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Untitled Document

New this Month!

April 2015

Listen to the podcast of this information.


Upcoming Webinars for Educators

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Division of Education’s next general Webinar will be held on Tuesday, April 7, 2015, from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. The topic will be the Kids for Conservation® program. The April Kids for Conservation® Webinar on “Signs of Spring” will be held on Tuesday, April 21, 2015, from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Login information will be posted at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/ on the morning of each Webinar. Check this Web page also to the Webinar schedule.

Webinar Survey

Please help us to learn more about your interest in participating in IDNR Division of Education Webinars by completing the five-question survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PZBVT9B. The survey will remain open through April 15, 2015. Thank you!

Video Podcasts

Illinois Fishes: Part Three, Illinois Fishes: Part Four, What Am I? Bird V and What Am I? Insect IV are the newest video podcasts available from the IDNR Division of Education. You can access them and all of our other educational video podcasts at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/podcasts.htm or through YouTube and iTunes.

New ENTICE Educator Workshop Schedule

The 2015-2016 ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) workshop schedule for educators is posted at https://www.enticeworkshops.com. The workshops are designed with learning standards as their foundation and targeted grade levels are listed in the descriptions. Professional Development Hours are available. Participants receive background information about the Illinois-specific topic, hands-on experiences, lessons, supplemental resources and teaching suggestions. Experience ENTICE!  

Kids for Conservation®: Photos, Observations and Stories/Poems/Artwork Needed

The IDNR Division of Education’s Kids for Conservation® program is requesting information monthly from Illinois youth (younger than age 18). We will feature photos, stories/poems/artwork and a map with locations highlighted about the monthly topic. All submissions must be the products of Illinois youth. Visit http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/outreach/kidsconservation/Pages/default.aspx for details. Kids for Conservation® is great for schools, youth groups and families to participate in. Upcoming topics include “Signs of Spring” for April, “Morels” for May and “Fishing” for June.

IDNR’s Resources Trunks and Packs Provide Teaching Tools for a Variety of Topics  

Are you teaching about any of the following topics this spring:  amphibians and reptiles; aquatics; birds; fossils; Illinois; insects/spiders; invasive species; mammals; Native Americans; prairies; or trees? Let the IDNR’s resources trunks and packs provide you with the teaching tools that you need. Our Standards Web page (http://dnr.state.il.us/education/standards.htm) includes lessons based on the trunks and the Next Generation Science Standards as well. The trunks and packs are available at lending locations statewide. Visit http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/teach.htm for links to all of the resources trunks and packs. These supplemental tools are great for use by teachers, nonformal educators, youth group leaders and families. Several lending locations have recently been added or updated, so be sure to check the list for changes in your area. The Field Trip Pack is designed specifically to encourage nature exploration by early childhood students. Spring is coming! Help your early childhood students to develop science skills with the Field Trip Pack!

Upcoming ENTICE Professional Development Schedule

Register now for upcoming ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) workshops from the IDNR. ENTICE workshops offer training on Illinois-specific topics and supply you with the tools needed to implement the topic into your curriculum immediately. Participants learn from resources professionals, take part in activities and spend time outdoors (where appropriate). Professional Development Hours are available at all ENTICE workshops. Listed below are the workshops scheduled through August 31, 2015. For workshop details and to register, visit https://www.enticeworkshops.com.

Using Resources Trunks to Teach the NGSS, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, April 11, 2015 - REGISTRATION CLOSES AT 8:00 A.M. ON THURSDAY, APRIL 2, 2015.

Illinois Biodiversity 101, Online, April 13-26, 2015 - REGISTRATION CLOSES AT 8:00 A.M. ON THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2015.

Illinois Wetland Ecosystem Organisms, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, April 18, 2015 - REGISTRATION CLOSES AT 8:00 A.M. ON THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2015.

Using Children's Nonfiction in Prek-Second Grade Science, Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, April 25, 2015- REGISTRATION CLOSES AT 8:00 A.M. ON THURSDAY, APRIL 16, 2015.

Using Children's Nonfiction in Prek-Second Grade Science, Western Illinois University Moline Campus, Moline, May 2, 2015 - REGISTRATION CLOSES AT 8:00 A.M. ON THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 2015.

