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May 30, 2011

It's the week before MOVING DAY at TeachersFirst. We have everything sorted and labeled and ready to move into our new “home” at our same address. Through the miracles of technology, we will be able to welcome you with an instant house-warming in just a few days. We hope our excitement is contagious. We can't wait to greet you!

One week to go
For weeks we have been hinting that June will be an exciting time at TeachersFirst. NEXT weekend, sometime June 4 or 5, when you go to www.teachersfirst.com, you will see a whole new site, TeachersFirst version 3.0. The process of “unveiling” the site actually rolls out over 24-48 hours as the Internet “discovers” it. (Vocabulary lesson: this process is called allowing the new site to propagate.) If you still see our familiar site, try again in a few hours.

If you have a free TeachersFirst membership, you should have received a separate email explaining how the move will affect your member Favorites and teacher home page during the transition. We won’t “lose your stuff”! See full member transition information here.

TeachersFirst 3.0 will have a fresher look, better features, and easy ways for you to share your opinions and teaching ideas with others. TeachersFirst will still be your “go-to” resource for sound teaching ideas and the best of the web, and we will remain free and ad-free – always. The best news: YOU don’t have to do anything. Just sit back and let us do all the packing, sorting, moving, and unpacking for you. No rental trucks, no attic cleaning, no dish packs. Come celebrate with us in our new home at TeachersFirst 3.0, NEXT weekend!


D-Day or Father’s Day?
As more and more veterans of D-Day pass away, it is especially important to remind today’s students about Normandy. Start them off with TeachersFirst’s Resources for D-Day.  Just a couple of weeks later on June 19, fathers have their special day. Find ideas to create free but meaningful Father’s Day gifts from Special Occasion Ideas for the Classroom: TeachersFirst Editors' Choices. Don’t miss ideas and resources for many special events in the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar.


An Artist's Eye
Just in time for summer travels and creative days, our sister site, TeachersAndFamilies, offers An Artists’s Eye as the June TogetheRead theme for family literacy (for ALL ages, not just little ones). The June theme is all about artists and creativity. Take a look at An Artists’s Eye from TogetheRead, a free feature that offers books for all ages around a common theme -- and activity ideas to go along with them. Built in are prompts to build effective reading strategies as families share reading time together or individually. Include the TogetheRead link on your class web page or online school newsletter, and be sure to give the book list to your local/school library for help finding the books for free. Make summer reading a family affair.


Parting Gift
Summer Sparklers is a collection of teacher-reviewed web resources for students of various ages to enjoy learning all summer long. The collection includes many sites where students and parents can create something together, sites that reinforce skills to prevent "summer slide," and challenges to spark thinking at any age. Though the page is written by teachers for teachers, parents will also appreciate the "At home" suggestions, especially on a rainy day. Be sure to share the link as you send students off for summer.


This week’s XW1W question: Where do you sit to do homework at home?
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.


The summer OK2Ask™ schedule leads off in June 28 with OK2Ask™ LIVE from ISTE in Philadelphia. Tune in via the link on the TeachersFirst home page from 3:30-4:30 pm EDT to hear the thoughts of Thinking Teachers willing to share what they have seen and learned at this ed tech conference. You don’t even have to board an airplane (or pay the fare). Mark your calendar now. Browse the full summer OK2Ask™ schedule with pre-registration opening about one month prior to each session.


This Week's Question of the Week
What was the most powerful thing a student ever said to you on the last day of school? Share your response to this Question of the Week. Check "anonymous," if you wish. See what other teachers have to say. See responses to past questions by clicking to see the Question archives.


Featured Sites
This week’s featured sites include new ways to see things and a helpful tool:

  • A new way to see color
  • Two sites that use math in the real world
  • Understandable economics
  • Web safety
  • Authors on Twitter
  • A very succinct writing (and thinking) tool
  • A tool to “clean up” YouTube videos
  • And more, including many other “recent additions (click at the bottom of the page).

May your week go smoothly while we scurry about with our technological “packing boxes.  For an exercise in observation, show your students TeachersFirst before and after next weekend. See how many changes they can find!

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