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Black Friday Financial Literacy Lesson

Would you like to take advantage of the upcoming Black Friday as a way to get your students to be financially literate? Use this two-day lesson with students to explore comparison shopping and credit card use. Groups of students prepare for a fictional news conference where they release resources both in print and digital formats to assist consumers to be savvy shoppers.  This lesson incorporates the Econ Alive! The Power to Choose and the Applying Economics activities geared to financial literacy standards.  If you like what you see, explore more with a 30-day trial of the program.


Click the link for this Black Friday Lesson

Back to School w/ @TeachTCI: Interactive Student Notebook Webinar

As you are getting back in the swing of things; add the ability to use the Interactive Student Notebook with your TCI program.  Watch this 30-minute webinar and see why ISNs are all the rage! Then, see the FREE lesson that we have and select METHODS BOOK pages that can take you deeper.

Top 4 Features For Creating Assessments with TCI


Good assessments are hard to come by. And even though the TCI staff offers multiple ready-to-use assessment options, sometimes it’s impossible to get the right questions unless you create them yourself.

Here are 4 things you should know if you’re going to create assessments with TCI online subscription.

1. Using TCI’s Questions

In each and every lesson, you’ll find a TCI-prepared summative assessment. These assessments are print-only and available in both English and Spanish. If you want to reuse these questions for your own assessment, you can find them through the TCI Question Bank on the Assessment Builder page.

Another very cool feature is the ability to add TCI-prepared questions from other lessons to your assessments. You can locate them by clicking on the drop-down on the upper right corner of TCI’s Question Bank.

2. Using Shared Questions

At TCI, we encourage teachers to share their creativity by making their custom assessment questions available to others. To use a question shared by another teacher, check out the Teacher Question Bank on the Assessment Builder page. In the Question Bank, the questions are listed along with additional information, such as the state the teacher originates from and the date it was submitted.

If you find a question that seems outdated or inappropriate, let us know by flagging it!

3. Creating Multiple Online Assessments

One new feature, released just this past spring, is the ability to create multiple online assessments. After doing so, you can assign different assessments to different classes to complete online. This is great if you would like to create multiple versions of assessments within the same lesson, or if you just want to have a larger test that covers multiple lessons.

4. Creating Open-Ended Drawing Questions

This summer, TCI made it possible to create drawing questions online. What this means is that students can answer online drawing questions through an interactive canvas–similar to what you could find on the Interactive Student Notebook.

It’s a great feature that we’re hoping will open up the possibilities that are out there to assess your students. Just remember to use page breaks to help format your drawing questions if you’re going to print the assessments.


3 Things You Need to Know About Your HTML5 Presentation in TCI Subscriptions


New to TCI’s HTML5 presentations or you just need a refresher? Here are 3 quick tips that will help you become a TCI HTML5 presentation expert!

1. Navigation

There are four ways you can navigate through the slides while you are looking at a HTML presentation.

  1. 1. Click on the left and right arrow buttons embedded within the presentation slides
  2. 2. Press on the left and right arrow keys on your keyboard
  3. 3. Drag and drop the slider bar located toward the lower right of the presentation
  4. 4. Jump to a slide by inputting the slide # in the text box toward the lower right of the presentation




2. Structure

 Each presentation will have a similar structure, best described through the ‘3 Ps’.

  1. 1. The preparation slides will tell you what to gather and prep before class, as well as provide you an overview of the lesson. 
  2. 2. The preview slide is where you would begin teaching the lesson by giving a preview of the lesson to your students.
  3. 3. The processing assignment that concludes the lesson will summarize key concepts learned within the lesson.


3. Interactive Slides

Lastly, what would our HTML presentations be without interactive slides?

Cool audio snippets and quick, thought-provoking exercises are just two examples of the interactive activities you’ll find in our presentations.

Presentation Example 2


Bonus! NGSS Standards Notation

Here’s a special tip specific to our 100% NGSS K5 Science programs. Some slides will include standards notation at the bottom-right of the slide when you’re meeting one of the science standards with our presentation.

Presentation Example 3


We hope these tips help you in the classroom and on your way to becoming a TCI subscription expert!


TCI’s Back to School Webinar (on-demand)

For those unable to attend the webinar held on Wednesday, Aug. 12th, 2015, we recorded the webinar via YouTube.  Feel free to watch and prep for the school year with your TCI programs!  


