TeachersFirst Professional Exclusives

TeachersFirst’s Professional Exclusives help you learn as a teacher, try new technologies, explore new teaching strategies, or understand student differences. Discover how and why to use wikis from the Wiki Walk-Through. Learn to adapt for ESL students in a regular classroom. Learn the how and why of better rubrics – and locate or create them easily. Every TeachersFirst professional exclusive is written by experienced teachers and includes the pragmatic, teacher-friendly details that you count on from our Thinking Teachers.

 

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OK2Ask: 3 Cool Tools to Amp Up Collaboration - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from September 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore three online tools for collaboration with peers and students. Discover...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from September 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore three online tools for collaboration with peers and students. Discover the differences between collaboration and group work. Discuss and learn ways to foster collaboration in the classroom. Share with peers the positives of collaboration and strategies for encouraging participants when faced with difficulties. Begin to develop a collaborative activity for your individual needs. Participants will: 1. Understand the difference between collaboration and group work; 2. Compare/Contrast three online tools for collaboration; and 3. Explore three online tools for collaboration. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): collaboration (27)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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OK2Ask: 3 Cool Tools for Building Your PLN - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from May 2018, opens in Adobe Connect. Interested in learning what you need, when you need it, and in a format ...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from May 2018, opens in Adobe Connect. Interested in learning what you need, when you need it, and in a format that works for you? As teachers, we know that the standard Professional Development (PD) offered at our schools doesn't always meet our learning needs or learning style. It may be too general, focused on a school initiative, or simply focused on a productivity tool - like the gradebook. Additionally, the timing of the standard PD may not be optimal. Explore three online resources that will meet your personal learning needs and help you improve your craft as a teacher. Join this session and you'll never want for good PD again! Participants will: 1. Distinguish between three types of online Professional Learning tools; 2. Explore three online tools for building your PLN; and 3. Identify keywords and/or educators to incorporate into the use of each tool. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): PLN (7), professional development (161), social media (26), social networking (111)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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OK2Ask: Class Hacks Using Microsoft Office - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from August 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. Would you like to hack your classroom and gain more instructional time with...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from August 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. Would you like to hack your classroom and gain more instructional time with your students? Come learn tricks and tips for using Microsoft Office online more efficiently so that you can hack your classroom, save time, and gain more time to spend on what matters the most- your students! Participants will: 1. Explore Microsoft tools that can be used to create interactive lessons; 2. Learn to use Microsoft tools to simplify creating presentations; and 3. Convert handouts to digitally editable files. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): Microsoft (37)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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OK2Ask: Make the Most of Your TeachersFirst Membership - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from January 2018, opens in Adobe Connect. Inspire technology integrated lessons for student learning based on web-based...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from January 2018, opens in Adobe Connect. Inspire technology integrated lessons for student learning based on web-based resources. Learn about the features and benefits of your free TeachersFirst membership. This session will briefly share how to find and use resources on TeachersFirst to help you save time. Remember, it is OK2Ask questions at any time! Participants will: 1. Explore TeachersFirst membership features; 2. Identify and share resources to support classroom instruction; and 3. Prepare to use the features of TeachersFirst membership to maximize student learning. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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OK2Ask: My Students Need That! Chrome Features & Extensions for Accessibility - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. No time to comb through Chrome's content? Learn about Google Chrome's accessibility...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. No time to comb through Chrome's content? Learn about Google Chrome's accessibility features and extensions to best meet you and your students' needs. Google Chrome is the "Magician's Hat" of content built-in the browser. Google Chrome was named because the developer liked fast, and shiny cars. However, the design philosophy was content and not chrome. Chrome has features that are designed for efficiency and ease of use. Chrome is the luxury browser of the web, and it's dashboard rivals that of a luxury car. Explore the Chrome Web Store to learn features and extensions to support and enrich your student's online experience. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: 1. Learn how to locate accessibility features and extensions; 2. Learn how to integrate extensions to best meet your students' needs; 3. Learn extensions and features to support your Google Chrome experience; and 4. Collect extensions to use in your classroom. Remember, it is OK2Ask'® questions at any time! This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): Google (27)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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Mining the Riches of History: Creating Oral Histories - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 9
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This installment in the Help I lost my library/media specialist series offers a step by step approach to an oral history research unit, written by an experienced elementary library/media...more
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This installment in the Help I lost my library/media specialist series offers a step by step approach to an oral history research unit, written by an experienced elementary library/media specialist. Although nothing can replace the specialized knowledge of a teacher-librarian, this plan will inspire any teacher to incorporate interviewing skills and oral histories into your teaching. Lesson ideas and resources for interviewing, primary sources, and sharing make this unit especially exciting.

