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Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™
As you read this, we are probably meeting teachers from all over the world at ISTE Philadelphia. I wish we could bring every one of you along to this conference to experience the ISTE inspiration. Since that is not possible, I am delighted that Melissa Henning, our Educational Content Manager, will be joining me in greeting ISTE attendees at our booth and streaming OK2Ask Live on Tuesday. Watch for Melissa's cheerful face. You may know her voice from our regular OK2Ask online session, and now you can see her "live." She and the rest of us at ISTE want to share the enthusiasm we have for great teaching.


Where is the Thinking Teacher?
The Thinking Teachers of TeachersFirst are in Philadelphia for the ISTE conference this week. If you are here with us, watch for people wearing Thinking Teacher shirts, and be sure to say hello. We love meeting the teachers who use our site. 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. 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 TUESDAY!...and all summer long
Most teachers cannot travel to Philadelphia, so we are coming to a computer near you. Watch OK2Ask™ LIVE from ISTE in Philadelphia on Tuesday, June 28. Tune in via the link on the TeachersFirst home page from 3:30-4:30 pm EDT to hear and see Thinking Teachers share what they have seen and learned at this ed tech conference.

Our full summer OK2Ask™ schedule is online. You can attend OK2Ask™ from any computer with a high speed connection. We show you what to do, so you need not be a "techie." Why not ask one of your friends to sign up with you? We issue Professional Development Certificates to those who meet the requirements, and you get to "meet" teachers from all over the U.S.—even the world! Space is limited, so sign up early for these free offerings. (Please be courteous and release your free "seat" if you change you mind!). Registration is now open for these sessions:

  • Great Ideas! Exploring the Resources of the new TeachersFirst 3.0 to Plan Effective, Technology-Infused Lessons; Tues, July 19, 2011; One session only: 6:00-7:15 pm EDT

  • Guided Wiki Walk (TWO SESSION workshop); Tues, July 26 AND Thurs, July 28, 2011; Same content repeated at two time blocks 3:00- 4:15 pm or 6:00- 7:15 pm EDT.


This week's TeachersFirst 3.0 BEST FIND
TeachersFirst has gained acclaim among educators for our practical, teacher-to-teacher professional content, especially our tutorials and ideas for innovative teaching. See the TeachersFirst Professional Exclusives under our Professional tab. Find the Wiki Walk-Through, information about Rubrics, new ideas for effective uses of today's web 2.0 technologies, creativity ideas for today's classrooms, ideas for teaching ESL/ELL, and much more, all written by experienced, Thinking Teachers like you. Pass it on! Your teacher friends will thank you.


July Schedule at TeachersFirst
July is a time for teachers to take a breath and for TeachersFirst to gear up before the new school year. During July, we will send combined editions of the Update for July 3/10 and 17/24 before resuming our weekly schedule on July 31. The Featured Sites will also stay online for two weeks so you have a chance to catch them between your summer course work and travel. The Brain Twisters will change every other Friday, with NEW versions appearing on July 1, 15, and 29. It will be August and Back to School before we know it.


This Week's Poll
Which is most important for students to do over summer? Choose from the options and share your response to the Weekly Poll front and center on the TeachersFirst home page. Vote and see the current poll results instantly!



Tell the world that you're a Thinking Teacher!
In these days of teacher bashing, it is even more important to show the world your pride in the profession. TeachersFirst watches what people say about us on blogs and tweets. Soon, we will be surprising random teachers who spread the word about TeachersFirst with a shirt to tell the world YOU are a Thinking Teacher. If you have a blog or web page, write a post about TeachersFirst. Tweet to tell people what the Thinking Teachers do well. Share TeachersFirst on Facebook. Stay tuned for more details on how you can proudly "wear" your profession for all to see.


Members only
If you have a free TeachersFirst membership, you probably have tried logging into TeachersFirst 3.0 to be able to comment on resources and mark/tag favorites among our 12,500+ reviewed resources. During the transition to our full TeachersFirst 3.0 member features, we are still finalizing these tools, so please be patient with us. Your ability to edit/tag your TeachersFirst Favorites will be working again by July 1. A brand new system will be available in time for the 2011-12 school year for you to share selected Favs on a public page for students and parents to see and use your recommendations.

Don't have a FREE TeachersFirst membership? Those who receive our Update emails are not automatically "members." You have to sign up. 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.)

Planning ahead
Get the fireworks ready! July 4 is approaching. Don't miss ideas and resources for this and many other calendar dates in the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar, front and center on the TeachersFirst home page. Look ahead at the helpful collections for next school year—before you head off to the beach!


Summer Sparklers squelch the slide
Summer Sparklers is a collection of teacher-reviewed web resources to keep kids learning all summer long. This editors' choice collection includes tools for students and/or parents to create something together, sites that reinforce skills to prevent "summer slide," and challenges to spark thinking at any age. Written by teachers for teachers, the page is a treasure trove for parents, grandparents, and even babysitters.

This week's XW1W question: Do you sleep with the windows open or closed?
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.


Featured Sites
This week's featured sites include an extraordinary collection of great tools—and more:

  • An instant teleprompter
  • A place to make pop-up books
  • Event photo sharing without annoying log-ins
  • Online, interactive children's books (some with audio!)
  • A handy way to grab just the short YouTube clip you want
  • Historical Scene Investigation (a la CSI)
  • A great health topic site
  • Review tools using TXT
  • Data tools to collect and learn
  • diagrams made simple
  • A clever cartoon maker
  • And more!

May your week give you a chance to share some time with people who inspire.

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