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June 15, 2015

Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers®

As you honor Flag Day, learn more about this celebration on our TeachersFirst calendar. Did you know that Flag Day is always 21 days prior to Independence Day (July 4)? During this 21-day period many people do various activities to celebrate or honor the nation.


Registration now for FREE PD
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. Registration is now open for all summer sessions. Mark your calendars now for the summer learning that YOU choose.


Register now for TeachersFirst's Summer Book Club
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. For more information please click here.


ISTE—Final Countdown
As always, TeachersFirst is headed to the ISTE conference later in June. 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.

If you live in the Philadelphia area and would like to see the EXHIBIT HALL ONLY at ISTE, we have a few Exhibit Hall passes. Apply for a pass here. We will mail passes out to qualifying applicants on a first come, first served basis while supplies last.

If you are going, plan to meet up with us there. Why not attend one of the sessions, listed below. Be sure to stop by our booth in the exhibit hall #1512. You might just earn a free t-shirt!

Tablets: 1...2...3...Go! (Room: WH210)
Monday, June 29, 8:30—11:30 am
Explore and Create: Workshop
Ruth Okoye, Karen Streeter

Resources to Make Your Gifted Classroom Sizzle (Room: B220)
Monday, June 29, 12:45—1:45 pm
Explore and Create: BYOD
Kevin Bower, Melissa Henning

Ed Tech Coaches: Meet the Magicians (Room: PCC 201BC)
Monday, June 29, 5:30—6:45 pm
Engage and Connect: Birds-of-a-feather
Ruth Okoye, Lynne Horiuchi, Melissa Henning, Vivian Poutakoglou

Ed Tech Coaches Playground: Cast a Spell for Learning! (Room: PCC Level 3 Overlook)
Tuesday, June 30, 9:30 am—1:00 pm
Explore and Create: Playground
Ruth Okoye, Lynne Horiuchi, Melissa Henning

Ten Digital Tools for Common Core Elementary English Language Arts (Room: PCC Level 3 Overlook - Station 6)
Tuesday, June 30, 9:30 am - 10:30 am
Explore and Create: Playground
Gretchen Sting

Top Free Tools to Differentiate, Communicate, Assess and Organize BYOT Classrooms (Room: B307)
Tuesday, June 30, 10:45—11:45 am
Explore and Create: BYOD
Kevin Bower, Louise Maine, Melissa Henning

Instructional Technology Coaches: Franchising to Support Academic Achievement (Room: PCC Broad Street Atrium, Table 37)
Tuesday, June 30, 4:00—6:00 pm
Participate and Share: Poster
Ruth Okoye, Karen Streeter

Focusing on Science Inquiry With Flipping, Differentiation and Common Core (Room: PCC Broad Street Atrium, Table 21)
Wednesday, July 1, 8:00—10:00 am
Participate and Share: Poster
Louise Maine


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


Successful Summer
What makes a summer successful? Maybe your success is found in spending quality time with family and friends. Or possible a successful summer involves travel to some new locations. Possibly your successful summer would be spent earning professional development credit and broadening your career? This week’s Teacher Poll asks: What do you hope to do to make your summer a success? Place your vote on the teacher poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


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 a 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!


Time to Refresh!
Does your school give you a large break during the summer months? Or do you spend a few weeks in training and only have a few weeks of real refreshment? The XW1W question for the week of June 14: How long is your summer break this year?

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.


Featured Sites
This week in our Featured Sites find cool tools, geography fun, and more:

  • Solve some Puzzles
  • Google Earth Galore
  • Mission Possible?
  • Digital Citizenship for the Middle Grades
  • Free Secondary E-Books
  • 100 Word Writing Challenges
  • Tour America via Google
  • Science in Current Events
  • Infographic Resume
  • And more

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this June 21 or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived June 14 Features here, and don’t miss our many other recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured Sites page.


As you celebrate Flag Day today and the upcoming 21-day period prior to Independence Day, allow TeachersFirst to help you find free professional development for you and new ideas for your classroom.

The TeachersFirst Team