creating interactive books. Or create a whole-class wiki with student group history projects on separate pages. Learn more about wikis from the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.

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TeachersFirst's New Year's Day Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Find resources and activities appropriate for New Year's in this collection from TeachersFirst. ...more
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Find resources and activities appropriate for New Year's in this collection from TeachersFirst.

tag(s): new years (11)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to connect New Years and related "new" celebrations to your curriculum in almost any subject or select one or two ideas to highlight along with your regular lessons. Note that a new school year is also a good time for resolutions!

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TeachersFirst's Resources for Easter - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 8
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Easter in this collection from TeachersFirst. Most are suited for elementary, and a few for middle school. ...more
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Easter in this collection from TeachersFirst. Most are suited for elementary, and a few for middle school.

tag(s): easter (21)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to connect Easter to your curriculum in almost any subject or select one or two ideas to highlight along with your regular lessons.

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TeachersFirst's Resources for Groundhog Day - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students celebrate and learn about Groundhog Day and to plan related projects and classroom...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students celebrate and learn about Groundhog Day and to plan related projects and classroom activities. Whether you choose to focus on groundhogs during an animal unit or on the history of this pop-culture event in the context of superstitions and traditions, these ideas and resources will get you started.

tag(s): holidays (147), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Share this link on your class web page for use both in and out of class. Have students do a science journal about the groundhog or write a blog post as the groundhog! A word of warning: since Punxsutawney Phil is the focus of attention at a very specific time on a specific day, you may have trouble accessing these sites on the big morning. You may want to visit these sites with your class a day or two ahead!

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TeachersFirst's Resources for Infographics - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
Find a targeted collection of infographic resources including tools for creating them, collections of great infographic examples, and sites with professional information for teachers...more
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Find a targeted collection of infographic resources including tools for creating them, collections of great infographic examples, and sites with professional information for teachers planning to use infographics for student projects and assessments.

tag(s): infographics (42)

In the Classroom

Join the21st century trend of infographics as a way to share a lot of information, quantitative data, and relationships in a compact but effective visual space. Help students learn and construct meaning using infographics. Share this collection on your class web page as a starting point for students.

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TeachersFirst's Resources for the Sochi Olympics - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Find resources to help you learn more about the Sochi Olympics, 2014. Explore the curriculum-related projects and classroom activities centered around the Olympic winter games in Sochi....more
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Find resources to help you learn more about the Sochi Olympics, 2014. Explore the curriculum-related projects and classroom activities centered around the Olympic winter games in Sochi.

tag(s): olympics (47)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to plan a special lesson or unit within your curriculum during the Olympics. Share articles for practice with informational text. Include the Olympics in study of world cultures, lessons on health and fitness, or discussions about personal goal setting and persistence. Share the link on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class for enrichment or individual projects.

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TeachersFirst's September 11 Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students understand the events of September 11, 2001, and to plan lessons or discussions so students can...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students understand the events of September 11, 2001, and to plan lessons or discussions so students can see the events of September 11 in connection with history, current events, and the challenges and balances of national security. Whether you stop to observe September 11 separately from your regular curriculum or include it through curricular connections to writing and social studies topics, these resources can help today's students imagine the events of a day before their memory but ever present in the American consciousness.

tag(s): terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

Include one or more of these sites as your observe September 11 in your classroom or make the link available on your class web site for students who ask about the events of this pivotal day. You will find many specific project or class activity ideas within the reviews themselves.

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TeachersFirst's Snow Day Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Use this collection of resources to "plan ahead" for snow days. Whether you want to stop and appreciate snow for snow's sake by creating snowflakes and studying this striking weather...more
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Use this collection of resources to "plan ahead" for snow days. Whether you want to stop and appreciate snow for snow's sake by creating snowflakes and studying this striking weather phenomenon or you simply need a way to convene your class for some snow day collaboration, you will find tools and ideas here for any grade level. Even if a blizzard should close your school for a week, these links can prevent cabin fever for all, and keep the learning moving!

In the Classroom

Share this link on your class web page or TeachersFirst public page so your class is prepared.

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TeachersFirst's Summer Sparklers - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of editors' choices from TeachersFirst will spark summer excitement for parents and kids alike. Whether your want to create something, ignite new learning, or hold on...more
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This collection of editors' choices from TeachersFirst will spark summer excitement for parents and kids alike. Whether your want to create something, ignite new learning, or hold on to what you already know, you will savor these safe, reviewer-recommended resources. Be sure to share with your friends, neighbors, and family. Teachers will want to share this page with students departing for summer break. Summer will never be "boring" again!

tag(s): enrichment (13), summer (12)

In the Classroom

Share the link to this special collection via your class web page, newsletter, or email to all your students as they depart for vacation. You will help parents and students alike. Avoid the "summer slide."