Introducing Early Childhood Students to Nature, Heller Nature Center, Highland Park, May 9, 2015

Aquatic Ecosystems: Lake Michigan Ecology, The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago, May 16, 2015

Illinois Butterflies and Moths, Shawnee National Forest, Jonesboro, June 12, 2015

Illinois Amphibians and Reptiles, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, June 13, 2015

Illinois Spiders, Mayslake Peabody Estate, Oak Brook, July 10, 2015

Introducing Early Childhood Students to the Nature of Summer, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, July 11, 2015

Prying into Prions: Investigating Chronic Wasting Disease, Online, July 13-26, 2015

Illinois Woodlands 101, Shawnee National Forest Office, Vienna, August 22, 2015

Monarch Mania!, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, August 29, 2015

Central Illinois Educators: Fishing and Aquatic Ecology Programs Now Available from the IDNR

Educators, if you teach in any of the following counties, the IDNR can help you bring hands-on aquatic education to your students. These programs work to develop positive attitudes towards natural resources, conservation and fishing in young people. Lessons align with the state and national learning standards and are adapted to all grade levels. For more information or to schedule a program, contact Van Grissom at 217-720-3501 or van.grissom@illinois.gov.

Adams, Brown, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Coles, Cumberland, De Witt, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Hancock, Iroquois, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Mason, McLean, Menard, Morgan, Moultrie, Piatt, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Vermillion

Spring Programs from Dickson Mounds Museum

Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown has many programs scheduled. For more information, contact the Museum at 309-547-3721 or visit http://www.museum.state.il.us/events/. All events are free of charge unless a fee is indicated in the descriptions below. Donations are always appreciated.

Tot Time

Adults and their tots will have fun exploring, discovering and learning on the first Thursday of the month (except January due to the holiday) from 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. in the Museum’s Discovery Center. Spend quality time with your tot, while each of you makes new friends. A different topic and craft will be featured each month. Registration is not required. Participants will enjoy light refreshments. This program series is sponsored by Better Banks of Astoria, Cass Communications, Havana National Bank, MidAmerica National Bank and Vaughn’s Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. Topics are as follows: April 2 - Trees.

Nature Trek: Bird Watching at Emiquon

Meet at the Emiquon Wetland Observatory for a morning of bird watching. Novice and seasoned birders are welcome. This trip also offers a good opportunity to photograph or sketch wildlife. Binoculars will be available. Light breakfast refreshments will be served while bird watching. This program will be held at The Wetland Observatory, Emiquon Preserve. Saturday, April 4, 2015, 7:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m., All Ages

Ben’s Bubble Show

Join us for this unique form of family entertainment. See Ben use his bare hands to create beautiful, humorous and mind-boggling soap bubble sculptures. Enjoy viewing bubbles within bubbles, smoke bubbles, spinning belt bubbles and geometric shaped bubbles. Participants will learn about the science behind these creations. Seating is limited. Free tickets will be available at noon the day of the show and may be picked up in the Museum’s lobby on a first come, first served basis. Sunday, April 19, 2015, 1:00 p.m., All Ages

April Children’s Activities at the Illinois State Museum

All programs take place at the Illinois State Museum, 502 South Spring Street, Springfield, unless otherwise noted. If you have any questions, please contact Elizabeth Bazan at ebazan@museum.state.il.us or 217-782-5993.

11 – The Earth & Me Super Saturday

The Earth is an incredible planet, and it is our job to protect and preserve it. Come join us as we celebrate our home planet and learn easy steps to better the environment.

13 – How Does Your Garden Grow? Story Time

Whether you grow flowers, fruits, or vegetables, gardening can be a lot of fun. Listen to stories and songs about growing things.

 Project Squirrel Mobile Phone App

With the Project Squirrel mobile phone app, your students can easily become involved in citizen science activities that can be incorporated into lessons to support the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The app is free and both Apple and Android versions are available. Go to iTunes or the Google Play Store and download the app today. All citizens can take part in the data collection. You can learn more about Project Squirrel at http://www.projectsquirrel.org/. The Project Squirrel mobile phone app is sponsored by the Chicago Academy of Science’s Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the IDNR, the University of Illinois at Chicago and Motorola. Correlations to Next Generation Science Standards are available at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/standards.htm.

