All that jazz
April is Jazz Appreciation Month, a time to recognize and appreciate jazz as "America's original music." The Smithsonian Institution and its National Museum of American History offers several resources for educators, including downloadable posters. This year's poster celebrates the late Frederick Brown. For ideas on how to celebrate, including a list of 112 ways to participate in JAM or downloadable public service announcements that may be broadcast in schools, visit www.smithsonianjazz.org. For resources for music educators, including online lessons, visit www.hickorytech.net/~cshirk/k-12music or www.madagasgar.com/jazz/lessons.html.
Discover, explore our parks
The National Park Service offers several fee-free entrance days at national parks across the country, including 22 sites here in New York state. This month, entrance fees are waived for an entire week, April 20-28, for National Park Week. Also, 265 of the 398 national parks NEVER charge an entrance fee. The fee waiver covers entrance fees, commercial tour fees and transportation entrance fees. Visit www.nationalparks.org for information.
Discovery Education offers several free education resources, including lesson plans and Brain Boosters for grades K-12. Another feature on the site is a free puzzle maker with 10 different types of puzzles, including word searches, math squares, letter tiles and hidden messages. Pre-made puzzles are also available. Visit www.discoveryeducation.com/free-puzzlemaker.
Educators show and tell
Instructables, described as "a place that lets you explore, document and share your creations," provides free professional memberships and classroom project ideas for teachers. The site features "plug and play" hands-on projects that educators can use to supplement their curriculum. Have an innovative project idea to share? Instructables is the place for you. Also, check out the contests; you may be eligible to win prizes. For more information, visit www.instructables.com/teachers.