TeachersFirst Edge - Coding

 

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Construct3 - Construct.net

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K to 1
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Design and create games with Construct3. Choose from many different formats including puzzles, role-play, and storybooks along with a choice of beginner and intermediate level coding...more
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Design and create games with Construct3. Choose from many different formats including puzzles, role-play, and storybooks along with a choice of beginner and intermediate level coding ability options. Take advantage of the beginner's guide and tutorials to learn and practice the available features. All of the game options include drag and drop coding features. Free accounts offer you up to 25 events per game, two layers per layout, two effects per game, and one font choice. To share, publish your finished game to the site's arcade or download to your server.

tag(s): coding (77), game based learning (147), gamification (83), STEM (209)

In the Classroom

Include Construct3 with your other options for teaching coding to students. Take advantage of the included levels to differentiate learning based on knowledge of coding. If you are uncomfortable with coding, enlist students to become technology coaches in your classroom to teach and share their knowledge with others. Use and share Google Forms to create how-to guides for students to get started including images with tips and suggestions. Ask "in-the-know" students to enhance their learning and create one-page websites using Jimdo, reviewed here, sharing advice for individual games included in Construct3. As students become familiar with coding, have them use My Simpleshow, reviewed here to redefine what they learned by creating simple explainer videos detailing how to build and share personalized games.

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Polyup: Mod with Math - Dr. Amir Zarkesh, Professor Yahya Tabesh, and Shaya Zarkesh

Grades
K to 12
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Polyup is a web-based math problem-solving app for grades K-12. Use Polyup in several different ways for students to explore and play with numbers. Choose Play to work with numbers...more
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Polyup is a web-based math problem-solving app for grades K-12. Use Polyup in several different ways for students to explore and play with numbers. Choose Play to work with numbers in the computational thinking playground or select from featured machines to work with specific math functions. Find options for your grade level by selecting from the lesson plans, with included learning modules, from those provided within the several different grade bands.

tag(s): addition (224), coding (77), decimals (125), division (157), equations (154), fractions (231), functions (70), game based learning (147), geometric shapes (170), logic (251), measurement (180), multiplication (210), operations (120), probability (135), problem solving (293), pythagorean theorem (34), ratios (66), square roots (21), statistics (130), subtraction (186)

In the Classroom

Polyup is perfect for use in math classrooms in a variety of ways. Become acquainted with the free lesson plans to incorporate Polyup activities based on specific math skills. Encourage problem-solving and math exploration by including a link to Polyup on classroom computers. Instead of assigning a worksheet or other math activity for homework, ask students to spend time exploring Polyup at home. Extend and assess student learning by using FlipGrid, reviewed here, for students to provide a short video reflection on their learning activity. Optional registration allows you or your students to save progress and create your own machines.

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Blockly - Google

Grades
4 to 12
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Blockly is an open source library of drag and drop blocks to use for generating computer codes. Use each block to stack and add information to create code in an ...more
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Blockly is an open source library of drag and drop blocks to use for generating computer codes. Use each block to stack and add information to create code in an infinite number of ways. After creating your work using Blockly, use the drop-down box to view and copy the code in JavaScript, Python, and other coding formats. For full instructions on using Blockly, be sure to follow the link for Guides at the top of the Blockly home page.

Blockly is an open source library of drag and drop blocks to use for generating computer codes. Use each block to stack and add information to create code in an infinite number of ways. After creating your work using Blockly, use the drop-down box to view and copy the code in JavaScript, Python, and other coding formats. For full instructions on using Blockly, be sure to follow the link for Guides at the top of the Blockly home page.

tag(s): coding (77), computers (102), game based learning (147), STEM (209)

In the Classroom

Use Blockly as an interesting way to introduce coding to your class for beginners and experienced coders. Display Blockly on your interactive whiteboard or projector as you explore the different features of the site, then have students create and explore on their own. To generate ideas on how to use Blockly, have students practice using Blockly at Blockly Games, reviewed here. After school clubs and activities can use Blockly to learn to code. Use this tool with gifted students for a great challenge. Set up a coding activity center for interested students when they finish class work or for rainy days and snow days. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.
 