Dickson Mounds Museum Offers Workshops for Teachers

Educators! Gather together and schedule a workshop at Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown, Illinois. Workshops may be a half- or full-day experience and include a behind-the-scenes look at the museum, facility tours and hands-on activities, including archaeological work, nature observation, hiking, canoeing and biological laboratory work. See what kinds of opportunities Dickson Mounds and its Emiquon partners, The Nature Conservancy, University of Illinois at Springfield Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have to offer youth and adults. A minimum of six teachers is required per workshop. Dickson Mounds Museum, a branch of the Illinois State Museum and a National Historic Site, is one of the major on-site archaeological museums in the United States. It offers a unique opportunity to explore the world of the American Indian in an awe inspiring journey through 12,000 years of human experience in the Illinois River Valley. Dickson Mounds Museum's workshops provide Professional Development Hours. Workshops may be tailored upon request. Contact Curator of Education Christa Christensen by phone at 309-547-3721 or cchristensen@museum.state.il.us to schedule your workshop or for more information. Also, visit http://www.museum.state.il.us/events/ for current program and event listings. 

IDNR Publications

Do you need Illinois-specific, scientifically based resources to support your lessons? Then visit the IDNR Publications Order Form at http://dnr.state.il.us/teachkids. You’ll find activity books, posters and many other publications available to download and/or order. Many of the publications have a Spanish-language version, too.

IDNR Division of Education List Server

Educators throughout Illinois can obtain instant notification about new products, scheduled workshops and many other events and items from the IDNR through the IDNR Division of Education's electronic list server. By participating in the list server, you will receive email messages when new educational materials are available from the IDNR. You'll also be made aware of upcoming workshops and special opportunities. To join the list, send an email to subscribe-dnr-education@lists.illinois.gov. You do not need to write any text in the message or the subject line. You may leave the list at any time by sending an email to unsubscribe-dnr-education@lists.illinois.gov. You do not need to write any text in the message or the subject line. There is no charge to participate. Messages are usually titled "Items of Possible Interest" in the subject line.

IDNR Education offers Field Trip Tips for Educators

Visit http://dnr.state.il.us/education/fieldtrip.htm to access information that will help you and your students have a successful outdoor experience at an Illinois state park. You can find the state park nearest to you and a list of its amenities. By clicking on the category names in the “Lesson Topics” feature, you can link to the IDNR lesson plans and materials that will help you teach about the habitats, organisms and/or history of each park. Lessons for pre-trip, on site and post-trip are available in downloadable PDF format. Field trip etiquette and planning are also discussed. After deciding on your destination, why not apply for an Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant? You’ll find a link to that information on this Web site, too.

We’re on Facebook!

Visit our Facebook page to find the latest updates about the materials and programs of the IDNR Education Section. You’ll also find images from ENTICE workshops! Search for “Illinois Department of Natural Resources Division of Education.”

Illinois Trapper Education Online Course

The IDNR offers an online course for those interested in learning to trap. People who are required to complete a course before purchasing a trapping license now have two choices. They can take a full-day course in the classroom or complete half of the requirement online and half in the classroom, where they learn hands-on skills such as setting traps and preparing pelts for sale.

Courses are free. The IDNR encourages all trappers, regardless of age, to take a course. First-time trappers under 18 years of age must complete a course and pass a written exam before they are allowed to purchase a trapping license. Those under 16 years of age must also have written permission from a parent or guardian before purchasing a license.

Illinois Trapper Education Online (http://trappered.com) covers topics such as trapping equipment, laws and ethics through online film clips, reading materials, quizzes, photos and illustrations. Students can exit the course and resume work where they left off at any time. The course is accessible using a basic dial-up connection, although high speed connections work best.

At the end of the Internet course, students must successfully complete the final exam online and download a printable document of completion. Students must present the document when attending the four-hour training session with instructors. To locate an instructor-taught course, visit http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/safety/Pages/default.aspx or call 1-800-832-2599. The Ameritech Relay for the deaf and hearing impaired is 1-800-526-0844.

Wild Illinois History Leads Students on a Journey to Learn About History and Wildlife Conservation

The IDNR is offering a "virtual" trip for late-elementary schoolteachers, students and their parents. With a few mouse clicks, students can journey back to the earliest days of the Illinois Territory when voyageurs and Native Americans hunted the prairies, forests and rivers. Wild Illinois History helps students in grades three through five focus on early French exploration, along with river and settlement geography. Students can learn how wildlife helped Native Americans and early settlers survive. They also can see how wildlife is a part of our lives today. A fictional French trapper in the 18th century Illinois Territory leads students on the trip. Brief story-telling slideshows are mixed with fun, interactive activities. For teachers, Wild Illinois History offers lesson plans, activities, photos, posters and correlations to Illinois Learning Standards. Try it out at http://www.wildillinois.org/. For more information, contact Bob Bluett, IDNR Wildlife Diversity Coordinator at 217-782-7580 or bob.bluett@illinois.gov.

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