tag(s): interviews (13), local history (15), primary sources (93)

In the Classroom

Mark this in your Favorites as a way to develop information literacy in your classes, even if you no longer have a library/media specialist to help out.

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OK2Ask: Okay, Okay...Let's Build a Google Site Today - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Google Sites is not only powerful but easy to use tool to create a ...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Google Sites is not only powerful but easy to use tool to create a variety of websites. In this session, participants will explore the basics of setting up a classroom or student Google Site. This will include the following: welcome page, calendar page, files page, links page, pictures page, announcement (blog) page, and more. Easily move your current information to Google Sites, begin your own Site, or learn what Google Sites is all about. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: 1. Identify the basic pages and features in Google Sites; 2. Become familiar with the tools for creating a Site of their own; and 3. Explore the possible uses of Google Sites in the classroom or with their students. Remember, it is OK2Ask'® questions at any time! This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): Google (27)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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OK2Ask: Technology Integration Made Easy with Blendspace - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from August 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. Transform your classroom lessons by learning how to use Blendspace. Engage...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from August 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. Transform your classroom lessons by learning how to use Blendspace. Engage students and deepen content area knowledge by collecting and bundling resources online. Learn how to collect and upload video, photos, text and add quizzes to create engaging digital lessons that students can complete at their own pace. Use digital media to add context to content area instruction for your students and monitor progress. Brainstorm with others how you and your students can use Blendspace in your classroom. This session is for teachers at ALL technology comfort levels. As a result of this session, teachers will: 1. Learn basic use of Blendspace; 2. Explore three different ways to use Blendspace in the classroom; and 3. Plan for the use of Blendspace in the classroom.

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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OK2Ask: Google MANIA - G Suite Hacks for Every Teacher's Toolbox - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. G Suite is a powerful digital ecosystem that is revolutionizing classroom...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. G Suite is a powerful digital ecosystem that is revolutionizing classroom instruction and teacher productivity. It is full of rich features that are unknown to many of us. Join us for a fast-paced look at tips and tricks that will help you become even more productive. From keyboard shortcuts to navigation, formatting tips, and productivity assists, tap into the power of GSuite to provide rich instructional supports for your classroom. This session is for teachers at ALL technology comfort levels. As a result of this session teachers will: 1. Look at G suite tips and features that support creativity, communication, and collaboration; 2. Learn keyboard shortcuts to increase productivity in G Suite; and 3. Understand productivity workflows that facilitate instruction.

tag(s): Google (27)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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OK2Ask: Google MANIA - Winning Ways to Use Google Forms in the Classroom - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. Make the most of Google Forms to support effective classroom instruction...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. Make the most of Google Forms to support effective classroom instruction and increase student engagement. Powerful, simple, and loaded with options, Google Forms can be used to create exit tickets, surveys, quizzes, and rubrics as well as to collect data and communicate with students and parents. Google Forms is the go-to web-based form tool for teachers. It is completely free and allows for unlimited questions and responses, as well as logic branching. This session is for teachers at ALL technology comfort levels. As a result of this session teachers will: 1. Explore the features of Google Forms; 2. Learn ways to use Google Forms in the classroom; and 3. Plan for the use of Google Forms in the classroom.

tag(s): Google (27)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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OK2Ask: TeachersFirst Tech Tools Smackdown - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. There are many technology tools available for classroom use, but which ones...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. There are many technology tools available for classroom use, but which ones are teachers' favorites? This session will share and compare some of TeachersFirst contributors' favorite resources. Help us decide which tool is the session winner of our Smackdown! This session is for teachers at ALL technology comfort levels. As a result of this session, teachers will: 1. Learn about and compare some of TeachersFirst contributors' favorite technology tools; 2. Evaluate uses for one or more tools for classroom use; and 3. Share ideas for using resources with other participants.

