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Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™

May is a curious combination: a burst of special events, concerts, and field trips (if there is funding) juxtaposed with the teacher edition of Survivor!  As you try to stay awake and afloat, TeachersFirst can toss you a life-preserver. We are always here, free and ad-free.


Are you near San Diego?
If you are near San Diego and would like to see the exhibit hall ONLY at the ISTE conference for one day June 25, 26, or 27, fill out a request NOW for a free exhibit hall pass. TeachersFirst has a few passes to share on a first come, first served basis. Tell your school techies, too!


Does TeachersFirst make a difference?
Please help us assess TeachersFirst. Spare a few minutes of your time in return for this free service. We need your ratings and comments about the impact of TeachersFirst on our TeachersFirst User Survey. Think of it as a “report card” for TeachersFirst. (Report cards are due May 31.)


What IS “the Edge?”
TeachersFirst Edge is a special collection within our vast database of reviewed resources. Edge resources are free, online tools you and your students can use to create products and projects such as multimedia presentations, flashcards, comics, animations, podcasts, timelines, even talking animals! The small E icon on the reviews tells you that we have included special tips for using the tool safely and within school policies. Edge feature details appear at the end of the review and are links to helpful management tips for that specific feature. You can browse Edge tools by category simply by clicking in the left sidebar for choices like Audio, Study aid creator, Drawing/whiteboards, Digital storytelling, Geo/mapping and MANY more. Trust TeachersFirst to review the latest tools of the web—the ones your students may already use!


YOUR comments
Thanks to those who have written wonderful comments on our 2012 user survey and to those who use their free TeachersFirst membership to rate and comment on TeachersFirst’s reviewed resources. Let’s make this a SUPER SUMMER for comments. We will award a Thinking Teacher shirt to any teacher who writes an especially helpful summer comment like the one we received from Pat in New Jersey during April. Wear your shirt proudly, Pat!


Summer, D-Day, and more
June is sneaking up on us. As you turn your students loose for summer, be sure to share the Summer Sparklers  to help keep their brains engaged --- at least a little! If you teach through June, you will find resources for D-Day and more on the Classroom Planning Calendar.


LAST chance to rate the mission
We need your assessment of Globetracker’s Mission and its effectiveness to use in our grant applications. Help us document the data for grant-givers. If you used Globetracker’s Mission, even for one lesson, please take the quick survey here, available until the end of May.


OK2Ask®  Ready for summer "snack sessions!"
In July and August, OK2Ask offer sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays on many terrific topics. Read and/or download the full summer OK2Ask® schedule and mark your calendar now! OK2Ask free, online teacher professional development is accessible from any computer, and we provide professional development certificates.  Registration opens about a month before each summer session.


Who should win a trip to ISTE?
The ISTE12 Thinking Teachers Contest has entered the voting phase. You can help decide which teacher entrants will receive ISTE conference registration and $500 towards their ISTE travel expenses. Read the entries and vote here.


What percentage of students you teach speak a language other than English at home? Click your response in the weekly poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Dreams come true
Win a free technology package worth over $300,000 for your school/district in Lifetime's Dream School Challenge. TeachersFirst’s non-profit parent company, The Source for Learning, is one of the sponsors of this contest from Lifetime’s The Balancing Act. Learn more here. The prize package includes an OK2Ask® session just for YOUR school.


Around the World Once a Week (#xw1w)
XW1W  for the week of May 20: What is the farthest you have traveled from 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.


Featured Sites
This week in our Featured Sites, find images, videos, interactives, tools, and info:

  • “Critical” history in video/images
  • Financial literacy
  • Speed reading with comprehension
  • Vocab videos
  • Lively videos and images for science
  • Language learning—even some lesser-known tongues!
  • Visualizing fractions and decimals
  • Book “reports” gone digital for young ones
  • Talking, live podcasts

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


May you do more than survive the week... and perhaps discover a secret, buried treasure in your class.


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