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Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™

Mama, Mom, Mother, Mommy, Mum, Ma’am, Ms. Smith... whatever they call you, you are a caregiver for a large part of your family’s and your students’ lives. This Mothers Day, we celebrate you for the motherly nurturing, listening, and sculpting you do in the lives of many young people at home and at school. Where would any of us be without our moms? Gentlemen readers, don’t forget all the moms who support you and your students.


AYP = Are you pleased?
Please help us make adequate funding progress. Donate a few minutes of your time in return for the free service TeachersFirst provides. We want your honest ratings and comments about the impact of TeachersFirst on our TeachersFirst User Survey. Think of it as a “report card” for TeachersFirst. (Report cards are due May 31.)


Perplexed by the middle east?
If you teach current events or world geography/cultures, you know how confusing the middle east is for our students. TeachersFirst reminds you that we have ready-to-go, interactive resources on the many countries, religions, and conflicts in the Mideast. Of course we share lesson ideas to accompany the interactives. Many adults could benefit from the basics we could learn from TeachersFirst’s Middle East Interactives.


Join the Thinking Teachers at ISTE
The annual ISTE conference (International Society for Technology in Education) is a thought-provoking inspiration. We know that schools have professional development budgets, so TeachersFirst is sponsoring The ISTE12 Thinking Teachers Contest for three of you to join us at ISTE 2012 in San Diego in June. The entry form  is at We Are Teachers.com, the tool we are using to administer the contest. Three winners will receive ISTE conference registration and $500 towards their ISTE travel expenses. Read the details on the entry form and ask your friends to vote for your entry. Tell us how attending ISTE 2012 will help you be a Thinking Teacher. Enter NOW! Entry deadline is May 17, followed by the voting phase.


Gifts and sparklers
Need to thank your school volunteers for their work throughout the school year? Find Special Occasion gift ideas to celebrate the givers in your school community—at no cost. Also coming soon in the Classroom Planning Calendar: TeachersFirst’s Summer Sparklers for summer learning. Be sure to share it in your year-end web page or newsletter.


No resource left behind
We need your assessment of Globetracker’s Mission and its effectiveness to use in our grant applications. Help us make adequate yearly progress toward our grant goals by assessing the effects of this ready to go resource. If you used Globetracker’s Mission, even for one lesson, please take the quick survey here. Answer the Globetracker survey while your students try some of the many REVIEW activities available until the end of May.


Take a walk on the wiki side
As you dream of summer, why not set aside time to build that class wiki you always wanted? If you’d like to know more about wikis and how they can make your classes more productive, more student-centered, and possibly less work for YOU, check out the Wiki Walk-through. Get your wiki started before mid-July, and you can even join us for an online OK2Ask session featuring more advanced wiki how-to ideas. See below! The Wiki Walk-through is just one of our popular professional exclusives to indulge in summer learning for YOU.


May Math and Endless Summer from OK2Ask®
Don’t miss our K-8 Math offering from OK2Ask next week. This session has LOADS of people registered, but you can always stop by at session time for “standby” space. Join us June 26 for OK2Ask LIVE from ISTE. In July and August OK2Ask will offer single Tuesday and Thursday sessions on many terrific topics. Read and/or download the full summer OK2Ask® schedule and mark your calendar now! OK2Ask free, online teacher professional development “snack sessions” are accessible from any computer and we provide professional development certificates.  Registration opens about a month before each summer session.

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


The ideal Mom
Which Mom would you like most for your students?
Click the characteristic you’d like to support your students in the weekly poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Do you teach at a dream school?
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. The prize package includes an OK2Ask® session just for YOUR school.


Around the World Once a Week (#xw1w)
XW1W  for the week of May 13: What flowers are blooming 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 practical tools and thought inspirations

  • An excellent citation and source collection tool
  • Inspiration for independent reading
  • Talking slide shows
  • Online charts/graphs
  • Credit basics
  • Science sites on sustainable living options and cells
  • Engaging Internet safety
  • Geometric shapes
  • Two thinking treats

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


Take the time to give a thank you or a hug to a mom this week.


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