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May 4, 2015

Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers®

This is Teacher Appreciation Week! As a teacher you are more than an educator. You are a counselor, nurse, educator, disciplinarian, friend, and even a “surrogate” parent, at times. Embrace your many roles this week and know that you are appreciated. Thank you!


Music and the Arts
The May theme from TogetheRead is “The World of Music and the Arts!” TogetheRead provides a list of recommended books, questions, and activities designed to build stronger readers. The themes include books for all ages, centered around the same theme. Parents find questions to ask as the family reads, deepening comprehension before, during, and after reading. Included are free and low-cost ideas for activities families can do together, as well. TogetheRead involves the entire family in supporting literacy.


Water Everywhere
Did you know that over 50 countries around the world will be participating in the World Water Monitoring Challenge? You can monitor a lake, stream, bay, or any other nearby body of water. The official kickoff for the challenge was on World Water Day, March 22. However, the challenge continues through December 31. How can you get your class involved? Learn more about the World Water Monitoring Challenge here.


Tests or Projects: What do You Choose?
How do you prefer to grade your students? Do you mainly grade using tests, projects, or a mix of both? This week’s teacher poll asks: Are your students graded mainly using tests or projects? Place your vote on the teacher poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


OK2Ask FREE PD—Summer Refreshment session
We have only one session remaining in our Spring 2015 OK2Ask season. Keep your eyes open for our Summer 2015 schedule, to be released in late May! Read our FAQ for general information about certificates, etc. Please be sure to read the detailed descriptions and suggested technology comfort levels BEFORE you register for the best match for your learning needs. Most sessions meet from 7:00-8:30 pm EASTERN time.

  • Ready. Set. Summer: Student Tools to Stay Fresh and Teacher Professional “Refreshments”; Mon May 4


Spring Fever!
What do you enjoy the most about springtime where you live? What is your favorite activity to do in the spring? The XW1W question for the week of May 3: What is your favorite spring activity?

Make this the year you make a class Twitter account to learn from classes near and far. Your students can hear about life in other places and cultures through #XW1W. TeachersFirst’s Across the World Once a Week (#xw1w) project uses simple tweets (or links to blog posts) to share the responses to a weekly question. Help your class “see” what life is like in other places. It all works because of something called a hashtag. Learn how to get started with these simple directions and FAQ.


May Mounds of Fun
Cinco de Mayo is almost here. Mother's Day is only a week away. Don’t forget the Google Science Fair submission deadline! Turn to the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar for May and throughout the entire year.


Featured Sites
This week in our Featured Sites find Differentiation, Cool Tools, and more:

  • Manga Math
  • Interactive Music
  • Slave Trade Visualized
  • Skillboard
  • Standardized Test Prep
  • Innovation
  • The Patriot Spy
  • Reading Tools for ALL levels
  • “Kustomized” notes
  • And more

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this May 10 or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived May 3 Features here, and don’t miss our many other recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured Sites page.


Thank you for investing in the future. May TeacherFirst help you find resources to continue to invest in both your students and your self. Take some time to “appreciate” YOU this week.


The TeachersFirst Team