Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers!

Yesterday I learned a great site for teachers and learners that I had not heard about before. The tagline for TeachersFirst is Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers! I love that concept since I feel like it acknowledges the creativity and intelligence teachers apply as they work towards the main goals of promoting student thinking and encouraging learning. I have often said recently that I don't only think of literacy now as just reading and writing but also thinking.

TeachersFirst is a free resource for teachers:

TeachersFirst is a rich collection of lessons, units, and web resources designed to save teachers time by delivering just what they need in a practical, user-friendly, and ad-free format. Busy teachers, parents, and students can find resources using our robust search tools.

You can search this site by grade or subject. You can also browse through safe Web 2.0 resources (those are called Edge on TeachersFirst). There are brain twisters and information on dates that matter as well as featured websites.

Here is a comment on the site that caught my attention:

This is an excellent resource for teachers of any elementary grade level. There are endless examples of graphic organizers that students can utilize in order to help them organize or present information. I have had a lot of experience with Inspiration, which is one of the graphic organizer programs mentioned in this resource. This program is easy to use and manipulate. Students can typically learn the basics in one session (50 minutes). I use this program often to teach reading concepts, such as main idea, comparing & contrasting, or character development. You could also use the program to show life cycles or concept development for mathematics. The great thing is that you can either create a template, where students merely insert information or students can create their own organizers depending on their levels of experience. Great resource!

There are areas in TeachersFirst for Classroom Resources, TeachersFirst Exclusives, and Professional Resources. You can join TeachersFirst for free to get even more teacher time-savers and collaboration/sharing with other Thinking Teachers. I plan to explore this site more in the future, so there will probably be future blog posts on what I find! Here are some Tips for Using TeachersFirst

*On a side note, Candace Hackett Shively who wrote a an article called "Grow Creativity!" in May issue of Learning and Leading that I have been so excited about (I have written a blog post on ideas I found in that article) is connected with this site.

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