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Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™

Winter is a time to rediscover comfort foods and oldies but goodies from the back of your sweater drawer. So this week our Featured Sites are oldies but goodies from the TeachersFirst database of over 15,000 reviewed resources. Remember to search TeachersFirst for the many great teaching resources that may have slipped to the bottom of your collection. Remember to use your free membership to mark them as favorites so you won’t lose them again.


Listen up!
Many students need the extra support of “reading “ by listening to an audio book or following an interactive book to build comprehension and more. TeachersFirst’s collection of reviewed audio book sites is a must have at any level. Help your learning support students, ELL, and auditory learners with this vast collection. Some include downloadable MP3 files perfect to accompany your February fitness routine!


Ski? Snowboard? Snowball fights?
Make winter a shared experience. Across the World Once a Week (#xw1w) takes just a moment or two of class time for students get a peak into everyday life in other places. Share responses about life where you live and learn about others with Across the World Once a Week (XW1W). This quick activity uses microblogging and something called a hashtag. It’s easy! Get started now with these simple directions and FAQ. Tell your teacher friends!
XW1W for the week of January 27: What is our favorite outdoor winter activity? 


February Festivities
Around now, most schools are celebrating (or have celebrated) the 100th day of school and soon Black History Month and Dental Health Month. Some classes even take a “seasonal” break for Groundhog Day. Valentines Day is a favorite, as well. Find resources for these events and more on the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar.


FREE for February (and the rest of the year)
OK2Ask® is better than Groundhog Day. We just keep coming back with more free offerings. Registration is now open for OK2Ask® FREE learning opportunities through March.  Registration for April and May sessions will open about 60 days in advance. Join other teachers in live, friendly, online sessions for self-directed professional development. Most sessions are 75 minutes, but please read the details of each. Check for times and descriptions to register NOW:

Google Goodies! Hidden Treasures and Teacher Favorites; Thursday February 7

Light up Literacy: PreK-3 Reading/Language Arts Ideas and Resources; Monday February 11

Wiki Workshop: An Open Help and Collaboration Session (Extended Time Session); Monday February 25

Hands Off, Vanna: Giving Students Control of Interactive Whiteboard Learning; Thursday March 7

Blooms 2.0: Promoting ALL levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy through Technology; Monday March 11

Sharing and Solutions for Technology Coaches/Trainers (60 min session); Thursday March 21


Next stop: Asia
Geo and Meri arrive in Asia this week on Globetracker’s Mission. Your students’ votes determined their first stop. Find out whether they are in Japan, Korea, or Indonesia. Classes in grades 2-6 learn geography, map skills, landforms, and more by following Globetracker’s Mission, Ready to Go any time at bottom center on the TeachersFirst home page. Discover why teachers send fan mail to Globetracker (and what Holy Idaho means).


YOUR opinion about homework?
At what age should students take responsibility for their homework without parent reminders? Share what you think in the weekly teacher poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Featured Sites
This week in our Featured Sites, find Oldies but Goodies, past Featured Sites worth sharing again:

  • Writing prompts
  • Ways to change the world, at least a little
  • Cool tools to create comics, pop-up books, and pie charts
  • Civil War and Lincoln
  • Help with Common Core
  • Climate science
  • current events for kids
  • Behavior management
  • Snowflakes!

And other timely offerings. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this February 3 or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived January 27 Features here, and don’t miss our many additional recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured sites page.


May this week give you and your students a change to rediscover what you may have forgotten.

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