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7/2/2012 and 7/9/2012

Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™

Thank you to the many Thinking Teachers who greeted us at ISTE. We love seeing your faces and hearing your stories. It was quite a week, and the Thinking Teachers are exhausted and inspired by all that we saw and learned. Watch for many new ideas on TeachersFirst that sprout from our ISTE experience.


Summer Schedule
TeachersFirst adjusts our schedule a bit during July to match teachers’ summer plans. While many of you are away or busy with study and moonlighting jobs, we change our pace just a bit. We will share this Update and Featured Sites in a combined issue for July 1 and July 8, followed by another for July 15 and 22. If you are offline for a bit, you will be able to catch up easily when you return. The Brain Twister changes every other Friday during July, with new versions posted July 6 and 20. We resume our regular weekly schedule with July 27 Brain Twister and July 29 Update, in time to get you fired up for 2012-13.


Looking for books?
Did you know that TeachersFirst offers CurriConnects, curricular reading lists designed to accompany many popular topics of study. Encourage students to read independently at their own reading levels and connect what they learn with what they are studying in class. CurriConnects topic include Books for Tough Situations, Earth Science, Explorers, Frontiers and Settlers, Geographic Wonders, Inventors and Inventions, Money, Money, Money, and many more. Each list includes Lexile® levels and a wide range of offerings so even your weakest readers or most talented students can find books on an appropriate level from early elementary through high school. Now students can read to connect new and prior knowledge!


Family Literacy, Personal Makeover edition
This month’s TogetheRead offering from our sister site, TeachersAndFamilies, is Personal Makeovers. Books this month feature tales of people with personal strength to rise above challenges or remake themselves when faced with tough situations. Promote family literacy via this collection of books and no-cost activities. Embedded in the book reviews and activity suggestions are discussion questions to promote effective reading strategies. Designed to include all age groups, each free, monthly TogetheRead offering centers on a common theme so everyone in the family can join in.


Swifter, Higher, Stronger Learning
If you are teaching or running a summer recreation program this summer, why not share learning Olympic style. Find resources for the Olympics, Independence Day,  and other upcoming events on the Classroom Planning Calendar.


OK2Ask® is here!
Registrations for all summer OK2Ask sessions will be open by July 4. Don’t miss the chance to join the hottest offerings. Read the schedule and descriptions for OK2Ask every Tuesday and Thursday from July 17 through August 23. Register now and mark your calendar for free OK2Ask online, self-directed teacher professional development.


Revised, refreshed, and ready for you
Webquests have been around for years now, and they remain a popular way to package learning. This tech-traditional lesson format engages students to generate authentic products. TeachersFirst has completely revised and refreshed our ever-popular Webquest 101 to include newer ways to share and create on the web. Why not make Webquest 101 one of your summer learning stops?


Timely Teaching
Which timely topic are you most likely to include in lessons in 2012-13?
Vote for your choice in the weekly poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Across the World Once a Week (#xw1w)
XW1W  for the weeks of July 1 and July 8: What fruits grow where you live? 
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 creative tools and much more:

  • Two very different search tools
  • Easy to use CAD
  • Bookmarking bundles
  • Light bulbs!
  • A tool to package slides and sound
  • Idioms
  • Images of your words
  • A creative flexibility builder
  • Customized news

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


As we move into July, declare your independence from your least favorite lessons and plan something new to launch 2012-13! TeachersFirst will be right there to help you.


Your “teacher to go,”

Candace Hackett Shively
Director of K-12 Initiatives