TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jun 16, 2019

Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to return to the Featured Sites Archive

 

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School Garden Resource Center - Whole Kids Foundation

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K to 12
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Find resources for starting a school garden or supporting an existing garden at the School Garden Resource Center. Start with information on why your school needs a garden, planning,...more
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Find resources for starting a school garden or supporting an existing garden at the School Garden Resource Center. Start with information on why your school needs a garden, planning, planting, and teaching through your gardening experience. Choose from individual topics on the site or download all of the information in one PDF document.

tag(s): nutrition (156), plants (174)

In the Classroom

Share information from this site with your school's parent/teacher organization to gain support and possible funding for a garden project. Modify classroom technology use by asking students to create video commercials to ask for funding, share their gardening success, or for their favorite gardening tool. Use a video creation tool like Flexclip, reviewed here. Gardening is a perfect topic for student blogs. Have students replace paper and pencil journals and use Edublog, reviewed here, to share the progress of their gardens including images and journal entries.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Weather - Science Resources - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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Explore this editor's choice list of resources related to the weather. Read the descriptions to find out whether a site sounds right for what you want to know. Some sites ...more
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Explore this editor's choice list of resources related to the weather. Read the descriptions to find out whether a site sounds right for what you want to know. Some sites may be more challenging reading, while others may offer solid basic information. There is also an additional link to all of TeachersFirst's resources tagged weather (over 200 additional resources to explore)!

tag(s): weather (211)

In the Classroom

If you can't find your ideal resource on the editor's choice page, check out the tagged resources list. Share the interactives on your projector. Use the content sites for deepening understanding prior to a test. Share this link on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom.

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SciJinks: Its All About Weather! - NOAA/NASA

Grades
3 to 12
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SciJinks offers informative articles and games geared toward middle school students as they learn about weather, satellite meteorology, and Earth science. Use the list on the left side...more
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SciJinks offers informative articles and games geared toward middle school students as they learn about weather, satellite meteorology, and Earth science. Use the list on the left side of the page to choose from topics, answers, find games, learn about people, and much more. Select the Topics section to find many ideas for use in science classrooms including content aligned to Next Generation Science Standards.

tag(s): atmosphere (29), careers (148), hurricanes (40), oceans (163), science fairs (25), scientific method (67), scientists (71), seasons (35), space (233), weather (211)

In the Classroom

Although geared toward middle school students and educators, anyone who teaches weather will want to take the time to explore this site for student and teacher resources. Use the educators section to find activities, science fair ideas, and content aligned to standards. Share the people portion of the site during your career exploration activities. Share a link to games and activities on classroom computers and your class website. Upon completing activities, have students create an online or printed comic about an element of weather, climate, meteorology, or any aspect of Earth science. Use a tool such as Printable Comic Strip Templates, reviewed here, for a nontech rough and final draft. If you're new to using technology with your students, or teach younger students augment techology use with ToonyTool, reviewed here, for their final drafts. To modify tech use in your class and for more experienced, older students try Write Comics, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Get Your Hands Dirty Guide - Federation of City Farms & Community Gardens

Grades
K to 12
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Get Your Hands Dirty is a guide to growing plants and keeping animals at school. Download this packet for specific information on enhancing learning opportunities through the nurturing...more
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Get Your Hands Dirty is a guide to growing plants and keeping animals at school. Download this packet for specific information on enhancing learning opportunities through the nurturing of growing things. Also, this guide provides tips and directions for getting started in many different situations including those with little or no land. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English.

tag(s): animals (322), nutrition (156), plants (174)

In the Classroom

Download this guide as a resource for starting "growing" opportunities at school, or for suggestions on keeping animals in the classroom. If your school has a gardening club, this guide is perfect as a resource for new ideas. If you don't have a gardening club, use the guide as a starting point. Perhaps find a parent volunteer to get your club going!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Beach Chair Scientist - Ann McElhatton

