TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jun 11, 2017

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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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 (140), hurricanes (40), oceans (154), science fairs (26), scientific method (67), scientists (70), seasons (38), space (217), weather (198)

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 you may want to use Comic Creator, reviewed here, for their final drafts. For more experienced, older students try Write Comics, reviewed here.
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Wild Weather Adventure - NOAA/NASA

Grades
2 to 7
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Race around the world in your research blimp to play against your friends or the computer as you answer weather and map-related questions. Different levels provide choices for easy,...more
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Race around the world in your research blimp to play against your friends or the computer as you answer weather and map-related questions. Different levels provide choices for easy, medium, and hard multiple-choice questions. The first blimp to cross the finish line wins!

tag(s): hurricanes (40), weather (198)

In the Classroom

Include Wild Weather Adventure as a center activity as part of your weather unit. Encourage students to choose questions from different levels of difficulty. Share a link to the game on your class website for students to play at home. If you are new to integrating technology in your class, you may want to have students create a simple infographic sharing their learning using Piktochart, reviewed here. If you are more experienced having your students use technology, you may want to give them a choice to report out thier learning with a custom poster, presentation, flyer or infographic, using Canva, reviewed here.
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Wildfinder - World Wildlife Fund

Grades
K to 12
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Wildfinder is an interactive tool to find and learn about the thousands of species of animals located around the earth. Currently, the site contains information on mammals, amphibians,...more
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Wildfinder is an interactive tool to find and learn about the thousands of species of animals located around the earth. Currently, the site contains information on mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and birds with plans to expand to all species. Begin your search by choosing species or a place. Once the map loads, use the search bar or select an area to start. Additional options allow users to personalize the look of the map with transparency levels, eco-themes, and more. Species descriptions include images and information about the location and animal described.

tag(s): amphibians (21), animal homes (44), animals (291), birds (52), mammals (34), maps (293), reptiles (14), species (30)

In the Classroom

Wildfinder is a must-add bookmark for all classroom computers. Allow students to explore on their own to learn about animals and locations of their choosing and add information for what they learned on an online bulletin board using Padlet, reviewed here. When ready, challenge students to create a simple poster or web page sharing their findings using Tackk, reviewed here, or for a different project, try Sway, reviewed here, to create a newsletter or brochure. Pull up Wildfinder on your interactive whiteboard when discussing any location to learn about native animals. Share a link on your class web page for students to explore at home. If your class library doesn't include enough books about animals, Wildfinder is an excellent option for facts and information!
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Vanishing: The Extinction Crisis is Far Worse than you Think - CNN

Grades
6 to 12
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This CNN interactive takes an in-depth look at vanishing species around the globe along with the reasons for their disappearance. Scroll through to discover how humans are causing species...more
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This CNN interactive takes an in-depth look at vanishing species around the globe along with the reasons for their disappearance. Scroll through to discover how humans are causing species to go extinct at a rate 100 times faster than normal. Watch videos as scientists describe physical changes occuring on the earth's surface, view interactives demonstrating animal habitat changes, and more.

tag(s): animals (291), conservation (128), earth (231), earth day (113), endangered species (40), habitats (84)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for use on interactive whiteboards as an introduction to any unit on animals, habitats, or earth conservation. Explore together, then allow students to explore in depth on their own. Have students either individually or as groups choose a topic found on this site to research further. If you are new to integrating technology you may want to have students create a presentation using Slidestory, reviewed here. Looking for something different? Have students use Microsoft Sway, reviewed here, to create an interactive presentation including charts, videos, and images.