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Choice of Games - Choice of Games LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Choice of Games includes tools for creating and playing text-based games (think of it as similar to a choose your own adventure story). Try making games by following the directions...more
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Choice of Games includes tools for creating and playing text-based games (think of it as similar to a choose your own adventure story). Try making games by following the directions to download the script source. Include simple commands using text options for players. This site includes tutorials to get started and add more complex commands. Explore the games archive to play games created by other users and to get inspiration for your creations.

tag(s): coding (77), creative writing (160), DAT device agnostic tool (174), gamification (83), interactive stories (31), STEM (209), writing (361)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site to your students on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector and explore one or two of the games together. Create a short story together to learn about how to use the different story-writing options. As students begin creating games using this site, consider having students create explainer videos to modify their learning using My Simpleshow, reviewed here, and to demonstrate tools that need a more detailed explanation than what is on the site. Have students create stories to show what they have learned about literature, geography, history, science concepts, and more. As a more "serious" approach, use Choice of Games to present opinion pieces where you take a position and allow readers to click on questions about it. They could also click on statements expressing opposing views so you can write counterarguments to their points. This idea could end up being a powerful way to present an argument and evidence as required by Common Core writing standards. Redefine student learning by having them include their text-based game as part of a collaborative multi-media presentation created using Sway, reviewed here. In addition to their game, ask students to include their written documents, images, and video creations.

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Chemistry in Minecraft - Microsoft Studios

Grades
6 to 12
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Chemistry in Minecraft is an update to the popular Minecraft Education Edition, reviewed here. Download the chemistry update to explore elements and...more
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Chemistry in Minecraft is an update to the popular Minecraft Education Edition, reviewed here. Download the chemistry update to explore elements and compounds and conduct experiments in a virtual world. Crafting tools like the Compound Creator allow for the opportunity to combine elements and explore elements by finding electrons, protons, and neutrons. Download the Teacher's Lab Book that shares how to use this update in the classroom and provides lesson suggestions.

tag(s): coding (77), elements (38), game based learning (147), gamification (83), matter (63), Microsoft (66), molecules (47), STEM (209)

In the Classroom

Benefit from the many features shared in this download to allow students to explore chemistry concepts through gameplay. This site offers many opportunities for problem-solving and decision making. Ask students to share some of their ideas through a podcast. Anchor, reviewed here, is a podcast creation tool that offers the ability to record or upload audio from your computer and add songs from Apple Music and Spotify. Have students share concepts learned through animated videos. My Simpleshow, reviewed here includes free tools for making simple explainer videos.

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Metaverse Studio - Google, Magic Leap, BuzzFeed, MySpace, and Fujitsu

Grades
6 to 12
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Metaverse Studio makes it easy for anyone to create augmented reality experiences. Create your account to begin then use Metaverse components to arrange items on your storyboard and...more
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Metaverse Studio makes it easy for anyone to create augmented reality experiences. Create your account to begin then use Metaverse components to arrange items on your storyboard and connect without coding. Share completed projects with a QR code, link, or social media options to play using the Metaverse app. Be sure to watch the welcome tutorial for an overview of features and capabilities of Metaverse Studio. Videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as ClipGrab, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): augmented reality (6), coding (77), creativity (116), design (89), gamification (83), quizzes (92)

In the Classroom

Share Metaverse Studio with students as part of any computer skills class. Ask students to brainstorm ideas to create using this site. Use a tool like Padlet, reviewed here, to share ideas and suggestions. As students become comfortable using this site, have them videotape tips and suggestions for creating experiences using Screencast-o-matic, reviewed here, then share them using a tool such as SchoolTube, reviewed here. Use Metaverse Studio to create engaging games and quizzes for your classroom.

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Microsoft Visual Studio - Microsoft

Grades
6 to 12
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Microsoft Visual Studio offers a variety of free tools and services to create and develop apps on any platform. Transform your classroom technology use by downloading Visual Studio...more
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Microsoft Visual Studio offers a variety of free tools and services to create and develop apps on any platform. Transform your classroom technology use by downloading Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio Community, and sign up for a free account on Visual Studio Team Services providing tools and information for integration across platforms. Sign up also for training sessions and additional downloads.

tag(s): coding (77), computers (102), logic (251), Microsoft (66), problem solving (293)

In the Classroom

Share Microsoft Visual with students interested in computer coding. Have students sign up for training that meets their interests. Transform classroom technology use by encouraging students to design apps that help fellow students and others in your school. For example, design an app for tracking assignments or an app for collaborating on school projects.

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Sploder - Geoff P. Gaudreault

Grades
5 to 12
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Modify classroom technology use by designing online games at Sploder. Register on the site to save and share your creations; however, registration isn't required to play the free games...more
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Modify classroom technology use by designing online games at Sploder. Register on the site to save and share your creations; however, registration isn't required to play the free games available. Choose from four different game options to create games without any coding skills. Scroll down on the home page to select games by topic including two-player games and girl games.

tag(s): coding (77), game based learning (147), gamification (83)

In the Classroom

Show Sploder to students who love to play games as an excellent source for creating their own games. Ask them to create educational games for classroom topics such as identifying parts of speech or multiples of numbers. Share a link to games on your class website for review.

