TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Nov 24, 2019

Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to return to the Featured Sites Archive

 

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OK2Ask: Coding in the Elementary Classroom - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from July 2019, opens in Adobe Connect. Discover the world of coding with your elementary students. Learn tech and no-tech...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from July 2019, opens in Adobe Connect. Discover the world of coding with your elementary students. Learn tech and no-tech strategies for introducing students to the wonder and world of coding and computer programming. Understand the relationship between computational thinking skills and coding and how one develops logical thinking and problem solving while the other supplies the means to develop and apply it. Through hands-on activities using tools designed to activate a concrete understanding of coding, you will be well on your way to begin the journey in learning and teaching coding in your elementary classroom. Participants will: 1. Understand coding and computational thinking are and how aspects of each can be used in the classroom; 2. Identify and explore resources to introduce coding into the classroom including unplugged activities; and 3. Plan for an activity that introduces coding in your elementary classroom. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): coding (78), professional development (196)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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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.

tag(s): coding (78), computers (105), game based learning (152), STEM (211)

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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Construct3 - Construct.net

Grades
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 (78), game based learning (152), gamification (82), STEM (211)

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 FlexClip, reviewed here to extend their learning by creating simple explainer videos detailing how to build and share personalized games.

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Disney Hour of Code Digital Toolkit - Moana: Wayfinding with Code - Disney and Code.org

Grades
2 to 6
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Participate in Hour of Code activities using Disney's Moana as an engaging introduction to computer science. This site includes videos, a printable toolkit, and a hands-on coding adventure...more
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Participate in Hour of Code activities using Disney's Moana as an engaging introduction to computer science. This site includes videos, a printable toolkit, and a hands-on coding adventure geared toward students ages eight through twelve. There is information in the toolkit sharing suggestions for preparing for your Hour of Code activities including coordinating volunteers and providing the appropriate technology needed for the session.

tag(s): coding (78), STEM (211)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these free materials to plan your Hour of Code activities for your school or classroom. Although created for Hour of Code, use these materials to create student interest in computer science at any time. Find many other coding activities and tutorials for all ability levels at Code, reviewed here. Instead of using the invitation provided in this activity, enhance learning and have students personalize and create their own flyer and invitations using Canva, reviewed here. Use Canva after your activity to send thank you notes to volunteers. Extend learning and have students share their coding stories (including successes and failures) using FlipGrid, reviewed here. Encourage students to continue to learn about coding and computer science using Scratch, reviewed here, to create their own learning games.
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Learning with Santa Tracker - Google

Grades
K to 8
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Google for Education provides a collection of games and lesson plans tailor-made for the December holidays at their site for teachers. Choose from games for social studies, language,...more
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Google for Education provides a collection of games and lesson plans tailor-made for the December holidays at their site for teachers. Choose from games for social studies, language, computer science, and geography. Games include topics like coding, learning other languages, and understanding maps. Further down the home page choose from lesson plans offered in several languages. Each lesson plan is offered for different grade levels and are available in PDF for easy download. Lessons also correlate to national teaching standards.

tag(s): christmas (51), coding (78), cross cultural understanding (137), cultures (116), game based learning (152), holidays (141), map skills (76), maps (296)

In the Classroom

Add this site to your tool kit of December teaching resources. Include the games on classroom computers and add to your class website. Replace paper posters and have students share their favorite activities using an on line poster creator like Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here. After practicing coding using the games provided on this site, enhance learning by challenging students to create their own game using a tool such as Scratch, reviewed here.
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The Code Player - thecodeplayer.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn to code through videos demonstrating actual typing of code to create items from scratch. Scroll through the page to choose a demo featuring HTML5, CSS, Javascript and more. Click...more
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Learn to code through videos demonstrating actual typing of code to create items from scratch. Scroll through the page to choose a demo featuring HTML5, CSS, Javascript and more. Click the demo image, then Play, Walkthrough, or View code. Project ideas include creating an interactive to-do list, text bubbles, or hover over information over images, and much more. After selecting a video, go to the upper left corner and click to play the walkthrough or view the code. Playing the walkthrough takes viewers through typing the code from beginning to end. There is no audio/sound.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): coding (78), computational thinking (37), computers (105), critical thinking (121), design (89), logic (253), problem solving (292), STEM (211), tutorials (48), video (266)

In the Classroom

The Code Player is an excellent tool for anyone who prefers to watch demonstrations to learn instead of reading or listening to directions. Depending on the coding abilities of your students, choose one of the demos to display on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector and learn together. Have groups of students choose a different coding format to complete an activity. Use this site as a model for you or your students to create your own screencasts sharing how-to projects with coding. Enhance learning by using a tool like Screencastify, reviewed here. Screencastify works with the Chrome browser to record your screen and capture audio recordings. Have more advanced students create their own coding projects for classroom use.

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Edabit - Matt MacPherson

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn to code with Edabit and their progressively difficult interactive challenges. Start by using your email to register. Begin with challenges that match your coding skills, then...more
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Learn to code with Edabit and their progressively difficult interactive challenges. Start by using your email to register. Begin with challenges that match your coding skills, then continue learning as you progress through more challenging activities. Each Edabit Challenge includes a problem, practice with code, help resources, and a discussion area. As you complete coding challenges, earn experience points and unlock new skills through real-world situations.

tag(s): coding (78), computational thinking (37), computers (105), critical thinking (121), engineering (130), problem solving (292), STEM (211)

In the Classroom

Coding is an excellent way to teach critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Use this site as homework, a center, or in a lab setting. Activities are self-paced, so differentiation is easy. However, it is still a good idea, if possible, to seat a more experienced computer user with one who is less experienced. Explain to students that coding is a critical skill in today's world filled with technology and will also be a valuable skill in the job market. Many jobs that will require coding do not yet exist. Put a link to this tool on your class website, blog, or wiki.

