Florida Teacher Resources

These teacher resources were gathered in 2011 from a mailing to over 4,000 Florida teachers. They all come recommended and are currently being used in classrooms.

Florida Web Resources

Brevard District Website – They’ve put together a wealth of resources in the following areas, many with a focus on Florida:

Central Florida Memory Project Search and browse over 80,000 images of historic materials such as diaries and letters that describe the region and how people survived day-by-day in this extreme and rugged environment. They also havemMaps, photographs, and postcards that illustrate how the region looked in the early years and how it changed over time. Teachers can access ready-made classroom activities, lesson plans, and additional resources here.

Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test® links:
FCAT Explorer – A free, online educational program for Florida’s students that reinforces reading and math skills outlined in the Sunshine State Standards.

FCAT Prep Materials

Florida Center for Reading Research

Florida Department of Education – the state education agency of Florida. It governs public education and manages funding and testing for local educational agencies (school boards)

Florida Division of Historical Resources – has a lot of great information and is very kid friendly.

Florida Electronic Library

Florida Humanities Council – Creates and sponsors programs and publications that explore the people, places, and ideas that shape Florida. These programs enable teachers to learn about Florida’s rich history and culture, from colonial St. Augustine to modern-day Miami.

Florida Memory Project

Florida Treasures series for Reading – online resources are specifically designed to help teachers teach by providing engaging activities for students at all levels. These Online Teacher Resources offer content designed to help teachers save time and keep students motivated and focused.

My Pearson Training on Florida Social Studies

Old Florida Maps

Orrin’s Website – For social studies of the Florida Native Americans before the Europeans arrived. It has “Kid’s facts” and pictures of the different types of homes. It also provides a complete library of the available online materials about the more than 800 Amerindian languages and the people that speak them.

TeachingFlorida.org – Provides teachers with a dynamic, interactive, and authoritative site on Florida’s history and heritage.

University of South Florida – Social Studies Resources for Students and Teachers. They have many reading skill pages and activities that correlate directly to the Florida social studies curriculum. There is also Florida History curriculum (Under the link Florida Then and Now you will find numerous lessons on several Florida topics from the Florida Memory Project.)

Spanish Colonial Florida

Spanish Colonial St. Augustine: A Resource for Teachers

Spanish Florida: Evolution of a Colonial Society, 1513-1763

The Florida Museum of Natural History

St. Augustine History Project at the Florida Museum of Natural History

Ideas From Other Teachers

TeachersPayTeachers.com – a community of educators who come together to share their work, their insights, and their inspiration with one another. We are the first and largest open marketplace where teachers share, sell, and buy original educational resources. They have several resources specifically for teaching with A Land Remembered.

  • I enjoy using the stereoview pictures on the University of South Florida website showing various places around Florida in 3D. I show the website through a projector onto our Smart board. I have the kids bring in their old 3D glasses so they can see the photos projected. It works on a computer monitor too. The kids love this!

When I focus a writing lesson around a social studies theme, we pull from Non-Fiction articles as we read aloud to determine the Elaboration and Craft focus of the day. I get those articles from my local newspaper and also Time for Kids.

  • Most of our field trips are connected to Social Studies.  Also, we do a huge unit on government which includes a wonderful simulation of how government actually works.  The kids run for office and then meet to pass laws.  It’s a huge success.

When I teach reading, I use author’s web sites all the time which usually have great teacher guides. [We do this at TeachALandRemembered.com] Rick Riordan and Kate DiCamillo have great stuff to use for free on their sites that go along with their books.

  • Google a lot of key words which brings me to various education websites that I couldn’t possibly list.

I use the A Land Remembered maps from the books and we made a Florida history scrapbook with many of the resources in the book.

  • We take a field trip to the Lake Placid, Florida Archbold Biological Station that has scientists on staff who conduct a tour and provide materials made by the University of South Florida. It has FCAT (Florida Testing) Style questions and is also a cross curricular study that incorporates Reading, Science, Math and Writing. Our Educational coordinator there is Rick Lavoy.

I’ve learned over the years that I don’t teach the way another teacher might, so I don’t buy teaching guides—instead, I look for really solid student resources (literature, primary sources, etc.), then I develop my own ideas on how to integrate them into my classroom teaching.  I look for 3 things:

  1. Quality of resource
  2. Correlation to my curriculum
  3. Cost—I want every student to have something in his/her hands.
  • I am participating in a 3-yr Teaching American History (TAH) Grant, funded by the DOE and sponsored by the Florida Humanities Council,  that provides me with an abundance of materials (articles, guest speakers, field experience).

I also like to use fictional books to go along with historical concepts when I can.  I have used stories about St. Augustine, South Florida, and Tampa.  I especially love using A Land Remembered, because it covers so many of the places, people and events I teach in our curriculum.

  • We go to the Pensacola Historic Village which connects with the early 1800’s in Pensacola.  It is an excellent tour.  We visit the Indian Temple Museum and one room schoolhouse in Fort Walton Beach.  This connects with the early Native American part of Florida History.  Then we go to Tallahassee to the Natural History Museum (flora and fauna), Old Capital, New Capital, and History Museum.  We also have visited Arcadia Mills in Milton where the kids learn about the history of textiles in that local region.  It’s a very specific part of history in one particular place, but is an excellent field trip.  They also bring in some science connections along with archaeology.  Another option is that there are people at the San Luis Museum in Tallahassee who will come to your school, bring artifacts and make a talk with hands on activities.  It’s like the museum coming to you.

I learn about valuable texts through county trainings and attending The Tampa Bay Area Writing Project meetings. Four major texts that I love are: Teaching Young Writers to Elaborate by Megan S Sloan, The Teaching for Understanding Guide by Tina Blythe and Assoc.,  Comprehension Connections by Tanny McGregor and Comprehension through Conversation by Maria Nichols. They guide my instruction, mostly.

  • I use an interactive “smart” board in my classroom and I’m always looking for things that can be used on it (particularly games and interesting text).

After reading A Land Remembered each year, we host a Pioneer Picnic for the school. Publix donates fried chicken and the parents all donate baked goods. The kids all play games such as tug of war and three legged races, and we have a square dancing group come out to teach the families how to dance. It is a lot of fun and a great fundraiser to help defray the cost of our yearly St Augustine trip.

 

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