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5 to 12
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Discover science while enjoying the beach and the outdoors with Beach Chair Scientist's blog. Read the latest posts on the site's homepage featuring titles such as "Seven silly science...more
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Discover science while enjoying the beach and the outdoors with Beach Chair Scientist's blog. Read the latest posts on the site's homepage featuring titles such as "Seven silly science sea words." To find specific topics, scroll down the page to find links to archives and categories including Citizen Science and Environmental Education.

tag(s): animal homes (67), birds (51), environment (320), fish (24), oceans (163), reptiles (11)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students as part of your study of biomes or the ocean. Transform classroom technology use by having students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Genial.ly, reviewed here, or for those new to integrating tecnology enhance technololgy use by trying PicFont, reviewed here, to share information about ocean animals or conservation of the oceans. Be sure to check out the Resources & More section for lesson plans and links to other resources about the ocean.

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Project BudBurst - Chicago Botanic Garden

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K to 12
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Collect data about plants, learn about climate change, and participate by posting your findings for both with Project Budburst. Join Project Budburst and become part of a community...more
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Collect data about plants, learn about climate change, and participate by posting your findings for both with Project Budburst. Join Project Budburst and become part of a community of citizen scientists! Record the observations of first leafing, first flower, etc. (especially for native plant species), and have them reported to a national database. Under the education tab at the top find a grade level (K-12, Informal Education, Higher Education, Buddies, and more). For K-12 there are lists for National Science Education Standards (NSES) and Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics. Under each level find helpful guides for using the site, supplemental activities, and videos. There is no need to register to enjoy these features. However, registration allows for reporting data and becoming a citizen scientist. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable; be sure to look at alternatives for sharing the videos on classroom computers. Find an alternative here.

tag(s): environment (320), plants (174), scientific method (67)

In the Classroom

Bring your science class to life and the "real world" for students using Project BudBurst's free resources. Captivate student interest by having them discover the importance of nature and our interactions with it. Participants must be 13 years of age to set up an account. Be sure to click the "I am an Educator" option to facilitate the participation of younger students, by creating a teacher account. Younger students do not require an email or personal information this way. Add to the growing database and document plant phenology as seen in your area. As you discuss various types of plants, assign students to take pictures of the stages observed, make observations about the stages, and then modify classoom technology use by having students create an infographic sharing their findings using Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here.

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Educators Guides to Lyme Disease - Bay Area Lyme Foundation

Grades
3 to 8
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This site offers a free mini-unit on tick bite prevention and Lyme disease. Download the teacher overview (correlated to Next Generation Science Standards), PowerPoint, and student...more
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This site offers a free mini-unit on tick bite prevention and Lyme disease. Download the teacher overview (correlated to Next Generation Science Standards), PowerPoint, and student packet for use in any classroom. The full-color presentations include easy to understand information and activities including a graph, crossword puzzle, wordsearch, fill-in-the-blank worksheet, and a design your own brochure assignment.

tag(s): diseases (72), insects (73)

In the Classroom

Explore these free materials when teaching about insects or disease. Are you integrating technology in your class? Instead of the traditional brochure suggested, enhance classroom technology use by having students use Lucidpress, reviewed here. As a follow-up, you could assign students to investigate and create reports on other insect-born diseases, then use Flipsnack, reviewed here, to turn their Word documents, PDFs, and images into an online book. Have students create an annotated image describing ticks and Lyme disease including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Thinglink can be used for a variety of assignments in any classroom that is integrating technology as an enhancement, modification, or transformation.
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TL! Kids - Tread Lightly! Inc

Grades
K to 4
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TL! Kids offers games, stories, and information to teach young children how to enjoy the outdoors safely and responsibly. Download a coloring book, take the Tread pledge, or check off...more
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TL! Kids offers games, stories, and information to teach young children how to enjoy the outdoors safely and responsibly. Download a coloring book, take the Tread pledge, or check off items on the hiking checklist. Be sure to visit the For Teachers portion of the site that includes many lesson plans aligned to science standards.

