TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Apr 26, 2020
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
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of these hands-on investigative lessons to engage students in learning about types of soil. Have students document their learning by taking pictures and sharing videos of their investigations on your class website. Instead of printing student handouts, engage students by having them input information using mobile devices and classroom computers. Use a data visualization tool such as Chart Gizmo, reviewed here, to create customized graphs and charts. To create a customized learning unit for your students, use TES Teach Blendspace, reviewed here, to share websites, upload documents, and view videos all in one learning space.
Grades2 to 7
In the ClassroomIn a perfect world, students would use this lesson as a starting point for planting and growing their imaginary garden. Although it might not be possible to plant a garden in every case, consider using portions of the lesson to let students grow a plant of their choice in the classroom. Enhance learning by using Edublog, reviewed here, or Adobe Spark in K-12, reviewed here, to document the growing process including failures and successes. Include images, videos, and student writing to document their learning.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomApply to receive seed packets for your new or existing school garden. If your school doesn't have space to plant a garden, research options for portable gardens using wheelbarrows, rolling carts, and other methods for moving plants as needed. Enhance students' learning about plants and planting methods, by asking them to research organic gardening. Use Canva Edu, reviewed here, to have students create flyers and posters sharing information learned. Document your class garden using Book Creator (available in Chrome and as an app), reviewed here. Add videos, student drawings, writing, images, and more to share the story of your garden with students and the community.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomUse the garden planner in a variety of content areas. In math, use the grid system found on the site to reinforce multiplication and addition facts. In science, ask students to create vegetable gardens or fruit gardens as they learn about different types of plants. Have older students research planting zones to create a garden appropriate for your location or research methods used for organic gardening. After learning about plants and gardens, have students use a comic creation tool like ToonyTool, reviewed here, to create single frame cartoons. Create cartoons with gardening tips or plant facts.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomShare Plants Map on your interactive whiteboard or projector to locate and discover different kinds of plants. Click the map to find species near you. If you are lucky enough to have a school garden, Plants Map is the perfect site for planning, documenting, and sharing your garden with your students and community.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be shared by URL
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomAfter reading one or two of the suggested books as a class, brainstorm what students know about gardens using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Consider setting up stations around the room with the other recommended books and their activities; be sure to request some of the books on inter-library loan if you do not have them in your school. After completing the stations, return to the brainstorm and revise what students know about gardens and planting. Use some of the ideas from Gather Information to implement spring garden planting, literacy, and a growing understanding of science. Next step, planting! Use one or more of the ideas in this article for planting your garden. You might even consider working across grade levels and subjects and planning a school garden together. Your health/PE teacher will probably join in the effort! Follow through with one or more of the Show What You Know suggestions.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free lesson plans included on the Grow For It site as part of a plant or nutrition unit. Share ideas from the site with parents interested in helping set up a school or classroom garden. Once you have started your garden, engage students by having them upload a photo they have taken and add their voice to explain what they learned using a tool such as Blabberize, reviewed here. Ask a local 4H leader or Coop Extension Agent to come to your classroom to discuss local plants and gardening ideas.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomView webinars and share with other teachers or PTO/PTA as a resource for setting up and maintaining a school garden. Present the garden information to your school's Parent Teacher Organization as a possible after-school or supplemental activity. Make a school garden to put science into your students' hands.
GradesK to 7
In the ClassroomThis is a thorough unit on food and nutrition. Start with activating prior knowledge on your interactive whiteboard or using your projector. Use Padlet, reviewed here, once students have sorted their favorites into categories and project the results on your whiteboard. When teaching science, social studies, or health content about nutrition, foods, plants, or farms, consider pairing fictional books along with informational texts (several are suggested) to maximize the potential of every unit of study. This article is a good starting point. What a perfect way to integrate healthy eating, whether during the holiday season or spring garden planting! Speaking of planting, whether you are considering or implementing a school garden unit you will want to check out this article.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse the search feature to find lessons by grade, topic, or even season. View videos available on The Edible Schoolyard to learn how to begin a classroom or school garden. Show the videos to parents to encourage help and participation. If your school doesn't have an area for planting a garden, be creative! Plant a small garden in a wagon to roll in and out each day! Create a class wiki and update your garden's growth through pictures and words each week. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.
Grades3 to 9
In the ClassroomThis site could be used to study photosynthesis, seed germinations, and the basic requirements of life. Share the slides on your projector or interactive whiteboard. The teacher could set this up and grow the seeds and then show them to the students to begin an inquiry. This could lead to discussions on oxygen and carbon dioxide, limiting factors, environment, and growth. It could be used as a long term project where students journal the daily or weekly changes of the seeds. Replace paper journals and engage students by using a digital blog like Penzu, reviewed here; with Penzu you can add images or your own artwork as illustrations. Enhance student learning by having cooperative learning groups take digital pictures of their progress and narrate the photos. Challenge students upload a photo they have taken and add their voice to chronicle the progress using a tool such as Blabberize, reviewed here.
Grades4 to 9
tag(s): vocabulary (293)
In the ClassroomShare the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work with a partner to try out the puzzles on their own. Have students (or groups) create their own word puzzles to share as a class challenge as a student-run interactive whiteboard activity or share them on a class wiki.
Grades3 to 8
tag(s): plants (175)
In the ClassroomThere are some great interdisciplinary opportunities here, but teachers will need to work thoughtfully to adapt the raw materials to local circumstances. Consider sharing information from this site with your school's parent/teacher organization to gain support and possible funding for a garden project. 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.
Grades3 to 8
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