TCI Free Lesson: The Interactive Student Notebook

For over 25 years, teachers across the country have been using TCI's Interactive Student Notebook strategy in their classroom.

For over 25 years, teachers across the country have been using TCI’s Interactive Student Notebook strategy in their classroom.

The most popular free lesson on our site five years running has been our lesson on getting started with the ISN.  We’ve updated and redesigned the lesson with a presentation and directions for print AND digital ISN’s.


Everything you need to conduct this lesson from start to finish is in this slide show.  Feel free to take this and make it your own and share it with teacher friends as well.


Here is the link to the Google Presentation version of this lesson.  Below is a embed where you can download the PowerPoint.

TCI Free Lesson: Getting Started and Getting to Know Each Other

Get students engaged right off the bat with this free lesson from TCI.

Get students engaged right off the bat with this free lesson from TCI.

We have reposted our popular start of the school year lessons.  This lesson is for teachers who want to start on that very first day by establishing procedures and protocols for a hands-on classroom.  Everything you need to teach this lesson – a presentation to use in class and all the handouts – are in this PowerPoint.

You can access this lesson via Google Docs here or use the embed below to download and personalize it.

Don’t forget our other lesson on the Interactive Student Notebook!

Your TCI Subscription: Sharing Assessments


Love it when you get a great idea from a colleague? TCI subscription users can now browse assessment questions that were added by other teachers and use them in their very own custom assessments.


Have some great questions that you created that you would like to share with the crowd? You can do that too!


Watch this three-minute to find out how to share both entire assessments and individual questions.


5 Educational Activities for Summer


Whether you’re relaxing at home or participating in summer school, there are countless K-5 social studies and science lessons that you can easily incorporate into your plans.


Here are five fun activities to keep children’s brains growing during vacation:















Hopping Corn

Popcorn is one of those foods that tastes like summer. The Hopping Corn science lesson uses this snack to teach about chemical reactions.


Mixing together baking soda and vinegar causes a reaction that forms carbon dioxide. When combined with water and popcorn in a jar, this reaction makes the kernels appear to “hop.” The activity can also be used to teach the states of matter–gas, liquid, and solid.


Leak Proof Bag

The Leak Proof Bag experiment only requires three things: a plastic sealable bag, sharp pencils, and water. Because it should be done outside, this activity is ideal in warm weather.


Students partially fill a bag with water and then slowly poke sharp pencils through the bag. Surprisingly, no water comes out! This lesson can teach students about the chemistry of polymers, like those in the plastic bag.


Create a Marine Protected Area

Warm beaches are often a symbol of summer, and this geography activity by National Geographic is a perfect substitute for an ocean field trip.


Students analyze how humans use natural resources from the ocean. They then work together to design their own marine protected area.

















Baseball History Primary Sources

Summer is baseball season, which makes it a perfect time for a history lesson. The Library of Congress offers a collection of baseball primary sources and tools for analyzing them.


You can also compare each source to both common core and state-specific standards! Use it as a guide to build a primary source investigation lesson.



Make Your Own Thermometer

Whether it’s thunderstorms or spiking hot weather, summer temperatures can vary a lot. This lesson by Scientific American teaches kids how to make their own thermometers.


They can use their thermometer to measure and record summer temperatures and examine the changes they see overtime. Use this science activity to help teach concepts about weather and climate.


Do you have any favorite summer lessons? Comment your ideas below!


The Interactive Student Notebook

The interactive student notebook (ISN) has been around since the 1970s.  Like all great ideas, it is timeless.  Since ISNs are the heart of how students respond to TCI lessons, we have lots of tools that we use to teach how to create great notebooks in digital or print.  These tools may be webinars, a free lesson on the interactive student notebook, or even from our methods book.  We are proud to offer you the opportunity to download select pages from the methods book on the topic of the ISN (seen below).  If you have a TCI Subscription, you also have access to the entire methods book under your “Program Resources” tab.  If you don’t have TCI in your classroom and want to see how we marry great strategies with the ISN, then visit: to try it for yourself today.

Many of you have also been using the ISN for years.  What tips do you have to share?  Do you have any links that you’d like to pass along to other teachers?  Comment in and share them!

The Interactive Student Notebook

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