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August 24, 2015

Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers®

If you are reading this update this week, you are an organized teacher, and TeachersFirst offers you a virtual pat on the back! Nearly every teacher is in the thick of Back to School (some have been there for weeks). As you establish your new classroom routines, make your own new professional routines. Be sure to make a weekly stop by TeachersFirst, or follow @Teachersfirst on Twitter. Come to us to learn about the latest and greatest. We love to share our FREE treasures.


New Contributors
Do you enjoy helping colleagues learn about technology? Would you like to use that passion to contribute to TeachersFirst? The Source For Learning (SFL) is currently looking for new contributors for our TeachersFirst community. If you are interested in joining our team, please fill out this Google form.


Kickoff Time
Start your year off right with terrific, reviewed organization tools from the TeachersFirst Edge. Find some new and engaging ways to start yourself, your students, and even parents on the right track for a successful school year! Don’t miss the study skills resources from TeachersFirst. Help your students—and their parents—get on track for a successful year! Check out these resources tagged for back to school, including handy tools to arrange your seats and entire classroom, ideas to get to know your new students, and more! You will love the TeachersFirst’s Getting to Know You ideas for the first day or week of class. And you don’t want to miss our inspirational (and ready to go) Bulletin Board Hangups. These FREE thought-provoking quotes are ready to print for your classroom walls.


Is this your year for BYOD? To help you feel more prepared for the changes of BYOD, TeachersFirst has collected BYOD Dream Tools (perfect for 1:1 or BYOD schools.) Find reviewed tools available for FREE on the web, Android, and iOS, perfect for accomplishing any learning task, no matter what your “device.”


New Routines
This week’s Teacher Poll asks: How many weeks does it take to establish your new class routine? Place your vote on the teacher poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Every class has students with different learning needs. As you get to know this year’s students, try ideas from TeachersFirst's Differentiating Instruction: Ideas for individual differences for ideas from gifted to special needs, as well as some terrific help for your ESL/ELL students. The Thinking Teachers have also pulled together a collection of Editors’ Choice Tools for Pretests to help teachers know what students do (and don’t) know!


OK2Ask Archive: PD On-Demand
Fall 2015 OK2Ask Calendar will be published soon! While you wait, you can access the OK2Ask archived recordings anytime! These recordings (mostly 90-minutes) open in Adobe Connect. The 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.


September Happenings
TeachersFirst’s planning calendar is with you throughout the year with just-in-time resources and ideas for how to use them! September brings us Grandparents Day, International Literacy Day, the Anniversary of 9/11, and more. The TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar offers resources related to events and observations on the calendar all throughout the year. Don’t miss it!


Are you a new teacher starting your first teaching job in the fall? Will you be working with a student teacher or mentoring a new teacher? Don’t miss TeachersFirst's ideas and help for newbie teachers, their cooperating teachers, and mentors. Click the Share widget to pass it on!


Tech Time-Savers for those "Odd" Jobs
Teachers love to save time, and we have just the gadgets to help. Looking for a handy, dandy way to share a file, make an online teleprompter, create a seating chart, share a timer, or accomplish some other “odd job”? Check out this collection of online tools to get the job done. Use your free TeachersFirst membership to mark the ones you like as Favorites. It’s sort of like having a drawer full of clever gadgets at your fingertips!


Featured Sites
This week in our Featured Sites find spelling, weather, and more:

  • Estimation Time
  • Measurement for all ages
  • Learn to play the drum
  • Media History
  • Takeout from Google
  • Surveys
  • Digital Storytelling
  • Virtual fieldtrips
  • Two fabulous weather tools
  • And more

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this August 30 or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived August 23 Features here, and don’t miss our many other recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured Sites page.


Allow TeachersFirst to help you find the tools to stay organized, keep up with the latest and greatest, and keep your own sanity. Here is to a wonderful year!

The TeachersFirst Team