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July 13, 2015

Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers®

It was wonderful to meet so many new folks at the ISTE conference. Our team shared about Ed Tech Coaching, Tablets, Resources for Gifted, Best FREE DATs (tools that work on any device), Top Tools for Common Core ELA, and Science: Differentiating, Flipping, and Common Core. We also enjoyed meeting the many excited teachers and ed tech coordinators at our booth. The enthusiasm of ISTE is certainly contagious. We will be sharing new ideas that we brought home from ISTE over the next few months. Also, our ISTE OK2Ask® On Demand video footage will be available soon. Watch the updates to learn more!


Welcome to the World of TeachersFirst
If you just “met” the Thinking Teachers, perhaps at ISTE or in another PD workshop, why not take the time to get to know us better. We offer FREE Online PD (with PD credit offered). Our first Summer sessions are great introductions to TeachersFirst. Join us for Great Ideas to learn more about the overall site on Monday July 6 at 6pm (Eastern). Come back on Wednesday July 8 at 6pm (Eastern) for Great Timesavers to learn more about TeachersFirst’s FREE Membership and the many advantages.


July Schedule
TeachersFirst is open 24/7. We don’t take a break. However, we do slow our pace during July to accommodate teachers’ travel and summer breaks. This Update will repeat on July 12. A new Update will appear on July 19 and repeat on July 26. The Weekly Brain Twisters will change every other Friday, with new Twisters appearing on July 3 and 17. Both the Update and Brain Twisters will return to a weekly schedule beginning August 1. We hope that this schedule will keep you from missing any of the latest from TeachersFirst! We also hope you enjoy some time offline a bit to savor your Summer.


Ready.. Set... Go - FREE Online PD
Summer OK2Ask® sessions begin THIS week and run for five weeks on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays 6pm EDT. These free, online sessions for teacher self-directed professional development feature many ways to use technology in YOUR classroom. Read the descriptions to learn about prerequisites, standards, goals/objectives, and appropriate technology comfort levels BEFORE you sign up. Please note: ALL Summer PD certificates will be issued at the end of August. Learn more about OK2Ask here.

Upcoming Sessions:

Monday July 6, 2015; 6:00 - 7:30pm EDT
Great Ideas: Exploring the Resources of TeachersFirst to Plan Effective, Technology-Infused Lessons

Tuesday July 7, 2015; 6:00 - 7:00pm EDT
Introduction to the Summer Book Club (Only for approved participants)

Wednesday July 8, 2015; 6:00 - 7:30pm EDT
Great Timesavers: Tools and tips to maximize TeachersFirst’s free membership

Monday July 13, 2015; 6:00 - 8:00pm EDT
Google 101: The Top View of Google and Basics

Tuesday July 14, 2015; 6:00 - 8:00pm EDT
Google 201: Google Intermediate Level Cool Tools

Wednesday July 15, 2015; 6:00 - 8:00pm EDT
Google 301: Google Advanced Level Cool Tools


The Source for Learning and TeachersFirst® are happy to partner with the Virginia Society for Technology in Education (VSTE) at their Digital Age Learning Day on July 22nd. If you live in Virginia and would like to know more about this event, you can learn about the mini-conference at this link. Stop by our kiosk while at the conference and you’ll be entered in a special drawing.


Teaching about TeachersFirst?
Summer is PD season. If you feature TeachersFirst in teacher professional development workshops, teach a grad class about us, or coach teachers about TeachersFirst in your role as a technology integration specialist, we can help. Complete this form telling us where you plan to feature TeachersFirst. We will send out TeachersFirst cards and an ever-popular Thinking Teacher T-Shirt for qualifying sessions. Compete the form NOW to be sure supplies do not run out.


July 4th for You?
How did you spend your holiday weekend? We hope that you aren’t reading this update until AFTER the barbeques, pool parties, fireworks, and special time with friends and/or family. This week’s Teacher Poll asks: How did you celebrate July 4th? Place your vote on the teacher poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


The June theme from TogetheRead is “Friends!” TogetheRead provides a list of recommended books, questions, and activities designed to build stronger readers. The themes include books for all ages, centered around the same theme. Parents find questions to ask as the family reads, deepening comprehension before, during, and after reading. Included are free and low-cost ideas for activities families can do together, as well. TogetheRead involves the entire family in supporting literacy.


On the Calendar
Summer is the perfect time to check out the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar. Scout ahead for events and resources to include in your plans for next year.


Featured Sites
This week in our Featured Sites find Cool Tools, Writing, and more:  

  • Science of Africa
  • Roadtrip
  • Stickies
  • Women Veterans
  • War Infographic
  • Playground for the Curious
  • Trivia Play Along
  • And more

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this July 19 or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived July 5/12 Features here, and don’t miss our many other recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured Sites page.


The TeachersFirst Team