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May 31, 2015

Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers®

Summer is coming, and it is almost here! Our update this week features many summer highlights: book clubs, book lists, tech ideas for students, and more. Explore the many “freebie” summer adventures--- brought to you FREE by TeachersFirst!


Summer Book Club is Coming!
We are very excited to be planning a new Professional Development offering for our members. We will be hosting a book club for those who are interested in professional summer reading. Our book club will offer 45 professional development points for those who read the book and participate in the discussions. We will also have the author join us for two webinars!  Our parent company, The Source For Learning, will purchase the books for all participants. Space is limited. You can find more information here here.


Adventures in Summer—Books for Students
Summertime brings many adventures: camp, wild weather, fireworks, vacations, and more! Our latest CurriConnects theme, Adventures in Summer, offers a collection of fabulous books (both fiction and information text). This booklist is just in time to share for summer break! CurriConnects book lists provide choices for student independent reading in support of curriculum content. This particular list is rich in variety and offers both fiction and information text. All of our CurriConnects book lists include Lexile® levels, interest levels, and a short “blurb” to help any student find a book of interest. Share the lists with your school library/media specialist or your local public library to locate the books on the shelves or on interlibrary loan. Share this list with your students on your class website or your summer final newsletter.


Summer Sparklers for Students
Some schools may already be finished for the year; others have a few weeks to go. If you are preparing for an early June departure, NOW is the time to share the TeachersFirst Summer Sparklers with parents and students. Prevent “summer slide” while inspiring creativity (and learning) with this handpicked collection of creative tools, clever sites, individualized challenges, and interactives for all ages. Put the link on your summer learning web page and share it in your monthly e-newsletter. Parents will appreciate it!


Summer—Just Around the Corner!
What images does summer conjure in your mind? Maybe a fabulous vacation, a chance to read ADULT literature and earn some PD credit, or just some time to yourself! This week’s Teacher Poll asks: What are you most looking forward to about the summer? Place your vote on the teacher poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


ISTE—Coming Soon!
As always, TeachersFirst is headed to the ISTE conference in June. If you are going, plan to meet up with us there (more details in June Updates). If you cannot afford a trip to Philadelphia, we can help! We will be sharing an OK2Ask® On Demand webcast from ISTE. Plan to watch and listen to teachers as they share their fabulous ISTE discoveries. It is almost like being there—without the airfare. Mark your calendars now! The OK2Ask® On Demand link will be front and center on the TeachersFirst home page.


In The Summertime
How many days do you have until summer break? Or maybe your summer has already started! The XW1W question for the week of May 31: When does your summer break begin?

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.


Summer Reading Isn't Just for Kids!
Maybe you prefer a more traditional way to learn: sitting on the beach with a book. Now is the time to start collecting that stack of reading, and TeachersFirst is here to help. We know that in your day-to-day teaching life you might not have time to read all you’d like for your own professional growth and emotional well-being, but this article shares books and blogs to re-ignite your teaching flame.


June Celebrations
June is the time for thank-you gifts to school staff and parent volunteers. D-Day is coming up quickly. Find resources for Flag Day, Ramadan, and Father’s Day. Turn to the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar for June and throughout the entire year.


Registration for Summer OK2Ask is NOW OPEN
Summer OK2Ask sessions resume in early July and will be held on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays for five weeks. All regular summer sessions begin at 6pm EDT. OK2Ask® is a series of free, online sessions for self-directed professional development. Learn more about OK2Ask. The pdf of the summer schedule is posted now and REGISTRATION IS OPEN. Mark your calendars now for the summer learning that YOU choose.


Featured Sites
This week in our Featured Sites find Maps, Music, and Movies:  

  • Healthy Mouths for Kids
  • Bird Adventures
  • Math Arguments for Secondary
  • America by Flight
  • Sheep Beat Music
  • Climate Change
  • Geometry Basics for Elementary
  • Peanut Gallery
  • Is the Site Down?
  • Maps to Explain the Roman Empire
  • And more

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this June 7 or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived May 31  Features here, and don’t miss our many other recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured Sites page.


Ready or not—summer is almost here. Let TeachersFirst be the support system for both you and your students to have a relaxing and intellectually fulfilling summer break.

The TeachersFirst Team