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TF Update 6/12/2011

Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™

This week we celebrate Flag Day in the U.S. Many teachers are "hanging out the flag" to celebrate the end of another successful school year and the start of summer's change of pace. We hope your summer learning and exploration will include some time "visiting" TeachersFirst 3.0. Seeing new sights (sites?) and learning new things makes all of us better Thinking Teachers. Take a TeachersFirst 3.0 self-guided tour!

Philadelphia Bound
The Thinking Teachers of TeachersFirst are headed to Philadelphia very soon for the ISTE conference. If you plan to attend, watch for people wearing Thinking Teacher shirts. Be sure to say hello and let us know you are a TeachersFirst user. We love meeting you. Stop at our booth (#2809) to earn your own shirt or some great badge ribbons to tell the world that you are a Thinking Teacher/Teaching Thinker. Come and meet me at my presentations:

China: Expanding Collaboration through School Visits
Sunday, 6/26/2011, 7:00pm–8:30pm; PACC Broad St Atrium , Table: 2

• Hands off, Vanna! Giving Students Control of Interactive Whiteboard Learning
Wednesday, 6/29/2011, 8:30am–9:30am; PACC 113A

Cycles vs. Checklists: Fostering Creative Process in an Accountability World
Wednesday, 6/29/2011, 10:15am–11:15am; PACC 204B

OK2Ask™ LIVE from ISTE
For the many teachers who cannot travel to Philadelphia, summer OK2Ask™ kicks off on June 28 with OK2Ask™ LIVE from ISTE in Philadelphia. Tune in via the link on the TeachersFirst home page from 3:30-4:30 pm EDT to hear the thoughts of Thinking Teachers willing to share what they have seen and learned at this ed tech conference. You don't even have to board an airplane (or pay the fare). Mark your calendar now. Browse the full summer OK2Ask™ schedule with pre-registration opening about one month prior to each session.

Many eyes help
For the next few weeks, we will be discovering things we forgot to pack or boxes we mislabeled in our move to TeachersFirst 3.0. We welcome your help spotting the things we need to fix.  If you discover a concern on TeachersFirst 3.0, feel free to contact us.

This week's TeachersFirst 3.0 BEST FIND:
You now can find ALL of TeachersFirst's Special Topics collections in one place. These handy listings give you a list of teacher-reviewed resources on a specific topic, ready for sharing with students or parents or for your own lesson prep. Explore them all!

Tell your friends – and a world of Thinking Teachers!
Over the next few months, we will be surprising random teachers who spread the word about TeachersFirst with a special gift. If you have a blog or web page, write a post about why you like TeachersFirst. Tweet about us several times. Share TeachersFirst on Facebook. Then stay tuned for more details on how Thinking Teachers like you can proudly wear your dedication to Teaching Thinkers for all to see.  We'll be listening for your good words.

Members only
If you have a free TeachersFirst membership, you should have received a separate email explaining how the move to TeachersFirst 3.0 affects your member Favorites and teacher home page during the transition. We won't "lose your stuff"! Your ability to edit/tag your TeachersFirst Favorites will be working again by July 1. New, improved TeachersFirst member home pages will be created using a brand new system beginning later in the summer, in time for the 2011-12 school year. We apologize for any inconvenience the transition may cause. The move will be worth it. And you didn't even have to pack a single box!

Don't have a FREE TeachersFirst membership? Find out more about FREE member features and sign up NOW. (P.S. We don't sell or give away ANY information about you to ANYONE.)

Father's Day
We're just a few days from Father's Day (June 19). Find ideas to create free but meaningful Father's Day gifts from Special Occasion Ideas for the Classroom: TeachersFirst Editors' Choices. Don't miss ideas and resources for many special events in the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar.

Summer Sparklers instead of summer slide
Summer Sparklers is a collection of teacher-reviewed web resources for students of all ages to enjoy learning all summer long. The collection includes many sites where students and parents can create something together, sites that reinforce skills to prevent "summer slide," and challenges to spark thinking at any age. Though the page is written by teachers for teachers, parents will also appreciate the "At home" suggestions, especially on a rainy day. Be sure to share the link as you send students off for summer.

This week's XW1W question: How far do your parent(s) travel to work?
Across the World Once a Week
(XW1W) uses microblogging or blogging tools to share responses about everyday life from any corner of the world. The XW1W FAQ page explains it all. Make today's instant communications an instant learning experience.

This Week's Poll
What is your main reason to use a teacher web site? Share your response to this new Weekly Poll front and center on the TeachersFirst home page. The new poll format lets you click to see the poll results instantly!

Featured Sites
This week's featured sites include fresh views, ideas, and tools:

  • Cells and DNA
  • Easy link sharing
  • World news on a map and in photos
  • Two Probability/Stats sites
  • Audio stories
  • How Americans spend our time
  • Plagiarism prevention
  • And more! See them all on our NEW site!

We know we are talking a lot about TeachersFirst 3.0. We are as excited as new parents. May your week bring you a chance to be proud of your own accomplishments.

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