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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OK2Ask: Zombies at Your Door? Survive the Horde with Your Google Bug-Out Bag - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Zombies at Your Door? Survive the Horde with Your Google Bug-Out Bag. In...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Zombies at Your Door? Survive the Horde with Your Google Bug-Out Bag. In this fast-paced session, participants will take part in a model lesson designed to add a narrative context to formative assessment. Learn to "set the scene" while integrating technology in the lesson. Both you and your students will enjoy this twist on assessment and feedback. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: 1. Learn to use a narrative to frame formative assessment; and 2. Create a sample formative assessment for use in their classroom. Remember, it is OK2Ask''® questions at any time! This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): Google (27)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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OK2Ask: Authentic Assessment with Office 365: Forms, Sway, and More - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from May 2018, opens in Adobe Connect. Are you looking for ways to make your formative and summative assessments more...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from May 2018, opens in Adobe Connect. Are you looking for ways to make your formative and summative assessments more effective? Join us to learn how to use Office 365 tools, including Forms, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Sway, to create authentic assessments throughout your units. Whether it's formative or summative assessment, finding ways to effectively measure students' understanding is crucial to ensure student progress and future success. In this session, we will explore how you can use Office and Windows products to create better formative and summative assessments that reliably measure student learning, promote critical thinking, and help students develop real-world skills. Participants will: 1. Explore the meaning of the term "authentic assessment"; 2. Evaluate several formats of assessment for their usefulness to assess student learning; and 3. Identify a variety of assessment methods and plan for their use in the classroom. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): assessment (116), Microsoft (37)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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OK2Ask: Hidden Treasures: Engaging and Free Resources from TeachersFirst - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore the teacher-friendly features of TeachersFirst to help you save time...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore the teacher-friendly features of TeachersFirst to help you save time in developing technology infused lessons. Participants will learn strategies to incorporate the tools of the web successfully into any classroom. This session is for teachers at ALL technology comfort levels. As a result of this session teachers will: 1. Locate resources within TeachersFirst to provide real-world learning experiences for their students; 2. Locate and evaluate effective, web-based tools and resources in support of teaching and learning, both for themselves and for their students; and 3. Plan to use TeachersFirst's value-added reviews to plan technology infused lessons.

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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For the Sake of Argument: Another Common Core Shift - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
2 Favorites 0  Comments
This installment in a series of articles about implementing Common Core in elementary focuses on argument/opinion writing and reading activities that can go together. The CCSS require...more
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This installment in a series of articles about implementing Common Core in elementary focuses on argument/opinion writing and reading activities that can go together. The CCSS require that all students work to become independent writers of three types of texts: narrative, informational/explanatory, and opinion/argument and recommend that the time spent on each type in the elementary grades be roughly the same. Find ideas to implement this shift. The article is intended for elementary teachers as part of our Help! I lost my library/media specialist series.

tag(s): commoncore (89), expository writing (40), letter writing (19), persuasive writing (57), writing (366)

In the Classroom

If you are fortunate enough to have a library/media specialist to partner with you, try these ideas together, including read-alouds and writing activities to follow up. Mark this article in your favorites and refer back to it for ideas to integrate writing into science or social studies activities, especially for opportunities to have students write and/or read opinion/argument pieces.

