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Monthly news & updates
September 2020 | Issue #108
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Get Your Teacher of the Year Nominations in!
Deadline is October 1st!
Each year, MAITC recognizes an outstanding Maine elementary or secondary school teacher who uses agricultural education materials and/or activities in the classroom to teach core subjects. Next year's winner will receive a trip to Des Moines, IA!
Know a great teacher who's incorporating ag into their classroom? 
Nominate them to be our 2021 Teacher of the Year!
Teachers can be nominated or submit an application themselves.
Please mail application to: MAITC, ME Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry, 28 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333 or email before 5:00 on October 1, 2020. Direct questions to Willie Sawyer Grenier at or (207) 287-5522.
Resource for Homeschooling - eLearning Boxes
These eLearning Boxes, created by National Agriculture in the Classroom, are designed to support various forms of homeschool, virtual learning, and online classes. These kits provide ready-to-use supplies to facilitate hands-on learning and discovery.

Each kit contains materials for one student to complete a variety of activities found on the PreK-2 Grade eLearning or 3rd-5th Grade eLearning lesson site.
These kits can be found on the ag classroom store: Grades PreK-2 Kit, Grades 3-5 Kit.
Celebrating Diversity in Children’s Agricultural Literature
"All children deserve books in which they can see themselves and the world in which they live reflected. Diverse literature belongs in every classroom and library—on the shelves and in the hands of children, librarians, and teachers.” - Cooperative Children’s Book Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Explore our growing collection of books on the Agriculture Literacy Curriculum Matrix that celebrate traditions throughout the world, support Multicultural Literacy, and highlight cultures that take part in the farm to fork process of our food. Find the collection on the Matrix. Printable book list and descriptions.
"Ag Mags" are 4-page agriculture magazines designed for grades 3-5, produced by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. These educational magazines include information, activities, farmer interviews, and more! They're aligned to standards and come in classroom sets of 30.

New Issues include:
Maine TREE and Maine Project Learning Tree
Outdoor Teaching and Learning about Maine’s Forests for Over Thirty Years!
An award-winning forest-based curriculum, Maine Project Learning Tree (Maine PLT) has served Maine’s educators, environmental leaders and families for decades through its workshops, online resources and network of passionate, trained volunteers. Maine PLT is a program of the Maine Timber Research and Environmental Education Foundation (or Maine TREE), which also offers the popular Forests of Maine Teachers’ Tours, manages the Holt Research Forest in Arrowsic, and other engaging learning opportunities under its mission “to educate and advocate for the sustainable use of the forest and the ecological, economic, and social health of Maine’s forest community”.  
Maine PLT Network and Workshops:
PLT training is delivered through workshops led by a team consisting of a forester or other natural resource professional as well as a trained, volunteer PLT facilitator with educational expertise related to the audience and Maine TREE education staff. Workshops are inexpensive and participants receive an award-winning National PLT book or e-unit that has been selected for that group. Workshop participants become members of the ever-growing Maine PLT network, learning about new events and resources, communicating with others who work in similar roles, and can even extend their involvement by attending facilitator training and becoming part of delivering future workshops.
While COVID-19 has created new challenges and barriers for educators and professional development, Maine TREE and PLT remain available to support workshops for both formal and nonformal educators in virtual formats and in-person formats that meet CDC guidelines.
Connect to the Broader Maine Forest Community
As one of several programs sponsored by Maine TREE, formal and non-formal educators connected to Maine PLT can easily connect with many aspects of Maine’s diverse forest community. From landowners to mills, from foresters to loggers, we recognize the projects and programs to connect people to Maine’s forests go well beyond Project Learning Tree and we won’t to support those efforts by making introductions and supporting deeper connections.
If you want to learn more about our programs, and consider hosting a future workshop, please contact us at
Harvest of the Month - September is Maine Tomatoes!
Teacher Resources Section
Fruits of Our Labor. Grades K-2. Students will discover how fresh fruits can be dried and preserved by participating in an activity where they make raisins by drying grapes.

Exploring Texture in the Garden. Grades 3-5. Students will explore living and nonliving things, determine how nonliving resources help sustain plant life, and experiment with visual arts techniques through an examination of texture in the natural world. Activities in this lesson include collecting and categorizing items from the natural environment, creating seed and soil mosaics, making clay imprints, and coloring cloth with plant materials.

Culinary Concepts. Grades 6-8. Through project-based learning, students will develop and manufacture a unique and nutritious food product that includes ingredients that have been sourced locally and can be served in retail outlets or the school cafeteria.

Surrounded by Plants. Grades 9-12. Students identify the importance of plants to human life by surveying their home and neighborhood for plant products used for medicine, aesthetics, fuel products, fiber, and food.

Looking for more? Explore the Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix HERE
Check out the Read Aloud videos for all 6 or our Agriculture for ME books!
Activities & Resources
Minecraft: Education Edition and KIDS AND BEES! Kids and Bees has partnered with Minecraft: Education Edition to produce a new world, and a number of lessons, to introduce students to bees' dynamic and fascinating roles in their own hives and in broader ecosystems. Read more about the collaboration here. Check out the game and lessons here.
Nutrients for Life
Challenge your students to dig into the new Phosphorus Cycle online game for some in-depth digital learning.
Students will choose one of two scenarios, filling in the Phosphorus Cycle and to learn how it affects crops and gardens. Students will choose a soybean or lettuce garden, earning high scores and badges along the way. 
NEW Purple Plow Challenge

Challenge Question: How can we improve the ways in which waste products are disposed of in the US?

Students will learn about various types of waste products and develop a solution that finds a creative way of transforming it into a useful product.

These challenges meet NGSS and Common Core Standards
Maple Curriculum Support: Tapping into Maple Tradition - Lessons for K-12 Classrooms.

Looking for field trips? Check out Get Real Get Maine's Food, Farms, and Forest Search

ReTreeUS plants orchards in schools and provides educational programs that empower people to be healthy environmental stewards.

See the Maine Farm to School Census here. Are you participating?

Maine School Garden Network provides resources and technical assistance for all school gardens across Maine!

Search the National Ag in the Classroom Curriculum Matrix for resources

Fuel Up to Play 60 offers educators a wide array of resources they can use to help students make sustainable changes in their school environment.

Agroworld is an agricultural science e-zine developed for the secondary educator.

KidsGardening has ideas about plants and gardens, teacher resources, and grant opportunities.

The Chop Chop magazine and website has easy and healthy recipes.

American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has curriculum, games, and resources available for educators and students.
Funding from this plate has impacted up to 200,000 students annually with lessons, materials, volunteers and teacher training. Annually up to $60K is distributed in grants to schools, FFA, 4-H and other Non-profit programs for Ag education initiatives by the Maine Agriculture in the Classroom Council.
Donate today to The Maine Agriculture in the Classroom Association
The Non-profit, completely volunteer, portion of MAITC. These funds are used directly to support teacher scholarships and recognition, and support volunteer participation for Ag education programs. Your donation is completely tax deductible and you can make a one-time donation or a recurring monthly donation which will support the mission, "to promote the understanding of agriculture and natural resources among students, educators, and the general public." If you have any other questions or would like to join this group please contact the chairman, Maryjane StaffordDonate Here.
Our Mission Statement
"To promote the understanding of agriculture and natural resources among students, educators, and the general public"  
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