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June 8, 2015

Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers®

Summer has many wonderful aspects! This week’s update focuses on professional development for YOU. Learn about our all-new TeachersFirst book club, ISTE offerings, OK2Ask FREE webinars, and much more.


Summer Book Club Registration OPEN!
We are very excited to be planning a new Professional Development offering for our members. We will be hosting a book club for those who are interested in professional summer reading. Our book club will offer 45 professional development points for those who read the book and participate in the discussions. We will also have the author join us for two webinars!  Our parent company, The Source For Learning, will purchase the books for all participants. Space is limited. For more information please click here.


ISTE—Coming Soon!
As always, TeachersFirst is headed to the ISTE conference later in June. If you cannot afford a trip to Philadelphia, we can help! We will be sharing an OK2Ask® On Demand 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® On Demand link will be front and center on the TeachersFirst home page.

If you are going, plan to meet up with us there. Why not attend one of the sessions, listed below. Be sure to stop by our booth in the exhibit hall #1512. You might just earn a free t-shirt!

Tablets: 1...2...3...Go! (Room: WH210)
Monday, June 29, 8:30—11:30 am
Explore and Create: Workshop
Ruth Okoye, Karen Streeter

Resources to Make Your Gifted Classroom Sizzle (Room: B220)
Monday, June 29, 12:45—1:45 pm
Explore and Create: BYOD
Kevin Bower, Melissa Henning

Ed Tech Coaches: Meet the Magicians (Room: PCC 201BC)
Monday, June 29, 5:30—6:45 pm
Engage and Connect: Birds-of-a-feather
Ruth Okoye, Lynne Horiuchi, Melissa Henning, Vivian Poutakoglou

Ed Tech Coaches Playground: Cast a Spell for Learning! (Room: PCC Level 3 Overlook)
Tuesday, June 30, 9:30 am—1:00 pm
Explore and Create: Playground
Ruth Okoye, Lynne Horiuchi, Melissa Henning

Top Free Tools to Differentiate, Communicate, Assess and Organize BYOT Classrooms (Room: B307)
Tuesday, June 30, 10:45—11:45 am
Explore and Create: BYOD
Kevin Bower, Louise Maine, Melissa Henning

Instructional Technology Coaches: Franchising to Support Academic Achievement (Room: PCC Broad Street Atrium, Table 37)
Tuesday, June 30, 4:00—6:00 pm
Participate and Share: Poster
Ruth Okoye, Karen Streeter

Focusing on Science Inquiry With Flipping, Differentiation and Common Core (Room: PCC Broad Street Atrium, Table 21)
Wednesday, July 1, 8:00—10:00 am
Participate and Share: Poster
Louise Maine


June Celebrations
June is the time for thank-you gifts to school staff and parent volunteers. Find resources for Flag Day, Ramadan, and Father's Day. Turn to the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar for June and throughout the entire year.


Adventures in Summer—Books for Students
Summertime brings many adventures: camp, wild weather, fireworks, vacations, and more! Our latest CurriConnects theme, Adventures in Summer, offers a collection of fabulous books (both fiction and information text). This booklist is just in time to share for summer break! CurriConnects book lists provide choices for student independent reading in support of curriculum content. This particular list is rich in variety and offers both fiction and information text. All of our CurriConnects book lists include Lexile® levels, interest levels, and a short “blurb” to help any student find a book of interest. Share the lists with your school library/media specialist or your local public library to locate the books on the shelves or on interlibrary loan. Share this list with your students on your class website or your summer final newsletter.


Summer Sparklers for Students
Some schools may already be finished for the year; others have a few weeks to go. If you are preparing for an early June departure, 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!


Last Day Highs and Lows
How do you feel about the last day of school? Are you sad that the school year is coming to an end? Maybe you have been counting down to summer since the 100th Day? Or maybe, like many others, your final day is bittersweet: sad for the passing of time (and students moving to the next grade), but excited about summer and new beginnings. This week’s Teacher Poll asks: How do you typically feel on the last day of school? Place your vote on the teacher poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Travel Time?
Do you have big travel plans for the summer? Maybe your travel plans involve a 30-minute trip to a local amusement park or beach? Maybe your travel plans involve flying in an airplane? The XW1W question for the week of June 7: How far will you travel this summer? 

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.


Registration for Summer OK2Ask is NOW OPEN
Summer OK2Ask sessions resume in early July and will be held on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays for five weeks. All regular summer sessions begin at 6pm EDT. 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 IS OPEN. Mark your calendars now for the summer learning that YOU choose.


Featured Sites
This week in our Featured Sites find STEM, art, online tools, and much more:

  • Keep Calm
  • Easy Online Word Counter
  • Give the Dog a (Math) Bone
  • Roosevelts
  • Geology for the Young
  • Science Detective
  • Create Music
  • Find a New Color Scheme
  • Image Editing Fun
  • And more

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this June 14 or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived June 7 Features here, and don’t miss our many other recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured Sites page.


Ready or not, summer is here (or just around the corner). Let TeachersFirst be your online PD coach!


The TeachersFirst Team