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Questions and Thinking in Common Core; Part 2: Students as Questioners - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 8
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This installment is part of a series of articles about implementing Common Core. This article examines the role that questioning can play in the Common Core and offers some ways ...more
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This installment is part of a series of articles about implementing Common Core. This article examines the role that questioning can play in the Common Core and offers some ways to help students develop a questioning mindset to use as part of "close reading" of texts in elementary grades on up. A separate article, Part I of Questions and Thinking in Common Core, discusses Teachers as Questioners. Both articles are intended for elementary teachers as part of our Help! I lost my library/media specialist series but are easily adapted for middle and high school grades.

tag(s): commoncore (89), questioning (37), thinking skills (16)

In the Classroom

Read lesson ideas and explore the questioning strategies suggested as you begin to implement Common Core. Mark this article in your Favorites. Many of the ideas will be helpful during curriculum planning sessions with other teachers. Click the "share" widget to send them to others!

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OK2Ask: Google MANIA - Create Engaging Student Projects with G Suite Apps - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. G Suite is a toolbox full of powerful creation instruments that, when infused...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. G Suite is a toolbox full of powerful creation instruments that, when infused effectively, engage students and deepen learning by supporting instructional objectives. This session will introduce a number of "doable" yet academically robust projects. Learn to use templates to maximize time spent on content vs. format and how to harness G Suite's power to design meaningful, authentic assessments where students perform real-world tasks that demonstrate application and understanding. This session is for teachers at ALL technology comfort levels. As a result of this session, teachers will: 1. Explore ideas for projects using G Suite tools; 2. Learn to leverage templates for student projects; and 3. Learn to use G Suite to create authentic formative and summative assessments.

tag(s): Google (27)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Common Core Shift: Short, Focused Research Projects - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 3
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This article explains the idea of short, focused research projects as emphasized by Common Core. Find out the background, the why and what, and more as you see an example ...more
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This article explains the idea of short, focused research projects as emphasized by Common Core. Find out the background, the why and what, and more as you see an example you can use when teaching about the water cycle in elementary grades. Use a readaloud of a recommended book to get your class started. This particular example is for lower elementary, but the article is useful for elementary teachers at any level. The article and the sample project are written (and field tested!) by an experienced elementary library/media specialist.

tag(s): commoncore (89), water cycle (32)

In the Classroom

NO more BIG projects! Make research manageable and meaningful. Try the lesson plan as a way to incorporate Common Core reading skills into the lessons you would be teaching as part of your science curriculum. If you do not have access to the same book, check interlibrary loan or adapt the lessons to another book.

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Teachers' Common Core Planning Toolkit: A guide for elementary teachers - TeachersFirst

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K to 5
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This installment in a series of articles about implementing Common Core in elementary guides teachers through the steps of re-visiting and planning their teaching units to incorporate...more
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This installment in a series of articles about implementing Common Core in elementary guides teachers through the steps of re-visiting and planning their teaching units to incorporate Common Core reading and writing. This article will guide you through the Common Core planning process and assist you in adding rigor and addressing instructional shifts as you prepare a unit of study. It presents some planning considerations and then offers an example of what this might look in one classroom's September calendar. The article is intended for elementary teachers as part of our Help! I lost my library/media specialist series.

tag(s): commoncore (89), professional development (161)

In the Classroom

This is perfect for teachers' summer reading or collaborative planning. As you face the daunting task of re-visioning your plans, find a process that you can grasp.

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OK2Ask: Google MANIA - Managing Your 1:1 G Suite Classroom - TeachersFirst

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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. Having a device in every student's hands will change both your classroom...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. Having a device in every student's hands will change both your classroom and the way you need to teach. Keeping students engaged is key, but doing that is sometimes easier said than done. In this session, we will share best practices for management of 1:1 classrooms. Learn about modeling routines and expectations that help to create a climate that allows inquiry and innovation to flourish. This session is for teachers at ALL technology comfort levels. As a result of this session teachers will: 1. Understand best practice strategies for 1:1 classrooms; 2. Learn helpful routines for 1:1 classroom management; and 3. Learn engagement strategies for teaching in a digital environment.

tag(s): Google (27)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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