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Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™

Everything has its official month. We have months to be aware of things, prevent things, celebrate things, commemorate things, decorate things, and learn about things. October is certainly a month of many purposes, all of which are meaningful and noble. No matter which official October designation is most important to you and your students, every month is a month for you to celebrate learning. Let TeachersFirst help, whether it is “official” or not.


TeachersFirst Best Find: member public pages
If you have a free TeachersFirst membership, you can mark favorites within TeachersFirst and share them with a click via a TeachersFirst “public page.” No more copying/pasting urls, watching students mistype, or tracking down the reviewed resources you used for that project last year. Share the web resources for the next project or assignment, and turn them on and off any time. Tag them with the project name in TeachersFirst and click the checkbox to share them on your public page. Snap! You can even include short notes about them. This sample teacher public page will give you the idea. If you don’t have the time to make a teacher web page but need a quick way to share resources and announcements, this is just the time saver you need.


Haunted in October?
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. It is also International Dinosaur Month and includes National Fire Prevention Week (Oct 9-15), Columbus Day, Earth Science Week, and many more events.  Of course, there are Fall Festivals and Halloween celebrations to plan. Let TeachersFirst’s Classroom Planning Calendar, front and center on our home page, keep you from getting spooked.


Map skills and landforms and geography, Oh My!
Holy Idaho! This year’s Globetracker’s Mission preview episode is online!  Check it out now as you plan for your students in grades 2-6 to learn standards-aligned geography, map skills, landforms, and more just by following teens Geo and Meri via their weekly blog. The teens will need your help deciding what to do each week. Each episode even includes a Google Earth file for you to trace the teens’ path! Preview now and read our suggestions for following the Mission. New weekly episodes begin October 23 and will last until the end of April.


OK2Ask™ does Google Earth
Need an after school snack? OK2Ask™ is a series of free, live, online "snack sessions" for self-directed teacher professional development and exploration. Join us from any computer. Register now for our October offering and see the full OK2Ask™ schedule for this school year. For more information and FAQs, see the OK2Ask section under TeachersFirst’s Professional tab.
Google Earth: Take your lessons INTO this world; Tuesday, October 18, 2011


This Week's Poll
What is the best thing about using an online gradebook visible from home? Tell us how this helps parents, students, or you. Take the poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


XW1W question for the week of October 2: Do you ever wear a hat? When? Across the World Once a Week (XW1W) uses microblogging or blogging tools to share responses about everyday life from any corner of the world. The XW1W FAQ page explains it all. Make today’s instant communications an instant learning experience.


Four Seasons
October is Four Seasons month at TogetheRead, the family literacy feature from our sister site, TeachersAndFamilies. TogetheRead offers monthly themes for family literacy (for ALL ages, not just little ones). Find free book suggestions and activity ideas for all ages and prompts to build effective reading strategies as families share reading time together or individually. Include TogetheRead in your class web page or online school newsletter. Fall into family reading fun.


Featured Sites
This week’s Featured Sites include the creative, the humorous, and the useful:

  • Math sites for practice and for humor
  • Two very cool, timesaving tools for teachers
  • The science of flight
  • Fire prevention week
  • A great place for YOU to find new ideas
  • A look at the third world
  • Poems from surprising sources
  • An artful tool for geometry and photos

And more. Don’t miss all our recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured sites page.


May you celebrate something special happening in your students’ minds this week.


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