tag(s): conservation (121), environment (320), preK (281)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and coloring activities for use during Earth Day activities or with any unit on the environment. Enhance classroom technology use by having students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle, reviewed here, for older elementary students, or Word Clouds for Kids, reviewed here , for younger students. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, of how to be environmentally responsible. Thinglink can be used for a variety of assignments in any classroom that is integrating technology as an enhancement, modification, or transformation.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Ultimate Camp Resource - Ultimate Camp Resources

Grades
K to 12
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Enter the world of Ultimate Camp Resources and find a myriad of songs, games, and more to use at home, at camp, or in a classroom. Download and print all ...more
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Enter the world of Ultimate Camp Resources and find a myriad of songs, games, and more to use at home, at camp, or in a classroom. Download and print all skits, songs, games or just the one you're interested in.

tag(s): back to school (61), crafts (41), family (59), makerspace (26), songs (52), sports (102)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this tool for the first week of school or any time that you want to experience some "team-building" in your class. Use this site to find games and activities for classroom icebreakers. Find ideas on this site to build relationships among students. There is even an Art Project section that has lots of crafts for your makerspace! Share this site with parent helpers to find ideas for classroom parties.

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Ranger Rick - National Wildlife Federation

Grades
K to 7
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Access trivia, jokes, interactives, and information about animals and people that are helping wildlife and the environment. Ranger Rick includes information geared more toward the primary...more
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Access trivia, jokes, interactives, and information about animals and people that are helping wildlife and the environment. Ranger Rick includes information geared more toward the primary grades and the Ranger Rick Magazine is geared toward grades 4-7. Find projects, crafts, songs, printables, recipes, and outdoor activities to use with individuals or a class. It is full of bright colors, kid-friendly graphics and real life pictures that go along with the information. There is no login required for this site; you can hop on and dive right in. Be sure to see the Parents and Educators sections. Ranger Rick will work on any device with a browser and Internet connection.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animal homes (67), animals (322), game based learning (148), guided reading (44), independent reading (120), scientists (71)

In the Classroom

In the Animals sections, elementary students can conduct research on different kinds of animals including their place in the animal kingdom. At computer stations/centers have students look at the sets of animal pictures and identify common characteristics that are found for each set of animals to determine why they are categorized into each part of the animal kingdom. Use the interactive games as a center at an interactive whiteboard/projector. The games are fast and simple and can be used as a lesson opener to engage and capture the students attention.

The comic strip style stories featured in Rick's Adventures are great for cross-curricular lessons, predictions, and problem-solving skills as Rick often finds himself or his animal friends in a sticky situation. Once completed, challenge students to write a story using one of Ranger Rick's Adventures as a model. Use a tool such as Printable Comic Strip Templates, reviewed here, for a nontech rough and final draft. If you're new to using technology with your students, or teach younger students augment techology use with ToonyTool, reviewed here, for their final drafts. To modify tech use in your class and for more experienced, older students try Write Comics, reviewed here. Next select a tool that suits your student's age using one of the tools and ideas included in this collection, to publish the student comics.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Roadtrippers - Roadtrippers

Grades
1 to 12
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Jump onto your computer and start your road trip! Choose a destination, and start planning the Hotels, Attractions, Natural Wonders, and Weird Stuff for your trip. Plan your trip by...more
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Jump onto your computer and start your road trip! Choose a destination, and start planning the Hotels, Attractions, Natural Wonders, and Weird Stuff for your trip. Plan your trip by entering the starting address and the final destination. Instantly discover the journey's duration, the amount of money needed for gas, and the mileage. Choose the dates you will travel and save your trip. Print your plans, email them to yourself or others, or access your trip plans on the app. Plan several trips and save them in your account. Not sure where you want to go? Discover interesting areas by viewing the stories posted on Roadtrippers. Be sure to preview what you will show students as not all journals are kid friendly.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (174), field trips (11), virtual field trips (56)

