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Sunday, August 23, 2009

First Day of School Preparations

School Preparations TeachersFirst Update - August 24, 2009

There is something very pleasing about a classroom poised and prepped for the students on the first day of school. In elementary classrooms, the desks have pyramids of books and supplies and hand-lettered names. In high school, no-nonsense posters spell out what is expected in this room. In middle school, a sense of humor underlies bulletin boards that try to appeal to both childlike wonder and adolescent aloofness. No matter how prepared the room looks, you know it will never be the same in just an hour. You have sweated through your last days of summer to be ready. We hope you have (or had) at least a moment to savor the calm before the gusts of students blow in.

Getting Organized Back to School time is the season for organizers: organize your assignments, your lesson plans, your closet, and your life! What better time to take advantage of TeachersFirst's memberships and tools to organize your Favorite finds from our over 10,000 resources? TeachersFirst Favorites allow you to "tag" a resource by unit, assignment type, subject, etc. Each favorite can have as many tags as you want. No more filing into only one "folder" then forgetting what you called it. Think of tags as the instant search flags that help you find things in your technology closet. For example, an author resource could be tagged authors, reading, book reports, and more, depending on all the assignments and lessons where it fits into your teaching. What an organizer! Thousands of teachers have already taken advantage of our time-savers. Have you?

Daily Hooks There is no better way to hook your students into the history of the world than connecting to what they already know. Now you can start each day (or one day a week) by sharing a hint to the unknown that they must connect to the known through a series of prompts. TeachersFirst's Dates That Matter reveals a new piece of history every day of the year, projector or whiteboard-ready for your middle and early high school students. Share the hint on the screen as students enter class-or parents come in for Back to School Night-then let them walk through the clues to "figure out" a pivotal event and why it matters. Extend the thinking with links provided. Your students may even want to write some hints for events of their own! See the teacher materials by clicking on the book icon on the Why Does it Matter? page.

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

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