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Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers™

Happy Father’s Day!! Enjoy your picnic, baseball game, family get-together, or afternoon nap. If you are honoring a dad or being honored, you are probably reading this a day or two later. We hope you had a great time.


Summer Schedule
TeachersFirst will slow our schedule slightly during July to match our teacher audience. While many of you are busy with summer travel, study, and moonlighting jobs, we change our pace just a bit. We will share the Update and Featured Sites in combined issues for July 1/8 and July 15/22. If you are offline for a bit, you will have less to catch up on when you return. The Brain Twister will change every other Friday, with new versions posted July 6 and 20. We resume our regular weekly schedule with July 27 Brain Twister and July 29 Update, just in time to get fired up for 2012-13.


You tell us
One of the concerns mentioned by many teachers in our annual user survey is that you wish you could access web resources that are blocked by your school filters. If you wonder how other schools handle web filtering and why your school does it, take a look at  TeachersFirst’s Sifting Through the Filters. We talked to a sampling of different schools to see how the range of ways this issue is managed. You may find some suggestions for your school to try.


And the winners are...
Three lucky teachers will be attending the ISTE conference at the end of this month courtesy of TeachersFirst’s ISTE12 Thinking Teachers Contest. The winners are Kelly Grennan Smith of East Greenwich, RI; Erin Downey of Boise, ID; and Lisa Johnson of San Antonio, TX. You can see them—and hear their thoughts—during OK2Ask LIVE from ISTE.  We will be webcasting LIVE from our booth in the exhibit hall on Tuesday, June 26 at 3:30 pm Pacific time (6:30 Eastern). Click to watch from the link top center on the TeachersFirst home page under News and Updates. Experience ISTE virtually!


Heading to ISTE?
If you will be in San Diego, be sure to stop by our booth (1906) in the exhibit hall to earn a Thinking Teacher shirt and meet some Thinking Teachers. Several of us will be attending the conference. Be sure to introduce yourself to anyone you see throughout ISTE wearing a Thinking Teacher shirt! Don’t miss this presentation by Louise Maine and me:

Now I See! Visual and Analytical Routes to Literacy through Infographics
Wednesday, 6/27/2012, 10:15am - 11:15am, SDCC 4 


Swifter, Higher, Stronger Learning
If you teach during the summer (or perhaps run a summer program), make this the year you celebrate learning Olympic style. Find resources for the Olympics and other events on the Classroom Planning Calendar.


Register now for July OK2Ask®
Registrations for July OK2Ask sessions are now open. August registrations will open up after July 4.  Get a jump on the hottest offerings by reading the full schedule and descriptions now posted. Join teachers from all over to explore terrific topics in sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Read and/or download the full summer OK2Ask® schedule and mark your calendar for free OK2Ask online teacher professional development for motivated teachers.


Which summer vacation location do you prefer?
Vote for your preference in the weekly poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Around the World Once a Week (#xw1w)
XW1W  for the week of June 17: Do you celebrate Fathers Day? How? 
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 some “ugly duckling” but useful sites and some real beauties:

  • Presentations with packaged audio
  • Native Americans—visually WOW!
  • Deep searches for videos
  • English grammar via a personalized tool, useful materials, and an interactive
  • Olympic-related math
  • Following your money
  • Chemistry test prep
  • Tracing your T-shirt from cotton plant to you

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


May your have a chance to grab a nap in a hammock or taste a burger from the grill this week. It’s officially summer on June 20!


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