TeachersFirst Update

April 27, 2015

Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers®

The flowers are starting to bloom both in the garden and your classroom. Your months (nearly a year) of hard work are coming to an end. Continue to water your “plants” both inside and outside of the classroom. You never know what may sprout up and bloom in May!


PD Information—Just for You!
Did you know that TeachersFirst has a large section dedicated to professional development and links that you should know? Explore links to the State Departments of Education. Find Standards: State-by-State and Common Core. Take a look at some Professional Organizations involved in education. Learn about some amazing Grants and Contests available to you! Don’t miss exploring this hidden treasure.


What Grade do YOU give Online Grading?
Many schools have crossed over to online grading (either partially or entirely). What are your thoughts on parents and students seeing grades online? Do you think this will cause more problems or make your life easier? This week’s teacher poll asks: Do you prefer parents to see all grades online? Place your vote on the teacher poll on the TeachersFirst home page.


Adventurous Teens Head to Antarctica
Geo and Meri are starting towards the end of their journey to find Dewey: the Truth-Sniffing Dog. As the curious teens enter Antarctica, the mission will conclude. Will Dewey be found? If your students have been following these teen bloggers around the world, be sure to check out our review material.


Lessons for All
TeachersFirst offers FREE lesson plans for all grade levels, created by experienced teachers. All lesson plans are correlated with standards (mostly Common Core). The lesson plan topics vary from Figurative Language, Greek vs. Contemporary Architecture, Music is Poetry, and many others. Take a look at our entire list of offerings.


OK2Ask FREE PD—Don’t Miss the Final Two
We have two sessions remaining in our Spring 2015 OK2Ask® season. Registration remains OPEN for all spring sessions. Keep your eyes open for our Summer 2015 schedule, to be released in late May! Read our FAQ for general information about certificates, etc. Please be sure to read the detailed descriptions and suggested technology comfort levels BEFORE you register for the best match for your learning needs. Most sessions meet from 7:00-8:30 pm EASTERN time.

  • Building Ethical Digital Citizens; Tue Apr. 28
  • Ready. Set. Summer: Student Tools to Stay Fresh and Teacher Professional “Refreshments”; Mon May 4


April Showers of Activity brings Marvelous May Happenings!
Find ideas for National Poetry Month, Autism Awareness, and more. Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner, Mother’s Day, and don’t forget the Google Science Fair submission deadline! Turn to the TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar for April and May and throughout the entire year.


How do YOU Know?
What do you use to learn about the news (local, national, or global)? Do you rely on social media, traditional newspapers, Internet sources, or something else?
The XW1W question for the week of April 26: How do you learn about the news?

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.


Featured Sites
This week in our Featured Sites find Writing tools, whiteboard games, and more:

  • Storymaps
  • Wise ways to use water
  • National Geographic
  • Ask Smithsonian
  • Analyze your writing
  • Distorted population map of the USA
  • Writing for all of life’s little memories
  • Female Heroes in science, technology, and more
  • PowerPoint Games
  • Oh No—Oh yes!
  • And more

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are reading this May 3 or later, the link above will take you to the Featured Sites for the current week. Find the archived April 26 Features here, and don’t miss our many other recent additions from the link at the bottom of the Featured Sites page.


Let TeachersFirst help you water and nurture the seeds of education in your classroom. Enjoy this week of warmth, growth, and accomplishment.


The TeachersFirst Team