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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 (291), nutrition (159), plants (156)

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!
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Beach Chair Scientist - Ann McElhatton

Grades
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 (44), birds (52), environment (319), fish (27), oceans (154), reptiles (14)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students as part of your study of biomes or the ocean. Have 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 try 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

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 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. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): environment (319), plants (156), 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 create an infographic sharing their findings using Canva Infographic Creator, 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 (70), insects (72)

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 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.
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Tread Lightly! - Tread Lightly! Inc

Grades
5 to 12
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Tread Lightly! is an organization devoted to balancing the needs of outdoor recreation with environmental stewardship. Learn about conservation methods and ideas through Tread Lightly!'s...more
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Tread Lightly! is an organization devoted to balancing the needs of outdoor recreation with environmental stewardship. Learn about conservation methods and ideas through Tread Lightly!'s blog and education resources. Be sure to follow links to teaching resources including many files available for free download. There are also videos to watch under the Education tab. If your district blocks YouTube; the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): conservation (128), environment (319)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many free materials for use in classroom lessons about the environment. Have students explore the Quick Tips portion of the site, then create their own environmental Quick Tips online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or, for the novice technology user, try PicLits, reviewed here. Consider becoming a Tread Lightly! member as a class or school and apply for a recreation stewardship grant to organize a clean-up day in your community.
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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, videos, and more to use at home, at camp, or in a classroom. Then check out ...more
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Enter the world of Ultimate Camp Resources and find a myriad of songs, games, videos, and more to use at home, at camp, or in a classroom. Then check out the blog for even more resources! If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): back to school (60), family (59), songs (53), sports (98), video (277)

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. Share this site with parent helpers to find ideas for classroom parties.

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Ranger Rick Kids - 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 Jr. includes information geared more toward the...more
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Access trivia, jokes, interactives, and information about animals and people that are helping wildlife and the environment. Ranger Rick Jr. 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 (44), animals (291), game based learning (116), guided reading (45), independent reading (129), scientists (70)

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, have students use an online comic strip tool such as 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.
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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 (13), virtual field trips (51)

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. 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.
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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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Inch by Inch, Row by Row: Read-Alouds for Gardens - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This TeachersFirst page is a list of read-alouds (by grade level) offering a sampling of books and websites to get you started with school or home gardens, gardening, and farm-based...more
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This TeachersFirst page is a list of read-alouds (by grade level) offering a sampling of books and websites to get you started with school or home gardens, gardening, and farm-based education. Gardens provide a myriad of opportunities to integrate curriculum and solve real-world problems. This read-aloud list includes a wealth of excellent books--both fictional and informational-- for teaching topics such as the life cycle of plants, the scientific method, what plants need to thrive, ecosystems, food chains, soil science, and more as you plan and work on your garden (or simply imagine a virtual garden). There are numerous helpful resources and lesson plans included, along with some grant ideas to purchase materials for a garden. Connect with both Common Core and Next Gen science standards using gardens as an entry point. If food and nutrition are more of a focus, you will want to check out another article from the Help! I lost my library/media specialist! series.

tag(s): book lists (133), life cycles (24), plants (156), soil (18)

In the Classroom

This read-aloud is a good starting point for a unit on plants, ecosystems, or soil. What a perfect way to integrate spring garden planting, literacy, and a GROWING understanding of science. Mark it in your favorites for early spring and be sure to request some of the books on interlibrary loan if you do not have them in your school. Explore the lesson plan options or incorporate this with your existing lessons on plants. 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!

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CurriConnects Booklist: Weather, Climate, and Earth's Atmosphere - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 9
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Brace yourself for the weather in these books about storm phenomena, weather disasters, climate change, and weather's causes and effects. These non-fiction selections offer possible...more
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Brace yourself for the weather in these books about storm phenomena, weather disasters, climate change, and weather's causes and effects. These non-fiction selections offer possible informational texts to practice Common Core science literacy skills and experience with "close reading." The interest levels for this list are predominantly elementary and middle school but include selections for more able readers. 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): atmosphere (29), book lists (133), climate (91), earth (231), independent reading (129), weather (198)

In the Classroom

Encourage students to select from this list for independent reading to support your unit on disasters, weather, or the Earth's atmosphere. Share it with your school library/media specialist or public library, as well, for them to "pull" books in support of your science units. Extend the experience by having students create visual presentations of the concepts they learn. If you're a novice to using technology in your classroom, or you have young students, you may want to use a tool such as Fotor, reviewed here. For more experienced technology users try an online simple web page using WebNode, reviewed here, or a brochure, newsletter or poster using Sway, reviewed here. You could also look for a different tool for creation and sharing from this TeachersFirst Edge list of reviewed presentation tools .

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