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Kodu Game Lab - Microsoft Research

Grades
3 to 12
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Kodu is a software download for creating Windows PC games through a simple programming language. A download is also available for Xbox games; however, it is not free. The software ...more
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Kodu is a software download for creating Windows PC games through a simple programming language. A download is also available for Xbox games; however, it is not free. The software allows users to create and personalize virtual worlds through point and click options. Additional options offer "if this, then that" personalization to add variety to the game. Under Resources find the "Getting Started" tutorial videos that reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): coding (77), game based learning (147), gamification (83), Microsoft (66)

In the Classroom

Have students work in teams to design and develop content demonstrating an understanding of lessons in any subject area. Begin sharing Kodu with your computer experts who are interested in programming. Allow them to be the leaders in sharing how to use and personalize the program. Use Kodu as part of an after-school computer club. Be sure to take advantage of the resources section of Kodu for tips and tutorials on using the program.

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RobotBasic - John Blankenship

Grades
6 to 12
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RobotBasic is a free program download for robotic simulations. It features the ability to include several different commands and sensors. The program is for both novice and experienced...more
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RobotBasic is a free program download for robotic simulations. It features the ability to include several different commands and sensors. The program is for both novice and experienced programmers, this site includes several video tutorials that begin with the assumption that users don't have any programming experience. Be sure to read all system requirements and necessary information before downloading the program.

tag(s): computers (102), robotics (25)

In the Classroom

Share RobotBasic with students interested in computer programming. Ask proficient programmers to be the "experts" and share how-to activities with other students. Have your experts create short tutorials using a tool like My Simpleshow, reviewed here, and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube, reviewed here.

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Minecraft Education Edition - Microsoft and Mojang AB

Grades
2 to 12
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Promote creativity, problem-solving, and collaboration through game play with Minecraft Education Edition. This version of the popular game includes features for classroom use including...more
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Promote creativity, problem-solving, and collaboration through game play with Minecraft Education Edition. This version of the popular game includes features for classroom use including documentation of work and a secure environment for class play. In addition to the software download, this site includes a small base of lesson plans, classroom community support forums, and a My Classroom feature. My Classroom allows teachers to create a private world for students to join enabling them to work together in the same world.

tag(s): coding (77), computational thinking (34), game based learning (147), gamification (83), Microsoft (66)

In the Classroom

Make use of the features provided in the education edition of Minecraft to allow learning through gameplay. Ask students to use the camera and portfolio features to document decision making and progress through games. Use features within the game to learn about history, for example, have students import 3-dimensional structures such as the Roman Colosseum to explore and create experiences from that time. Instruct students to create a story for creative writing projects. Encourage students to retell a story through a Minecraft experience. Use Minecraft features to teach math lessons on shape, volume, area, and more. Discover more ideas at Minecraft Hour of Code Tutorials, reviewed here.

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Hippani - Hippani Ltd

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6 to 12
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Hippani is an HTML animation software download for creating apps, animations, and more. There are many tutorials available making it easy for beginners to start creating professional...more
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Hippani is an HTML animation software download for creating apps, animations, and more. There are many tutorials available making it easy for beginners to start creating professional looking results. There is a free and professional version. The free version allows you to create HTML animation and GIF's. With the free version, you can also test out the professional version during the free 30 days trial. Works with Windows and Mac OS X, however, the web apps created can be converted to iOS, Android and Windows phone apps via another program.

tag(s): animation (60), coding (77), images (269)

In the Classroom

Download Hippani's software onto classroom computers to learn basic coding skills. Students will quickly catch on to this program when allowed to explore and see what they can make. Then, for those who show an aptitude for coding, take advantage of the free 30-day use of the professional edition. Have students browse through the gallery and tutorials to learn about the features of Hippani. Allow them to explore and create on their own as part of your MakerSpace or as a center. Challenge students to use this software to create animated GIFs such as demonstrating how simple machines work, changes in landforms over time, or significant events from novels.

