Happy Birthday National Park Service!

Youth Summit Students at the Lincoln Memorial

We Geeks love the National Park Service for a variety of reasons -- but mostly because of the hands-on learning experiences they provide for our students. Who could argue with being in the "where it happened" while studying an event? Did you know that the National Park Service not only manages our parks, but also supports national heritage areas, protects many national monuments and sites, works with architects and preservationists, and holds the register to the list of national historic places in the United States?

We are a little geeky over our national parks and have had the distinct pleasure to work in partnership with the National Park Service in a variety of programs including the Junior Ranger Program, the Teaching with Historic Places Program, and the Preserve America Youth Summit. We have met brilliant rangers, dug in the dirt, climbed ladders, explored unknown places, and learned about the cultural heritage and environmental resources in our country. Connecting with our national parks is easy peesy. Check out some of the links below-- and find out what is in your own backyard!

And PS.... we have shared a few fun photos with the NPS over the years below. What photo will you take on your next visit?

National Park Service Website: Find the historic places near you and learn more about your national parks.

National Park Service Junior Ranger Program: YES you too can be a Junior Ranger Online!

Teaching With Historic Places: Check this wonderful site out as it has IMMENSE resources for teaching about historic places in the classroom!

Youth Summit Program: Want to bring a better understanding of historic places, national parks, and preservation to your students? The Youth Summit is a way to make this happen!

HABS Collection (Library of Congress and the National Park Service): The Historic Buildings Survey and Historic American Engineering Record are great ways to bring measured drawings and learning into the classroom. These are great STEM resources as well and highlight national historic places.

We've Wrote About It: Yep we love National Parks and have used it in our geeky classrooms. Here are some ideas on using places in the classroom:

Junior Ranger Program in a Geek Classroom

Place in the Classroom

The Power of Researching Place in the Classroom

Flat Stanley Visits Bent's Fort

Learning the Native American Perspective at Hovenweep 

Learning From a NPS Archaeologist at Mesa Verde.

Great Sand Dunes NP

Fossils Matter at Florissant NP

Rocky Mountain Learning With the Youth Sunmit


Learning From the Legends in the Field

Today, this geeky teacher has the honor of being part of the Colorado Centennial Farms ceremony at the Colorado State Fair. I would guess that the majority of readers could take an educated guess at what it may be, but how many of you actually know about a Centennial Farm in your community?

The Centennial Farm program in Colorado holds a long heritage of recognizing the agricultural heritage of Colorado through farms that have been in families continuously for over 100 years. The program overview includes:

"What is a Colorado Centennial Farm? In 1986 a collaborative effort among then Governor Richard D. Lamm, the Colorado Historical Society (now History Colorado), and the Colorado Department of Agriculture created the Colorado Centennial Farms program to recognize the important role agriculture has played in our state's history and economic development.  Today, the program is administered by the State Historical Fund, a program of History Colorado.  Colorado Centennial Farms is the first program of its kind in the nation to give Historic Structure Awards to families who have successfully preserved historic buildings on their farms and ranches.  The National Trust for Historic Preservation provides this additional recognition." 

Then you may ask-- why is a geeky teacher placing information about 100 year old farms on a technology website? Because it opens up the conversation about a great set of resources on agriculture - a subject that can encompass all subject areas- and teaches heritage at the same time! Below we have annotated a short list of  resources that provide online resources to teach about agriculture in the classroom, and as a follow up we will be sharing some neat ideas on how to integrate ranching and farming in the classroom setting with technology next week in honor of the Colorado State Fair and our Centennial Farms. This list is far from inclusive, but it is a starting point for conversation and consideration when planning lessons. Why not join in? 

Colorado Centennial Farms: A list of Centennial Farms in Colorado and information about the program.

Colorado Foundation for Agriculture: Probably the premier site for agriculture resources in Colorado and they publish the Colorado Reader and have AMAZING resources on agriculture for the classroom.

History Colorado COMPASS program: Allows teachers and students to research historic farms and ranches in Colorado that are logged into the state COMPASS database. Membership is free for educators.

Smithsonian Agriculture and Heritage Archive: Share stories of living on a farm and ranch in the United States for this national archival project. 

Colorado Beef Council: Resources on Cattle in Colorado history as well as beef and ranching. 

Colorado Cattlewoman's Association: Resources on ranching and host of the Youth Beef Spokesperson Contest

Colorado 4-H: Activities and youth programming related to a variety of subjects with a core focus on agriculture and environmental sciences. 

National Ag in the Classroom: Resources and a national conference on agriculture in the classroom.

Brand new baby at the fair!
Can you find Governor Hickenlooper?
Lyman Edgar-- Our Colorado Centennial Farmer
( He's turning 100 and owns a Centennial Farm)
being recognized by the Centennial Farm Program
and the Governor.


InnEdCO Resources and Presentations

We are presenting three sessions at InnEdCo this year and one at the Colorado Educators Initiative Conference in Vail! Here are the resources and links to all four presentations! Enjoy!!

Session 1 - 21st Century Learning K-8 Unit Plans, Rubrics and Assessments

Session 2 - 20 Technology Tools SLAM - 20 Tools and how we use them is the classroom!  You have editing rights so feel free to add ideas to this document and share with others!  

My Story - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Session 3 - How Assessment, Standards and Technology Go Together!  


Five Tech Topics in a Flash

In a flash-- here is a brain dump! We share these tools and resources regularly with primary source enthusiasts and we were asked for a one stop reference... Here it is! ( At least for today's selection.... )

21st Century Learning: Harnessing the Power in the Classroom

Thinking about 21st Century Learning: Sir Ken Robinson: http://youtu.be/zDZFcDGpL4U

Accessing Primary Sources and Teaching Resources for Analysis on the Web:

Library of Congress: www.loc.gov
Gilder Lehrman: www.gilderlehrman.org

Tech Tools and Resources

Google Shorten URL: http://goo.gl/

Blabberize: www.Blabberize.com

Spicynodes: www.spicynodes.com

Zoom Tool: Zoom.it


Website Evaluation: RADCAB  www.radcab.com

Media Training:  Common Sense Media www.commonsensemedia.org

Photo Editing: 

Cutting Tools:
Snippet tool in windows

QR Code: Inigma or QR Reader

Wikis/ Blogs: 
pbworks.com:  https://pbworks.com
Blogspot.com: Www.blogspot.com
wikispaces.com: www.wikispaces.com

Others that are just plain wonderful!

Flat Classroom: www.Flatconnections.com
Nearpod: http://www.nearpod.com
Timetoast: www.timetoast.com
Animoto: www.animoto.com

Blogs: Reference Points for Technology and Primary Sources

Teacher Librarian Days