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Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™

Happy Easter to those who are celebrating this week. Whether or not you hunt for eggs, TeachersFirst hopes to end the hunt for good teaching resources. Put a few new teaching ideas in your basket!


Enter to win
Want to win a free technology package worth over $300,000 for your school/district? TeachersFirst’s non-profit parent company, The Source for Learning, is one of the sponsors of the Dream School Challenge from Lifetime’s The Balancing Act. Learn more here, and don’t miss seeing Candace Hackett Shively (TeachersFirst’s Thinking Teacher-leader), together with ISTE CEO Don Knezek on The Balancing Act April 24 during the 7-8 am broadcast (DVR it!).


Just in Time
April is Autism Awareness Month and National Poetry Month. You may already have plans for these, but what about the rest of April? Find the greenest of teaching ideas to support Earth Day (April 22).  Take Your Child to Work Day (April 26) is a challenge as part of your class disappears—why not make it an actual learning experience for the whole class? TV Turn Off Week (April 23-29) is the perfect time for families to share Special Occasion activities from TeachersFirst. No matter what the occasion, the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar has ideas just in time.


Blogs revisited
Don’t miss the newly revised TeachersFirst’s Blog Basics for the Classroom. Blogs are certainly not new, but you will find new ways to use them in any subject/grade. We include newly revised blog tool comparisons and a downloadable parent letter to get your class blog started. Try it this spring or mark this as a must-read for summer so you can begin next year by blogging.


OK2Ask® now and later
What do teachers need to know about worries of the web? Join us Thursday, April 12, to find out.  Pre-register by Tuesday or simply show up ON TIME for “standby” seating. Elementary and middle school math teachers will love our May math offering. It is even worth sitting inside on a May evening. OK2Ask® free, online teacher professional development “snack sessions” are available from any computer -- and we provide professional development certificates. The summer OK2Ask® schedule will be posted in May and will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays in July and August.

Web Worries: What teachers should know about online behavior 
Thursday, April 12, 2012 at two times; Read the details and register

Energizing Math: ideas, resources, and collaboration for K-8 math teachers
Tuesday, May 22, 2012. ONE session 7-8:30 pm EDT ONLY; Read the details and register


Share your thoughts
Congratulations to Doris, an elementary teacher from Michigan, for her winning comment of the month in March. Doris’s concerned comment prompted our review team to add further information to our review of the Magnetic Poetry site. Her comment was drawn at random from all the helpful comments during March, and she received a free Thinking Teacher shirt. Use your free TeachersFirst membership to tell others how you use a TeachersFirst resource or to comment on why you gave it a certain rating. We want to hear from Thinking Teachers.


Age appropriate?
At what age should students see the new film, "Bully" ?
Click your opinion in the weekly poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


One click "like"?
TeachersFirst will be 14 years old later this month. Please visit our Facebook page to “like” TeachersFirst. Is one click too much to ask for our birthday? It’s a lot easier than making a cake. Invite your teacher friends, too!


Looking ahead, looking back
Geo and Meri are in Salt Lake City this week on Globetracker’s Mission. The mission has only one week left. REVIEW activities are available NOW in the sidebar of the Teacher’s Edition of the weekly episode. Wrap up the year of standards-based learning about geography, major sites in the U.S., landforms, and more. Put the Mission into perspective and recap the concepts with these thought-provoking offerings.


Around the World Once a Week (#xw1w)
XW1W  for the week of April 8: What is a sure sign of spring where you live? 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 in our Featured Sites, find STEM (science and math) sites and more:

  • World history in interactive maps
  • Terrific IWB activities for elementary
  • A visual search engine for kids
  • Science interactives across all ages
  • A very handy class behavior tool
  • How do YOU learn?
  • Music made by math
  • A site for stutterers

And more! Don’t miss our many additional recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured sites page.


May you and your students discover some surprises this week.


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