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Thimble - closing down end of 2019 - Mozilla

Grades
6 to 12
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Thimble is an online tool for teaching HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and creating web pages. Start from scratch or choose a remix project as a learning tool. Each remix includes a ...more
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Thimble is an online tool for teaching HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and creating web pages. Start from scratch or choose a remix project as a learning tool. Each remix includes a tutorial with instructions about changing and personalizing content. When working on a creation Thimble offers a side-by-side view, one for the coding portion, the other showing the appearance and content as it shows on a web page. Choose to show desktop or mobile device appearance. Email registration is required to publish and save web pages to Mozilla Webmaker. Once created, users can copy and paste the HTML into any web page host.

tag(s): coding (77), computers (102), multimedia (50), tutorials (47)

In the Classroom

Use Thimble as an excellent tool for students to learn to code through simple projects. Thimble doesn't offer step-by-step directions, so it is more useful for students who love to explore and interact on their own. Have students use Thimble's Remixes to create comic book explanations of science concepts or social studies events. Use the Six Word Summer Teaching Toolkit as a great way to teach summarizing, and of course, this toolkit for summarizing will work for many other topics!

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Flappy Code - Code Studio

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 1  Comments
   
Create a Flappy Bird game using drag and drop code, then save it to your phone to play over and over! Follow the 10 step directions to add code to ...more
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Create a Flappy Bird game using drag and drop code, then save it to your phone to play over and over! Follow the 10 step directions to add code to your workspace as you make your bird fly toward a target, give directions for the end of game results, and edit actions and speed of the game. When finished, share games via URL or social networking links. The intro video resides on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): coding (77), game based learning (147), gamification (83), logic (251)

In the Classroom

Use Flappy Code as an interesting way to introduce coding to your class. Display Flappy Code on your interactive whiteboard or projector as you progress through the steps to code a game, then have students create and explore on their own. After school clubs and activities can use Flappy Code to learn to code. Use this tool with gifted students for a great challenge. Set up a coding activity center for interested students when they finish class work or for rainy days and snow days. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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This resource would be engaging for students just learning how to code. Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5

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Dash - General Assembly

Grades
4 to 12
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Dash is an interactive, online learn to code program. Use Dash to practice HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build a website, blog theme, CSS robot, or your own mad libs ...more
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Dash is an interactive, online learn to code program. Use Dash to practice HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build a website, blog theme, CSS robot, or your own mad libs game. Choose your project, then follow prompts in each accompanying slide show to add coding and receive feedback. Dash also highlights skills learned to view progress throughout tutorials. Click on any learned skill for a quick review lesson. The one-minute intro video resides on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable.

tag(s): coding (77), computers (102), critical thinking (118), problem solving (293), STEM (209)

In the Classroom

Use Dash to learn basic coding skills. Students will quickly catch on to this program when allowed to explore and see what they can make. Provide a simple assignment with defined rules/tasks to learn the tools. Younger students may familiarize themselves more easily working with a partner. Be sure to recommend that students "ask three before me" (the teacher). When finished with these lessons, move to other free tools such as Scratch, reviewed here. Teachers of even very young gifted students can turn them loose with these challenges when they have already mastered the math or science curriculum. Have them create a creature they can explain to the class or share with gifted peers in other classrooms.

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Google CS First - Google

Grades
5 to 9
5 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Google CS First is a program for clubs to increase access and teach computer science to 4th-8th-grade students. All training and materials are free for anyone hosting a club in ...more
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Google CS First is a program for clubs to increase access and teach computer science to 4th-8th-grade students. All training and materials are free for anyone hosting a club in the U.S. Materials offer lessons based on themes such as storytelling, sports, social media, friends, and fashion and design. In addition to lesson materials, Google CS provides online training information for club leaders.

tag(s): animation (60), coding (77), computational thinking (34), critical thinking (118), digital storytelling (143), gamification (83), musical notation (37), problem solving (293), social media (37), sports (102), stories and storytelling (33)

In the Classroom

Create a club in your classroom as part of your STEM activities, as a lunch/recess club, or an at-home activity for students. Use the flyers and presentation materials provided to create interest in the club. Differentiate clubs by student interests and abilities. Share Google CS First with your school's media or tech leader as an excellent resource for teaching coding. This site is perfect for those who want to learn more about coding, but have some hesitancy since all materials from creating a group through the lessons are free. If you still have some doubts, enlist the services of a tech-savvy high school student to help with activities as part of their volunteering requirements.

