TeachersFirst Update Archives

Return to Update Archives List

May 11, 2015

Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers®

If you are a teacher, you are a surrogate parent to many students. If you are both a mother and a teacher, you deserve a double thank you! As a teacher, don’t forget to thank all of the moms who come to your classroom and help you, nag their children to study and do their homework, ask you questions and are involved in their child’s education, and of course send in tissues when you need them! Thank a mom today.


Still Seeking Science Teachers
Just a reminder that MySciLife—SFL’s social learning environment for middle school science—is still recruiting interested teachers for next year. If you or one of your friends is a creative middle level (gr 6-9) science teacher who enjoys student-centered learning, please read the details, then submit your information via the link to “To apply online” at the bottom of the page. Spaces are limited, so apply NOW. MySciLife® brings science to life.


Summer is Coming—Avoid the “slide”
Some schools have only a few weeks of school left. If you are preparing for a May final day, NOW is the time to share the TeachersFirst Summer Sparklers with parents and students. Prevent “summer slide” while inspiring creativity (and learning) with this handpicked collection of creative tools, clever sites, individualized challenges, and interactives for all ages. Put the link on your summer learning web page and share it in your monthly e-newsletter. Parents will appreciate it!


Rubrics to the Rescue
Find ideas for using meaningful rubrics to assess student learning and to differentiate for individual student needs in TeachersFirst's Rubrics to the Rescue. Rubrics are a wonderful way to make projects and activities more student-centered and creative without losing accountability.


"Moms" the Word
How do you celebrate moms in your classroom? Place your vote on the teacher poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


ISTE Bound
As always, TeachersFirst is headed to the ISTE conference in June. If you are going, plan to meet up with us there (more details in June Updates). If you cannot afford a trip to Philadelphia, we can help! On Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at 3:30pm Eastern time, we will be doing an OK2Ask® LIVE webcast from ISTE. Plan to watch and listen to teachers as they share their fabulous ISTE discoveries. It is almost like being there – without the airfare. Mark your calendars now! The OK2Ask LIVE link will be front and center on the TeachersFirst home page.


OK2Ask® Summer Preview
Do we have plans for you! Summer OK2Ask sessions resume in early July and will be held on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesday for five weeks. All regular summer sessions begin at 6pm EDT. Watch the update for more exciting OK2Ask® Summer news! OK2Ask® is a series of free, online sessions for self-directed professional development. Learn more about OK2Ask. The pdf of the summer schedule is posted now, and registration will open by the end of May. Mark your calendars now for the summer learning that YOU choose.


Don’t Want to Wait? Learn Something NOW and Later
If you simply can’t wait for the Summer OK2Ask sessions to begin, you can access the OK2Ask archived recordings anytime. These recordings (mostly 90-minutes) open in Adobe Connect. This online “classroom” space allows you to start, stop, and pause to learn about many teaching topics. Because we cannot assess your learning from an archived session, we are not able to grant certificates for watching a recording. But you will LOVE being able to watch and learn with OK2Ask. See the full archive listing here.


Moms Everywhere
What would be your mom’s favorite gift? Does she have a favorite flower or local restaurant? Maybe you have a family tradition for Mother’s Day? The XW1W question for the week of May 10: What is your mom’s favorite gift?

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 Happenings
May and June are the time for thank-you gifts to school staff and parent volunteers. Memorial Day is the time to remember, let’s not forget. Turn to the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar for May and throughout the entire year.


Globetracker: Year in Review
Your students learned so much from the year’s global mission of Globetracker! Make sure you check out the review activities to reflect about the mission around the world. Find the link to Review Activities in the sidebar of the Teacher’s edition of Globetracker. Even if you did not follow the mission this year, take a look to see what Globetracker’s Mission is like and plan to use it next year to teach map skills, landforms, and geography in grades 2-6. Hint: next year Geo and Meri will be traveling around the regions of the USA.


Featured Sites
This week in our Featured Sites:

  • Rainforests
  • Be an Editor
  • Rivers
  • Graphing
  • Choose at Random
  • Find the BEST place for Summer
  • Journey to a New Land
  • McGruff Internet Safety
  • Tozzl
  • And more

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this May 17 or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived May 10 Features here, and don’t miss our many other recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured Sites page.


Thank you to the moms and the “teacher” moms. You make a difference each and every day in the lives of countless students. Thank you!


The TeachersFirst Team