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TeachersFirst's Take Your Child to Work Day Resources - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students explore careers and ways to share what they learn from visiting their parent's work place on Take...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students explore careers and ways to share what they learn from visiting their parent's work place on Take Your Child to Work Day or any other career visit. Make Take Your Child to Work Day an opportunity to connect the classroom with the real world and for students to share and collaborate about careers visits and educational trips. Make Take You Child to Work Day a meaningful day ON instead of a "day off." Use these ideas to spark discussions about careers and planning for life.

tag(s): careers (132)

In the Classroom

Share this link on your class web page or wiki as students request leave for TYCTWD. Use the ideas ad resources to assign career-related projects for them to share when they return to class. At other times of the year, use these resources for career day explorations or individual projects as part of a guidance class.

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TeachersFirst's Thanksgiving Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Thanksgiving in this collection from TeachersFirst. ...more
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Thanksgiving in this collection from TeachersFirst.

tag(s): holidays (147), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to connect Thanksgiving to your curriculum in almost any subject or select one or two ideas to highlight along with your regular lessons.

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TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Learn the basics about Twitter, the popular microblogging tool, and how it can help you with personalized, immediate professional development and collaboration with other teachers in...more
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Learn the basics about Twitter, the popular microblogging tool, and how it can help you with personalized, immediate professional development and collaboration with other teachers in other schools. This collection of reviewed resources related to Twitter will help you get started using Twitter safely for your own learning and possibly expand into using Twitter for class connections with other classrooms. The information includes basic terms such as "hastags," and even features a "widget" to show current "tweets" by educator-specific hashtag groups. Watch the sidebar (if it is not blocked in your school) to get a sense of the sharing possible on Twitter.

tag(s): social networking (112), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Make this page a must-learn for teaching in the 21st century. Mark it in your favorites to return often to watch the embedded tweets from educators all over the world. Then muster your courage to set up a Twitter account of your own. Follow @teachersfirst or our lead Thinking Teacher @cshively, and we'll be sure to welcome you!

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TeachersFirst's Valentine's Day Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Valentine's Day in this collection from TeachersFirst. ...more
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Valentine's Day in this collection from TeachersFirst.

tag(s): valentines day (14)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to connect Valentine's Day to your curriculum in almost any subject or select one or two ideas to highlight along with your regular lessons.

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TeachersFirst's Webquest Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers, parents, and students find, use, and create webquests. Teachers can find examples of webquests...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers, parents, and students find, use, and create webquests. Teachers can find examples of webquests across the curriculum (and places to find MORE). Both students and teachers can find tools for creating their own webquests. We have even included some sample web resources as terrific seeds for webquest ideas.

In the Classroom

Mark this in your professional favorites for planning and finding webquests. The webquest format has been around for years and can be adapted many ways. Start from this collection and consider designing a webquest "Task" that uses a collaborative, web 2.0 tool such as those reviewed in the TeachersFirst Edge listings. Today's students will love the authentic, creative tasks and collaboration made possible by today's tools. TeachersFirst Edge reviews include ways to use the tools safely and within school policies, for a learning "win-win." You might even want to have student groups design their own webquests for classmates to try as a new twist on "jigsaw" learning.

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Understanding Economics and Money: TeachersFirst Editors' Choices - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Understanding how world economic systems work can mystify even the experts, but all of us need to understand the basics of how an economy functions, especially as current events challenge...more
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Understanding how world economic systems work can mystify even the experts, but all of us need to understand the basics of how an economy functions, especially as current events challenge us to adjust to tough times. This special collection of resources has been hand-picked by the editors of TeachersFirst from among our many reviewed resources on economics and money. These selections were chosen to help students (and families) grasp basic economic principles, personal financial planning, and banking at an age-appropriate level.

tag(s): financial literacy (80), money (193), recession (3)

In the Classroom

Browse these editors' choice resources to find the best for your classroom needs. Don't forget that you can use economics information to teach math concepts. Make your lessons relevant in today's world by connecting the economic concepts as you teach writing, reading, and more. As your students master the concept, have them create a "Kids Guide to the Economy" on a class wiki or make videos on single concepts to be shared via tools such as SchoolTube (reviewed here) or TeacherTube (reviewed here).

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