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Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™

It’s a “taxing” time and crunch time. We are testing, culminating, and trying to figure out how to fit everything in before the end of the school year. TeachersFirst is in the same crunch. We ask for your input, entries, and/or applications for many opportunities this week as we offer our usual freebies to help you in your teaching. Take the time to read and share the time-sensitive information in this Update. You might regret it if you let it languish too long.


Seeking Middle School Science teachers
TeachersFirst is involved in a very exciting technology-based social learning project for middle school science. This project (which will be free) needs some talented middle school science teachers to help us this summer. Yes, they will be paid. Learn more here—and PLEASE tell your science teacher friends. The application deadline is April 30.


Enter to win a technology package!
Could your school/district use a free technology package worth over $300,000? TeachersFirst’s non-profit parent company, The Source for Learning, is one of the sponsors of the Dream School Challenge from Lifetime’s The Balancing Act. Learn more here, and don’t miss seeing Candace Hackett Shively (TeachersFirst’s Thinking Teacher-leader), together with ISTE CEO Don Knezek on The Balancing Act April 24 during the 7-8 am broadcast (Yes, you’ll be at school, so DVR it!).


Mission accomplished
Geo and Meri have done it! They have finally found Louie, putting an end to this year’s Globetracker’s Mission. The mission REVIEW activities are available now in the sidebar of the Teacher’s Edition of the weekly episode. Wrap up the year of standards-based learning about geography, major sites in the U.S., landforms, and more. Put the Mission into perspective and recap the concepts with these thought-provoking offerings.  The mission will remain online for you to rewind and recap until the end of May.


Globetracker teachers: we need your help!
TeachersFirst gives away a lot. We need you to give back just a little. Teachers, please tell us what you think about Globetracker's Mission by completing a short survey. We need your assessment of Globetracker's Mission's effectiveness to help us obtain grants. Take the survey here.  


Learning that pays
Understanding how world economic systems work can mystify even the experts, but all of us need to understand the basics of how an economy functions, especially as gas prices and elections challenge us to understand how money works.  TeachersFirst Editors' Choices for Understanding Economics and Money will help students of any age grasp the basics and more. Bring financial literacy and economic understanding into your math, social studies, or economics classroom at any level.


Eventful days
You probably have already thought about April as Autism Awareness Month and National Poetry Month. What about other upcoming Apri levents? Find the greenest of teaching ideas to support Earth Day (April 22).  Take Your Child to Work Day (April 26) is a challenge as students disappear. Make this career-focused day an actual learning experience for the whole class with resources from TeachersFirst.  TV Turn Off Week (April 23-29) is an ideal time for families to share Special Occasion activities from TeachersFirst. No matter what the occasion, the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar has ideas for learning.


May is for math at OK2Ask®
Elementary and middle school math teachers don’t want to miss our OK2Ask® May math offering with an award-winning teacher. Join this free, online teacher professional development “snack session” from any computer—and earn a professional development certificate. The summer OK2Ask® schedule will be posted in May and will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays during July and August.

Energizing Math: ideas, resources, and collaboration for K-8 math teachers
Tues, May 22. ONE session 7-8:30 pm EDT ONLY; Read the details and register


Have you commented?
Your comments on TeachersFirst resource reviews automatically enter you to win a Thinking Teacher shirt.  Winners are drawn at random from all the helpful comments each month. Use your free TeachersFirst membership to tell others how you use a TeachersFirst resource or to comment on why you gave it a certain rating. We want to hear from Thinking Teachers.


Who can unblock?
How can teachers unblock web sites at your school?
Click your answer in the weekly poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Your "like" is the frosting on our cake
TeachersFirst is 14 years old this month. Please visit our Facebook page to “like” TeachersFirst. No calories from this birthday celebration, just the gift from your positive click. Tell your teacher friends.


Around the World Once a Week (#xw1w)
XW1W  for the week of April 15: What is your favorite after school/work snack? 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.


Featured Sites
This week in our Featured Sites, find some deceivingly simple sites and timely topics:

  • How laws are made—infographic style
  • A “laundry list” for the environment—just in time for Earth Day
  • Stem careers—in time for Take Your Child to Work Day
  • Healthy Eating
  • Native Americans and environment challenges
  • Internet Safety
  • A great graphing calculator
  • Random words!
  • Tools for whiteboard sharing and organizing long term projects

And more! Don’t miss our many additional recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured sites page.


May your students meet their deadlines this week and may you discover some unexpected “free” time of your own.


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