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Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™

What do you love about teaching? Love is more than just Valentine’s Day. The love of teaching is feeling satisfaction in small things that will last: a flash of understanding, a desire to find out more, a first time accomplishment, a conquered challenge. TeachersFirst shares resources to spark the teaching moments you love.


Tags: from PreK to pi
Have you noticed the small words at the end of the description in TeachersFirst reviews? These are tags, a type of keyword that helps you find related resources. We have a set of over 850 tags for curriculum topics that we know fit your curriculum. Click the tag to find “more like this” the same way you do when shopping on Amazon. As more and more schools expand into offering PreK, TeachersFirst added a preK tag to label resources for PreK teachers. Do you teach math? Watch for math topic tags, such as pi. Tags lead to even more learning, no matter what you teach.


Living Green
Discover CurriConnects, our leveled booklists for independent reading in support of curriculum. These lists include Lexiles® and interest levels for books related to what students are learning in school. Help students make connections through both fiction and informational texts, perfect for Common Core reading, as well! Our latest CurriConnect list is Living Green, books about efforts to live green and do what is good for our environment.  See the full list of CurriConnects topics from elementary to high school and ideas for how to use them.


In the middle
Middle school teachers are a different breed (and delightfully so!). If you are mentoring a new middle school teacher, working with a student teacher, or trying to advise a middle school substitute, be sure to share TeachersFirst’s Middle School Dos and Don’ts, tips for learning success from veteran middle school teachers. If you have a suggestion to add, please use the Contact Us link in the footer of all TeachersFirst pages. Be sure to tell us that you are sharing a middle school tip so we know the context of your message.


Hearts and presidents
Valentine’s Day is this week and Presidents Day soon after. February is also Black History Month and Dental Health Month. Find resources for these events and more in the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar. Why not sneak a peek at March?


February Freebies (actually free all year)
Feel free to learn with OK2Ask®. Choose from a wide selection of friendly, live, online sessions for self-directed professional development. Registration is now open for spring OK2Ask® sessions. Most last 75 minutes, but please read the details of each. Check for times and descriptions to register NOW:


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

Now I See! Infographics as content scaffold and creative, formative assessment... even if you don’t think visually
Thursday April 11

One to One: Ideas and Tips for Teaching in a 1:1 Classroom 
Monday April 29


Let it snow
Regions and cultures have marvelous differences simply because of weather. Across the World Once a Week (#xw1w) gives your students a peek 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. XW1W for the week of February 10: How often do you see snow?


Tour with the teens
Geo and Meri are touring in Thailand this week on Globetracker’s Mission. Your students in grades 2-6 will “pick up” geography, map skills, landforms, and more simply by following Globetracker’s Mission, Ready to Go any time at bottom center on the TeachersFirst home page.


Planning PD?
How does your administration handle teacher professional development?
Share what your school does via weekly teacher poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Featured Sites
This week in our Featured Sites, find new ways to see and learn:

  • Images you can USE
  • Books for Black History
  • Creative math lessons
  • A writing prompt a day—delivered to you
  • An interactive tree of life
  • An eclectic museum
  • Basics of finance and money
  • Songs to learn by
  • Code talkers
  • Romans
  • Two amazing tools

And MORE. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this February 10 or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived February 10 Features here, and don’t miss our many additional recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured sites page.

May you find moments this week where you LOVE being a teacher.

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