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May 13, 2013

Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers®

Mom, Mother, Mama, teacher. Some days we are more Mom than teacher. Many of us are also moms to our own kids and/or kids to our own mom. Make Mother’s Day week a chance to take a breath and appreciate the nurturing role we play and that others play for us. Sometimes we all need a mom. TeachersFirst is far from a Mom, but we hope we nurture Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers.


May 15: The BIG event
Be sure to watch TeachersFirst on Wednesday, May 15, for a very exciting announcement. We will be premiering a brand new, interactive resource on a very timely topic. Be sure to check our home page or follow @teachersfirst on Twitter to be part of something historic! Be one of the first to share it with your students, parents, and colleagues.


Summer Send-off (for some)           
School ends soon in some locations. Before you go, be sure to share some summer “extras” with your students and their parents.

  • TeachersFirst’s Summer Sparklers help prevent summer slide with engaging activities to review and create.
  • Help younger students stay in practice with basics side by side with mom or dad using these resources tagged for pre-K level skills.
  • Promote family literacy for all ages with TogetheRead from our sister site, TeachersAndFamilies. Summer TogetheRead themes this year include May: "Unusual Travel Adventures," June: "Have a Ball," July: "Mistakes," and  August: “Opening New Doors.”
  • Dates That Matter for middle school to adults. Discover a meaningful event from history each day by figuring out questions—and find out why it matters!


Summer refreshments
Teachers need a break from routine and a chance to invigorate with something new over the summer, too. Plan to spend some “me time” with TeachersFirst this summer:


Summer OK2Ask® Registration
Speaking of “me time,” the summer offerings for OK2Ask® are now ready for preview and early registration. Summer sessions are plentiful—and slightly longer this year to allow more time for exploration and questions. Download a full listing (pdf file) to print out or share at the copy machine. Note that we have moved OK2Ask information and registration to a new location as of summer, so update your bookmarks. See the full summer catalog and register. Read more about OK2Ask, free online “snack sessions” for self-directed teacher professional development, including FAQs. Yes, we do offer professional development certificates to qualified participants.


Close Cousins?
Family get-togethers vary a lot between cultures. Tell us about yours. See responses from other people in other places via Across the World Once a Week (#xw1w). Your responses about life where you live help others learn—and vice versa. This quick activity uses microblogging and something called a hashtag. It’s easy! Get started now with these simple directions and FAQ. XW1W for the week of May 12: How often do you see your cousins? 


Change makers
Which is most likely to prompt you to change your teaching? Share what moves you via the weekly teacher poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Featured Sites
This week in our Featured Sites, find the useful and the unique:

  • Historical flags (save for Flag Day!)
  • Fascinating forensics
  • Two great vocabulary builders
  • Country and culture comparisons
  • American Revolutionary artifacts
  • Arts—in any subject
  • Common Core math on demand
  • Custom made bingo cards
  • Hamlet a whole new way
  • And MORE.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this May 19 or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived May 12 Features here, and don’t miss our many additional recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured sites page.


Nurture learning in your classroom and in yourself this week.

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