TeachersFirst Update Archives

Return to Update Archives List

May 6, 2013

Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers®

Some schools are headed into their final couple of weeks. Others have a full six weeks to go. No matter what our schedule is, we all look forward to summer and the change of learning that occurs with a shift in schedule, a change of scenery, or a chance to refresh ourselves as teachers. TeachersFirst is happy to announce many new ways to learn this summer. Read on to find out more.


Hot books
Listen to a great story as the weather warms with TeachersFirst’s Audio Books collections.  Enjoy books with both text and audio and books with interactive features among the full listing of audio books.


For the early ones
If your school is one of the “early” ones that ends the year in mid-May, don’t miss the chance to share TeachersFirst’s Summer Sparklers with your students (and parents) before it is too late. Head off the summer slide with resource that will keep skills sharp and inspire creativity all summer long. Keep them thinking (and having fun at the same time)!


Much appreciated!
This is Teacher Appreciation Week, so how better to show our appreciation than with the year-round gift of the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar. Discover special occasion gift creators (free!) for your fellow teachers (or Moms), and find special resources for Mothers Day.


Hitting the road
 May is Unusual Travel Adventure month at TogetheRead, the family literacy feature from our sister site, TeachersAndFamilies. TogetheRead offers monthly themes for family literacy (for ALL ages, not just little ones). Find free book suggestions and activity ideas for all ages and prompts to build effective reading strategies as families share reading time together or individually. Include TogetheRead in your class web page or online school newsletter. Journey into family reading fun.


Last chance until July!
Don’t miss the final OK2Ask® free, online sessions for teacher self-directed professional development for this school year on MONDAY. Find times and a description. Registration is closed for this session, but you can still drop in for standby space ON TIME, please!

Ready, Set, Summer: Student Tools to Stay Fresh and Teacher Professional “Refreshments”; Monday May 6


Summer preview
The summer offerings for OK2Ask® are now ready for preview and early registration. Summer sessions are plentiful—and slightly longer this year to allow more time for exploration and questions. Download a full listing (pdf file) to print out or share at the copy machine. Note that we have moved OK2Ask information and registration to a new location as of summer, so update your bookmarks. See the full summer catalog and register. Read more about OK2Ask, free online “snack sessions” for self-directed teacher professional development, including FAQs. Yes, we do offer professional development certificates to qualified participants.


May celebrations
It seems May is a month of celebrations. Tell us about yours. See responses from other people in other places via Across the World Once a Week (#xw1w). Your responses about life where you live help others learn—and vice versa. This quick activity uses microblogging and something called a hashtag. It’s easy! Get started now with these simple directions and FAQ. XW1W for the week of May 5: What is your biggest May holiday? 


Recapping the Mission
There is still time to review, recap, and extend Globetracker’s Mission. Try the interactive review activities now available in the episode side menu.  Find even more review options in the Teacher episode. The Mission will remain online for recap until mid-June. Watch for a North American Globetracker’s Mission during 2013-14.


Blasts from your past
How often do former students visit you? Share your response via the weekly teacher poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Featured Sites
This week in our Featured Sites, find practical review and individual support:

  • A beautiful Pulitzer winner
  • Art projects
  • Order of operations interactive
  • Electrical circuits
  • A font tester
  • Powerful panoramas and a clever geographic guessing game
  • Collaborative, organized notes and whiteboard
  • Another great storytelling tool
  • Invasive species—and you can help!
  • Terrific background for book study

And MORE. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this May 12 or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived May 5 Features here, and don’t miss our many additional recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured sites page.


Take some time to plan some personal learning this week. It will rub off on your students.

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