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Pencil Code Gym - David Bau

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Code your own art, music, and interactive fiction with Pencil Code Gym. The main language is Coffescript, but you can press the gear button to use HTML, Javascript, and CSS. ...more
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Code your own art, music, and interactive fiction with Pencil Code Gym. The main language is Coffescript, but you can press the gear button to use HTML, Javascript, and CSS. Follow instructions to code using drag and drop blocks or text. Click the pencil in the upper left corner to see several resources including Materials for Teachers, Teachers Manual, Printable Activities, and several others. Toggle back and forth between the two formats to view the different formats. The wide range of activities make this site perfect for use with students of all levels of coding abilities. When complete, share finished projects on "GymStage", the sharing portion of Pencil Code Gym. Pencil Code Gym does not work with the Chrome browser.

tag(s): coding (77), computational thinking (34), critical thinking (118), digital storytelling (143), drawing (73), geometric shapes (170), musical notation (37), problem solving (293)

In the Classroom

Create a link on classroom computers for use as centers. Use the text options for students to use with digital storytelling. This site is perfect for differentiating different levels of coding skills. Allow students to explore at their own pace, then share their creations with classmates. Redefine learning by challenging students or groups to create videos explaining their creations using My Simpleshow, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Be sure to add a link to your class website for students to practice at home.
 

Comments

Great resource for all ages, more appropriate for middle school and above. Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5

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MathScienceMusic - Theolonius Monk Institute of Jaz

Grades
K to 12
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MathScienceMusic provides a large variety of free, engaging, resources to teach math, science, and music to students from kindergarten through college all created through a collaboration...more
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MathScienceMusic provides a large variety of free, engaging, resources to teach math, science, and music to students from kindergarten through college all created through a collaboration with Jazz legend, Herbie Hancock. Click letters on the homepage to begin your musical experience, then scroll down to view the available resources. Each group of resources includes a video introduction explaining the content. Some of the choices include Scratch Jazz (music and coding) and Groove Pizza (Shapes and Angles and Groove). All activities include a short description along with suggestions for appropriate grade level, concepts taught, and links to additional resources. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable; be sure to look at alternatives for sharing the videos on classroom computers.

tag(s): angles (88), animation (60), brain (67), coding (77), fractions (231), geometric shapes (170), india (33), multiples (31), music theory (44), musical instruments (50), musical notation (37), numbers (192), patterns (88), preK (282), ratios (66), sound (105)

In the Classroom

Share activities from MathScienceMusic on your interactive whiteboard with students, then let them explore independently. Scratch Jazz is perfect for teaching basic coding; students interested in music will enjoy creating their own jazz-themed project using the site's tutorial. Add interest to math lessons by taking advantage of the free lesson plans. Be sure to check out the link to Math and Music Standards found on the music and math curriculum page. Have students modify their learning by creating videos of their music creations using My Simpleshow, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Be sure to have them discuss their journey from the beginning through the final creation of their project. Team up with your school's music teacher to collaborate on the many activities provided on this site.
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Mixital Strictly: Robo-Dancers - Code Club & Nesta

Grades
4 to 12
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Make and publish a robot performing your personalized dance moves with Robo-Dancers. Create your moves using toolbars provided or switch to Code Mode to view and change moves using...more
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Make and publish a robot performing your personalized dance moves with Robo-Dancers. Create your moves using toolbars provided or switch to Code Mode to view and change moves using code. Share and save when finished. Be sure to check out other options available on this site for creating animated stories and adding visuals to classic music. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English. The dance steps for the dance, Do The Strictly are on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such asOnline-Convert, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube. At the time of this review, the site activities did not work with all browsers. So be sure to test out this site on the browser that you will be using.

tag(s): coding (77), computers (102), engineering (131), gamification (83), STEM (209)

In the Classroom

Use Robo-Dancers as an interesting way to introduce coding to your class. Display your dancer on your interactive whiteboard or projector and switch between modes to view changes in code when changing dance moves. After school clubs and activities can use Robo-Dancers to learn coding. Use this tool with gifted students for a great challenge. Set up a coding activity center for interested students when they finish class work or for rainy days and snow days. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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Robo Boogie - Code Club & Nesta

Grades
6 to 12
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Create a dancing robot and learn code at the same time! Begin by choosing a robot dancer, and then click "Let's Dance!" Edit your robot's dance moves using the toolbars ...more
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Create a dancing robot and learn code at the same time! Begin by choosing a robot dancer, and then click "Let's Dance!" Edit your robot's dance moves using the toolbars to change the head, arm, and hip movements. If you don't like the music, no problem, choose from four different music genres for your robot. Switch to Code Mode to view and change current settings. When finished, save and share your dance.

tag(s): coding (77), computers (102), engineering (131), STEM (209)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to use this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Show students how to switch back and forth between Code Mode and toolbars. Ask one student to change a dance move and other students to adjust the code to match the change. After school clubs and activities can use Robo Boogie to learn to code. Use this tool with gifted students for an interesting challenge. Set up a coding activity center for interested students when they finish class work or for rainy days and snow days. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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