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codeCampus - Raj Sidhu

Grades
K to 6
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Learn to code in just a few hours with codeCampus' standards-aligned curriculum. Sign up for free and get four free lessons for you and your students. ...more
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Learn to code in just a few hours with codeCampus' standards-aligned curriculum. Sign up for free and get four free lessons for you and your students.

tag(s): coding (78), computational thinking (37), computers (105), critical thinking (121), logic (253), problem solving (292), professional development (196)

In the Classroom

Make your staff the envy of all other schools with your coding prowess! Sign up for a school account and learn about coding together. Once finished, take advantage of the free lesson plans for teaching coding to your students.

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Minecraft Hour of Code Tutorials - code.org

Grades
2 to 12
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Use code to make your own Minecraft game or learn the basics of computer coding by moving characters through a Minecraft world with these Hour of Code activities. These two ...more
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Use code to make your own Minecraft game or learn the basics of computer coding by moving characters through a Minecraft world with these Hour of Code activities. These two activities teach and reinforce coding skills through the familiar Minecraft game. After watching a video introduction, you will follow instructions to place code to move characters within the game.

tag(s): coding (78), computational thinking (37), computers (105), critical thinking (121), design (89), problem solving (292), STEM (211)

In the Classroom

Make coding part of science inquiry or math logic in any classroom. Include it as part of scientific method or discussions about careers in science. You may even want to portray coding as just another "world language" in today's world. Be sure to look at all the implementation advice before introducing these extensive coding resources to your class. It would be wise to complete the Hour of Code yourself, so you will feel comfortable helping students if they get stuck. Better yet, invite a few students to do an hour with you after school and learn together! You will have a team of "techsperts" to help their peers. Plan an hour of Code on nationally designated days or on your own calendar! Invite the PTA/PTO to host a coding event. Select a video from this site to use to introduce Computer Science to your students. If you only have a few computers, introduce this tool using a projector or interactive whiteboard and bookmark it as a learning station with earbuds/headphones. Encourage students to help each other when they have difficulty. Share this on your website for students to use at home, too.

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CodeChef for Schools - Directi

Grades
8 to 12
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CodeChef for Schools offers computer programming training and competitions. After registering as a New User, choose the Get Started button to begin as a newbie and explore frequently...more
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CodeChef for Schools offers computer programming training and competitions. After registering as a New User, choose the Get Started button to begin as a newbie and explore frequently asked questions. Choose the practice area to hone skills from beginner level through challenge level. Compete in monthly competitions with other coders from around the globe. Middle and high school students will appreciate the lunchtime contests, an introduction to competitive coding, targeted for their age group. These take place the last Saturday of each month, and specific times are posted on the site. The demonstration videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): coding (78), competitions (13), computational thinking (37), computers (105), critical thinking (121), problem solving (292), STEM (211)

In the Classroom

Coding is an excellent way to teach critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Use this site as homework, a center, or in a lab setting. The site offers different levels, so differentiation is built in. Explain to students that coding is a critical skill in today's world filled with technology and will also be a valuable skill in the job market. Many jobs that will require coding do not yet exist. Put a link to this tool on your class website, blog, or wiki. Encourage advanced students to enter the monthly competitions offered on CodeChef.

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Flappy Code - Code Studio

Grades
K to 12
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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 ...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.

tag(s): coding (78), computational thinking (37), computers (105), critical thinking (121), game based learning (152), gamification (82), logic (253)

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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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 (78), computational thinking (37), computers (105), critical thinking (121), engineering (130), STEM (211)

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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Code - Hadi & Ali Partovi

Grades
K to 10
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Code is designed to spark interest in learning to code, especially among girls and the very young. Find lessons for beginners, Kindergartners to tenth graders (or older). Start by clicking...more
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Code is designed to spark interest in learning to code, especially among girls and the very young. Find lessons for beginners, Kindergartners to tenth graders (or older). Start by clicking either Teach or Learn in the top menu bar. Select challenges by grade level or find individual challenges with titles like Dance Party, Minecraft, Flappy Code, and more. The challenges and puzzles use a drag and drop process and problem-solving skills. Find everything an early coder needs to get started coding: A K-8 Intro to Computer Science, Tutorials that teach Javascript, Tutorial apps for any device, Learn to program with robots, and many others. There are also "unplugged tutorials" for classrooms without computers. On the top menu, click on the Teach button to find the link to videos (half way down the page) from famous people about how and when they learned to code. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable.

tag(s): coding (78), computational thinking (37), computers (105), critical thinking (121), problem solving (292), STEM (211), women (99)

In the Classroom

Make coding part of science inquiry or math logic in any classroom. Include it as part of scientific method or discussions about careers in science. You may even want to portray coding as just another "world language" in today's world. Be sure to look at all the implementation advice before introducing these extensive coding resources to your class. It would be wise to complete the Hour of Code yourself so you will feel comfortable helping students if they get stuck. Better yet, invite a few students to do an hour with you after school and learn together! You will have a team of "techsperts" to help their peers. Select the Learn button from the top menu to find two links for educators. The one at the top of the Learn page gives quick tips for prepping for the Hour of Code. The one at the bottom of the slide gives complete instructions for implementing the Hour of Code in your classroom. Plan an hour of Code on nationally designated days or on your own calendar! Invite the PTA/PTO to host a coding event. Select a video to use to introduce Computer Science to your students. Introduce this tool using a projector or interactive whiteboard and bookmark it as a learning station with earbuds/headphones. Encourage students to help each other when they have difficulty. Share this on your website for students to use at home, too. Code teaches the basics. Those students who show a keen interest in coding could extend their learning by using a program such as Codeacademy, reviewed here.
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