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TF Update 5/8/2016
Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers®

For Your Classroom

We have some cutting edge information to share this week in our Weekly Update focused on the TeachersFirst Edge! If you aren’t already familiar with the TeachersFirst Edge, keep reading! Our Features Sites this week also include a collection of recently added TeachersFirst Edge tools. We also have some new resources, contests, and professional development for you. Don’t miss all of the fabulous opportunities.


Introducing: Classroom Connection Events
TeachersFirst is excited to share a new feature created to help you plan for special events, competitions, and more with your students. Check out the entire listing. Be sure not to miss The Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest, open to grades 6-12. The Engineering For You Video Contest continues through May and is open to grades K-12.


MySciLife: Still Seeking Science Teachers
MySciLife®—SFL’s social learning environment for middle school science—is still recruiting interested teachers for next year. If you or one of your friends is a creative middle level (grades 6-9) science teacher who enjoys student-centered learning, please read the details, then submit the interest survey. Spaces are limited.


Avoid The Summer Slide
Your school may have 10 days left, or maybe 30? If you are preparing for a May exit, NOW is the time to share the TeachersFirst Summer Sparklers with parents and students. Prevent the “summer slide” while inspiring creativity and learning with this collection of interactives and creative tools for all ages. Put the link to the Summer Sparklers on your class website or blog. Share the link in your class e-news before the sun sets on another school year.


Coming Soon: TeachersFirst BYOT Lesson Plan Contest
Last week we announced our upcoming lesson plan contest! We hope that your creative wheels are spinning. Have you thought of a great lesson plan that you could integrate into a BYOT classroom? What makes an exemplar BYOT lesson? How about clear goals/objectives, options to differentiate, and specific details about materials, time, and steps? What do you think? Send us a message on twitter (@teachersfirst) to let us know.


Civil Rights Landmark
Next week (May 17th) marks the anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. Mark this civil rights landmark using TeachersFirst resources tagged “civil rights.” The tags in resource reviews can really save time—sort of like Amazon’s “if you like this, you might like...”!

Professional Development

FREE PD - Spring OK2Ask Sessions
Come and join one of our FREE online workshops offered on Tuesdays at 7pm Eastern. Read our FAQ for general information about certificates, etc. Please be sure to read the detailed descriptions and suggested technology comfort levels BEFORE you register for the best match for your learning needs.


Sneak Peak at Summer PD
We have some exciting and FRESH news to share about our summer lineup for professional development. Our popular OK2Ask sessions will continue during the summer and feature 15 online workshops, all brand new or refreshed content! Also, our Summer Book Club will return in July. Watch the update for more information. And finally, we are pleased to announce that we will start to host monthly Twitter chats. Mark your calendars now for our first Twitter Chat: June 16th at 8pm Eastern. More details will be shared in every weekly update. We are looking forward to a summer filled with PD opportunities for everyone.


TeachersFirst Exclusives

What is the Edge?
The TeachersFirst Edge offers over 1,100 reviewed “cutting edge” resources. All of the resources on the Edge are tools that are used to create something. The “something” may be as simple as an online checklist or as elaborate as higher level animation. Web tools include resources for both the beginner and advanced technology user. Each review states the “technology” difficulty curve, includes warnings and helpful tips, plus offers ideas about how to use each tool in the classroom. You can also search the Edge by category (see the left sidebar). Edge categories range from Animation to Timelines to Organization.


Have You Gone to the Edge?
This week’s Teacher Poll asks: Have you ever explored the TeachersFirst Edge? Place your vote on the teacher poll on the TeachersFirst home page.

TeachersFirst Features

This week in our Featured Sites you will find some of our newly added Edge tools:

  • Bee A Coder
  • Sedja
  • Quizlet Live
  • Gravit
  • MoocNote
  • And more

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this May 15th, or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived May 8th Features here, and don’t miss our many other recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured Sites page.


I hope that this update has challenged and refreshed you to try some new cutting edge technology during the final stretch of the school season.

Melissa Henning
Educational Content Manager
TeachersFirst/Source For Learning