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Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™

Pomp and circumstance, rest and relaxation, packing up and planning ahead. These are the days of June. Take a deep breath and savor the changed young people who walk out your classroom door. You have accomplished much. The Thinking Teachers at TeachersFirst hope we have helped along the way.


Dear library/media specialist,
We understand. You are the glue that holds your school together. You connect, search, find, and share the very best resources.  When TeachersFirst shares our Help I lost my library/media specialist series, we do not mean to imply that you are in any way replaceable or expendable! We are simply trying to help the teachers and students left behind when budget cuts wrest you away. Our short monthly features are survival strategies but will never fill the void you leave. TeachersFirst mourns your absence. If you have any comments or suggestions, we hope you will share them via our Contact Us link. We love hearing from you.


Summer Reading for YOU
The beach is calling. If you are like most teachers, summer is your chance to renew and refresh. The June installment in our Help I lost my library/media specialist series has you in mind. Find Summer Reading choices for teachers, including both books and blogs. Grab your mobile device or eReader and head outside for a new lease on your teaching life.


Summer Reading for families
This month’s theme from TogetheRead is “Things That Float in the Air.” TogetheRead, a family literacy offering from our sister site, TeachersAndFamilies, includes book selections for all ages and free/low cost activities to promote successful reading strategies and family fun. Read books around a central theme so you can talk about them at the family picnic! Be sure to tell your class parents about this free offering. The July and August themes will be “Personal Makeovers” and “Water.” Read complete teacher/librarian information here and sign up for reading list previews.


Summer, D-Day, and more
We can’t believe June is finally here. As your students depart for summer, be sure to stuff their backpacks and minds with the Summer Sparklers to prevent summer slide and encourage creative thinking. If your school is still in session, find resources for D-Day, Father’s Day, and more on the Classroom Planning Calendar. Your students also enjoy the building anticipation by exploring Resources for the Olympics.


Summer get-togethers from OK2Ask®
The July and August OK2Ask sessions are now posted. Join us for snack sessions for many terrific topics, held on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Read and/or download the full summer OK2Ask® schedule and mark your calendar for OK2Ask free, online teacher professional development accessible from any computer. Registration opens about a month before each session.


Last chance to win a dream
The deadline is June 8 to 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 a sponsor of this contest from Lifetime’s The Balancing Act. Learn more here. The prize package includes an OK2Ask® session just for YOUR school.


Merit pay?
Has your school/district implemented pay for performance?
Tell us how in the weekly poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Handy with one click
Need standards? Moving to a new state? Find links to state departments of education, standards, and many teacher professional organizations on TeachersFirst’s Outside Sources page.


Around the World Once a Week (#xw1w)
XW1W  for the week of June 3: Do you swim in summer? Where? 
 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 the extra engaging and the ultimately useful:

  • Negro League baseball
  • Culture videos from across the world
  • Super story boards
  • Fabulous financial literacy
  • A treasure for Little House lovers
  • Potatoes! (and plants in general)
  • Vivacious videos for science
  • Harry Potter

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


May you marvel at the transformations you witness this week.


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