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April 13, 2015

Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers®

By now you have established a professional pattern as a teacher, but is it sustainable? There are many different kinds of sustainability... environmental, health-related, emotional, and professional. Earth Day encourages us to look at the way we use natural resources, but TeachersFirst helps you look at the way you conserve and use professional energy every day, all year long, so your students experience maximum gain and you keep bouncing back with more ideas.


OK2Ask Final Countdown!
We are nearing the end of our spring sessions of FREE PD! Registration remains OPEN for all spring sessions. Keep your eyes open for our Summer 2015 schedule, to be released in late May! Read our FAQ for general information about certificates, etc. Please be sure to read the detailed descriptions and suggested technology comfort levels BEFORE you register for the best match for your learning needs. Most sessions meet from 7:00-8:30 pm EASTERN time.

  • Google Advanced Cool Tools; Mon Apr. 13
  • Building Ethical Digital Citizens; Tue Apr. 28
  • Ready. Set. Summer: Student Tools to Stay Fresh and Teacher Professional “Refreshments”; Mon May 4


Adventures through Europe
Geo and Meri are starting towards the end of their journey to find Dewey: the Truth-Sniffing Dog. As they leave Europe and enter their final continent of Antarctica, the mission will conclude. Will Dewey be found? If your students have been following these teen bloggers around the world, be sure to check out our review material.


What do YOU do?
It is almost the time of year for state testing. What are you going to do to prepare your students? Do you have class meetings and offer words of encouragement? Do you talk about it at all? Maybe you motivate with chocolate? Or do you discuss the consequences (both good and bad) of the testing and results? This week’s teacher poll asks: How do you motivate and prepare students to do their best on high stakes testing? Place your vote on the teacher poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Amazing April Activities!
It is now time for the opening of baseball season. Find ideas for Take Your Son or Daughter To Work Day, National Poetry Month, Earth Day, Autism Awareness, and more. Turn to the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar for April and throughout the entire year.


Poetry Month Goes Personal
Is poetry a part of your every day (or every week) activities at home? Do you read poetry for fun? The XW1W question for the week of April 12: Do you ever read poetry (NOT for school)?

Make this the year you make a class Twitter account to learn from classes near and far. Your students can hear about life in other places and cultures through #XW1W. TeachersFirst’s Across the World Once a Week (#xw1w) project uses simple tweets (or links to blog posts) to share the responses to a weekly question. Help your class “see” what life is like in other places. It all works because of something called a hashtag. Learn how to get started with these simple directions and FAQ.


Taking Care of Me
Discover healthy habits including fitness, nutrition, sports, and more. Our newest installment of CurriConnects explores personal wellness (just in time for warmer weather). This collection includes both fiction and non-fiction for all ages. These books could accompany a unit (or lesson) about nutrition, fitness, sports, or healthy choices.

Use CurriConnects leveled lists to find books related to curriculum topics or subject areas. Build student literacy skills, reinforce the place of curriculum concepts in other contexts, and help students build the important reading strategy of connecting what they read to prior knowledge. Any student can find a book on the topic at the appropriate interest and Lexile® level.


WOW Them!
Do you like to share your tech “finds” with students or colleagues on your website, blog, or wiki? If so, you can really look smart! Embed the TeachersFirst Featured Sites widget and have new “finds” every week without ever lifting a finger. If you can copy/paste, you can embed anything! Find the code to copy/paste here. Never embedded anything? We have a resource to help you. Or better yet, ask one of your students for help!


Featured Sites
This week in our Featured Sites find US History, mind stretchers, and more:

  • Cinco de Mayo (just in time)
  • Timeline of JFK’s Assassination
  • Coding
  • Image search
  • Insects
  • Art with Cezanne
  • Cool Tools for lists and organizing the class
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • Cherry Blossoms
  • Oh H1 (math challenge)
  • Little Shop of Writers
  • And more

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this April 19 or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived April 12 Features here, and don’t miss our many other recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured Sites page.


May the lessons that you recycle this week promote learning with a new twist and new energy.


The TeachersFirst Team