TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jun 12, 2022

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

Grades
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 (131), plants (137)

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. Extend classroom technology use and student learning 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. Enhance student learning by replacing 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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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 and videos, and much more. Select the Topics section to find many ideas for use in science classrooms including content aligned to Next Generation Science Standards. The videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable.

tag(s): atmosphere (21), careers (132), hurricanes (28), oceans (130), science fairs (21), scientific method (47), scientists (62), seasons (32), space (204), weather (156)

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. From the top right menu find the Educators section for activities, science fair ideas, and content aligned to standards. 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 enhance their learning and augment techology use with ToonyTool, reviewed here, for their final drafts. To to enhance learning and modify tech use in your class for more experienced, older students try Make Beliefs Comix, reviewed here.
 This resource requires 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 (265), nutrition (131), plants (137)

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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Project BudBurst - Chicago Botanic Garden

Grades
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 Activities tab at the top find For Educators and from there scroll down the page to choose curricula by grade level (PreK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, and Higher Education). You may also want to check out Groups. 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 and supplemental activities. There is no need to register to enjoy these features. However, registration allows for reporting data and becoming a citizen scientist.

tag(s): environment (218), plants (137), Project Based Learning (13), scientific method (47)

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. Since participation requires registration with email, for young students consider using a "class set" of Gmail subaccounts, explained here; this tells how to configure Gmail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. Using Gmail subaccounts will provide anonymous interaction within your class. 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. This resource is perfect for use in a project based learning unit.

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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 (69), insects (58)

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.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TL! Kids - Tread Lightly! Inc

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K to 8
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TL! Kids offers stories and information to teach young children how to enjoy the outdoors safely and responsibly. Download the Elementary Curriculum PDF with lessons and activities,...more
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TL! Kids offers stories and information to teach young children how to enjoy the outdoors safely and responsibly. Download the Elementary Curriculum PDF with lessons and activities, a coloring book, take the Tread pledge, or check off items on the hiking checklist. There is also a link to Tread Lightly's! partner Agents of Discovery, which is a free game to be used on a mobile device. The game is for ages 6-14 and sends kids on adventures to recover the agents robotic bees that store knowledge about the world. Be sure to visit the Education tab on the top menu portion that includes videos, infographics, on-line courses, and more.

tag(s): conservation (78), environment (218), forests (26), game based learning (159), preK (238)

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 WordItOut, 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 to engage, enhance, or extend student learning.
 This resource requires 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. Some of the songs even have videos!

tag(s): back to school (54), crafts (42), family (53), makerspace (41), songs (46), sports (77), summer (14)

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 (scroll to the bottom menu to find it) 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 videos, 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 (57), animals (265), game based learning (159), guided reading (35), independent reading (104), scientists (62)

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.

As a culminating activitiy, challenge students to write an adventure story where Ranger Rick and his animal friends have to get our of a sticky situation. 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 Make Beliefs Comix, reviewed here.

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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 (134), field trips (9), virtual field trips (66)

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 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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How Does Your Garden Grow? A Project-Based Approach to Learning - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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Implement every aspect of the curriculum through gardening using this TeachersFirst special Help! I Lost My Library/Media Specialist article. Find suggested books (many with links for...more
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Implement every aspect of the curriculum through gardening using this TeachersFirst special Help! I Lost My Library/Media Specialist article. Find suggested books (many with links for activities for the book), background knowledge, a section on gathering information (with suggested activities), suggested activities for growing your garden, ISTE Standards for Students and AASL National School Library Standards, extension activities and more. The ideas and activties can range in grade levels from kindergarten to seventh grade. This is only one of many classroom-ready articles in our Help! I lost my library/media specialist!. If food and nutrition are more of a focus, you will want to check out this article from the Help! I lost my library/media specialist! series.

tag(s): book lists (125), life cycles (20), plants (137), soil (19)

In the Classroom

After 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.

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Firefly Watch - Mass Audubon

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K to 5
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Are Fireflies Disappearing? This participatory site explores this question and more. At this site students can join and volunteer to help the "cause," make observations in their own...more
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Are Fireflies Disappearing? This participatory site explores this question and more. At this site students can join and volunteer to help the "cause," make observations in their own backyards, track progress, help scientists map fireflies, and more! Check out the "Get Involved" link. Joining this site does require an email address. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

In addition to the project, there is also a lot of reference information about fireflies. Topics include types of fireflies, identifying gender, flashing facts, environmental factors, beware of imposters, and others.

tag(s): fire (24), insects (58)

In the Classroom

What a fantastic class project or summer challenge. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups investigate various areas of this site and create multimedia presentations. How about an online book about Fireflies using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Or have students create online posters using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here.

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Activities and Crafts for July 4th - Enchanted Learning

Grades
K to 5
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This July 4th site offers numerous crafts, quizzes, curriculum-based activities, and more. Some of the activities are available to "members only", but many are free to all. At this...more
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This July 4th site offers numerous crafts, quizzes, curriculum-based activities, and more. Some of the activities are available to "members only", but many are free to all. At this site you will find ready-to-go KWL charts, word searches, quizzes, crafts, reading and writing activities, painting and more.

tag(s): july 4th (9)

In the Classroom

Share this one on your teacher web page just in time for summer so students have something to do when they are "bored" on rainy days!

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Smokey Kids - USDA Forest Service

Grades
1 to 6
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Elementary students can learn about the importance of America's forests while gaining an understanding of how fire can threaten and destroy this valuable resource. First, click the...more
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Elementary students can learn about the importance of America's forests while gaining an understanding of how fire can threaten and destroy this valuable resource. First, click the For Educators tab on the top menu to find several activities in PDF format for Elementary and Middle School students - puzzles, puppets, and printable coloring book pages. Next, use the search box to visit the "Only You" section to learn about the science of forest fires, discover how some are actually beneficial, and find out how to prevent disastrous wildfires.

tag(s): fire (24), forests (26), safety (71)

In the Classroom

Use the PDF activities in a learning center as part of a unit or lesson on fire safety and prevention. Have students complete the activities in pairs, letting them pick which of the games they want to play in the given time. If you are looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, challenge your students to extend their learning by creating a blog using Seesaw, reviewed here, to share their learning and understanding.

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Kids Gardening - National Gardening Association

Grades
3 to 8
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Get involved with gardening throughout the community using ideas from Kids Gardening! Scroll down the home page to see an overview of what is offered for educators and caregivers (at-home...more
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Get involved with gardening throughout the community using ideas from Kids Gardening! Scroll down the home page to see an overview of what is offered for educators and caregivers (at-home activities and more). Then, explore the menu at the top to see all topics available. For instance, under the What's New tab, you will find The Latest, Garden Stories, and Recent Posts. Next, click Learning Tools to see specifics for Getting Started for Educators and Caregivers. The Learning Tools tab also offers Resources and Activities for Play and Learning, and Growing a Garden. Choose from these categories to find how-to guides, lessons, and projects. Learn how to make the most of "gardening moments." Be sure to take some time to explore this site for many valuable ideas for indoor and outdoor gardening projects.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): grants (16), nutrition (131), plants (137)

In the Classroom

If you aren't lucky enough to have outdoor gardening space, take advantage of ideas offered for indoor gardens, such as terrariums and container gardening. Check out the extensive lesson library to search by theme, standards, season, and more. You will also find lessons and activities appropriate for science and math. Use the Growing Poems, found here, to enhance your classroom poetry unit. Whatever activities you choose, have students record the growth in their garden or container by taking photos. As a summation for your gardening project use PhotoCat, reviewed here, to create a collage of your garden photos with special effects, text, frames, and more.

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