TeachersFirst Update Archives

Return to Update Archives List


Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™

Summer is certainly a change of pace, but not necessarily a slower one. As you shift to packing and unpacking or completing grad classes, TeachersFirst is busy preparing for your next school year. Sorry, but we don’t do post-vacation laundry.


Hands off, Vanna!
If you have an interactive whiteboard or are getting one soon, you won’t want to miss our newest professional pages on giving students control of interactive whiteboard learning. Make the best use of available technology. You’ll never play Vanna White again.


Without it, where would we be?
Creativity is at the heart of innovation and problem solving from the space shuttle to settling budget impasses. We see the need for it in the real world every day. Now you can find ways to promote creativity in your classroom, even in today’s data driven world. Don’t miss Cycles vs. Checklists: Fostering Creative Process in an Accountability World, a new professional exclusive from TeachersFirst.


July Schedule at TeachersFirst
TeachersFirst spends July gearing up for the new school year. Therefore, we are sending this combined edition of the Update for July 17/24 before resuming our weekly schedule on July 31. The Featured Sites also stay online for two weeks so you have a chance to catch them between summer course work and travel. The  Brain Twisters will change every other Friday in July, with NEW versions on July 15 and 29.  Soon we will all be back at full speed for Back to School.


All you can “eat," it's OK2Ask™  
The best no-calorie learning snacks ever, OK2Ask™  sessions are on the menu beginning July 19. Attend these free, online snack sessions for teacher self-guided professional development from any computer with a high speed connection. No special “techie” expertise required. We issue Professional Development Certificates to those who meet the requirements, and you get to “meet” teachers from all over. Space is limited, so sign up early for these free offerings. (Please be courteous and release your free “seat” by deleting you name from the registration page if you change you mind!). Registration is now open for all remaining summer sessions:

  • THIS TUESDAY-- ALMOST FULL:  Great Ideas! Exploring the Resources of the new TeachersFirst 3.0 to Plan Effective, Technology-Infused Lessons; Tues, July 19, 2011; One session only: 6:00-7:15 pm EDT
  • Guided Wiki Walk (TWO SESSION workshop) Tues, July 26 AND Thurs, July 28, 2011; Same content repeated at two time blocks 3:00- 4:15 pm or 6:00- 7:15 pm EDT.
  • Great Ideas! Exploring the Resources of the new TeachersFirst 3.0 to Plan Effective, Technology-Infused Lessons; Thurs, August 4, 2011; One session only: 6:00-7:15 pm EDT
  • Wiki Workshop: An open help session and time for teachers to ask questions, help each other. *PREREQUISITE -- see description. (Extended time session); Tuesday Aug 9, 2011. ONE time block only 3:30-5:30 pm EDT
  • Editors’ Choices from the TeachersFirst Edge: TeachersFirst Editors’ Top Three Picks (Extended time session); Tuesday, August 16, 2011; ONE time block only 3:30-5:30 pm EDT
  • Project options from the TeachersFirst Edge: A focused workshop using Google Docs (Extended time session); Thursday, August 18, 2011; ONE time block only 3:30-5:30 pm EDT.


XW1W question for the week of July 17: When is your longest school break and what do you do?
For the week of July 24: How old is the oldest living member of your family? 
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.


TeachersFirst 3.0 BEST FINDS
Now is the time to get inspired. If you have never tried a classroom wiki, take the time to stroll along the Wiki Walk-Through to learn what wikis are, how you and your students can use one, and how easy it is to get started. Bewildered by blogs? Clear the blog fog with Blogging Basics for the Classroom. Then choose a wiki or a blog —or both—to inspire new ways of teaching and learning for 2011-12.


TeachersFirst 3-point-OH! on the go
You probably are not at home on the computer these days. Don’t miss the chance to explore and mark FAVORITE teaching resources (with your free membership) while you wait in line or sit on the beach. Wherever you are, we’ll be there.  TeachersFirst 3.0 is designed with your mobile device in mind.


This Week's Poll
This week and next, the weekly polls are about summer learning: yours and your students. Share your response to the Weekly Poll front and center on the TeachersFirst home page. Vote and see what other teachers say instantly!


Thinking Teachers show their colors
In these days of teacher bashing, it is even more important to show the world your pride in the profession. TeachersFirst watches what people say about us on blogs and tweets. Soon, we will be surprising random teachers who spread the word about TeachersFirst with a shirt to tell the world YOU are a Thinking Teacher. If you have a blog or web page, write a post about TeachersFirst. Tweet to tell people who may not know aboutTeachersFirst. Share TeachersFirst on Facebook. You may be surprised to hear from us.  


Almost there
Our transition to full TeachersFirst 3.0 member features is nearly complete. Member features save you even more time. Try logging in to your FREE membership and marking favorites and tagging them by unit, subject, or project to help you stay organized. Not a member yet? Join for free. TeachersFirst is and will remain free for teachers. Shortly, you will be able to share TeachersFirst Favs on a public page for students and parents to see. Click to share—coming in time for back to school.

Note that those who receive these Updates via email may or may not be TeachersFirst “members.” You have to sign up. Learn more about FREE member features and sign up NOW. (P.S. We don’t sell or give away ANY information about you to ANYONE.)


Featured Sites
It’s MATH and MORE in the featured sites! Find math sites, resources for including math in other subjects, and some great professional finds for ANY subject:

  • Math practice games
  • A timeless locker problem
  • Math applied in real world work
  • Worldwide statistics
  • Handy link sharing for any subject
  • Technology integration inspiration across the curriculum
  • Music and math
  • Basic counting practice
  • STEM connections
  • Formative assessment fun
  • And more

Don’t miss all our recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured sites page.


May you discover new ideas in new places this week. Summer is for exploring.

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