In the Classroom

Bring the world of road tripping to your class! Plan journeys as math challenges to determine the amount of money required. Give students a budget and see what happens. Challenge students to create a dream trip and a budget trip. Find the difference between the two. You could use an online tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to replace a paper and pencil Venn Diagram. Bring the settings of your favorite stories to life! Introduce a travel blog by pursuing the saved trip journals. Again, preview what you will show students as not all journals are kid friendly. Post the trips with pictures and a travel diary on your class blog or Edmodo class group.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

This is a great tool to explore the world. Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5
Tammy, OR, Grades: 0 - 9
Great resource! Lacey, , Grades: 0 - 5

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CurriConnects Booklist: Adventures in Summer - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of books is all about summer! Summertime brings many adventures: vacations, camp, wild weather, fireworks, and more! Travel aboard a cruise ship, explore a mysterious...more
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This collection of books is all about summer! Summertime brings many adventures: vacations, camp, wild weather, fireworks, and more! Travel aboard a cruise ship, explore a mysterious island, learn about summer weather, meet some tiny creatures living in hotels, and make this a summer reading adventure to remember. This collection of books offers both fiction and information texts. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles'''® to match student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. For more on text complexity and Lexiles'''®, see this information from the Lexile Framework. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly. If your library does not have the books, try interlibrary loan!

tag(s): book lists (128), independent reading (120), summer (10)

In the Classroom

This collection is perfect to share with students (and families) prior to the summer break. Keep minds fresh during the summer. Allow students (or partners) to choose their own book. If you want to "spice" up your final month of school, allow students to start summer (in their minds). These books provide experience with both fiction and nonfiction informational texts. They often require students to draw inferences about the "facts." Allow students (or partners) to choose their own book. Share this list with your school library/media specialist or public library, as well, for them to "pull" books in support of your end of school-year reading. Extend the experience by having students create visual presentations of the concepts they learn. Challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi (reviewed here) or Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free) - reviewed here.

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Deep Sea Dive - Harvey Water Softeners

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1 to 10
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What will you find at the various depths of the ocean? Harvey Water Softeners takes you on a deep-sea dive to find out. Simply scroll down through this page to ...more
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What will you find at the various depths of the ocean? Harvey Water Softeners takes you on a deep-sea dive to find out. Simply scroll down through this page to view facts in bubbles beginning at the surface level down to 36,000 feet below the surface at the ocean's deepest point.

tag(s): animal homes (67), animals (322), habitats (112), oceans (163), plants (174), Research (13)

In the Classroom

Use the interactive Deep Sea Dive as an interesting way to introduce an oceans unit. After viewing, have students research different ocean animals and plants, then modify classroom technology use by having students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Visme, reviewed here. Replace paper and pencil by using an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to explore ocean animal adaptations. Transform classroom technology use by having students use a mapping tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, to create a map of locations used with the Deep Sea Dive (with audio stories and pictures included)!

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Coastal processes - LSU Center for GeoInformatics

Grades
6 to 12
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This really good (though dated) video explains how sediments are transformed into beach sand. The many details make this useful across many age groups. The video is 20 minutes long....more
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This really good (though dated) video explains how sediments are transformed into beach sand. The many details make this useful across many age groups. The video is 20 minutes long. Click on the name of the YouTube account (LSUC4G) to view other oceanography videos that may be of value in your class. This video is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Tube Offline, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): minerals (17), rock cycle (14), rocks (52), waves (23)

In the Classroom

Show to the class on an Interactive Whiteboard or projector. Students WILL likely find some humor in the outdated fashions in this video! However, the content is phenomenal. Create a study guide that students can use to record vital information to remember for later. Consider having students take two part notes with words and phrases written in one column with pictures of the processes or ways for them to remember in the second column. While the video is playing, have specimens of the various rocks and minerals available for students to observe. As they draw or write observations about the specimens in their notes, they can also record any questions they might have to ask later. Students can depict various parts of this information in easy to understand language and examples with their own demonstrations recorded as a podcast or video. Students can choose from many presentation tools reviewed here. For an even more exciting tech-infused project, have student groups enhance this video with their own annotations and resources using wireWax, reviewed here.
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