TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Nov 28, 2021
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 go to the Featured Sites Archive
Share TeachersFirst's weekly Featured Sites automatically on your teacher blog, wiki, edtech resource page, or educator web page. Use our Featured Sites embeddable widget offered here.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomUse Microsoft Arcade to introduce coding to both new and experienced coders. Share some ideas from the site on an interactive whiteboard (or with a projector), then have students experiment on their own. Encourage students who are comfortable with coding to become classroom experts and explain ideas to other students. Enhance their learning by asking them to make recordings using Screencast-o-matic, reviewed here, to share tips, and demonstrate different features of coding. Use this tool with gifted students for a great challenge. Set up a coding activity center for interested students when they finish classwork 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.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the varying levels included with Blockly Games to introduce and develop coding skills with your students. After sharing the site on your interactive whiteboard (or with a projector), add a link to this site on classroom computers for use as a coding center. Include Blockly Games with your other coding resources using a bookmarking tool like Symbaloo, reviewed here, to share links in one single tool. As students learn about coding, enhance technology use by asking them to reflect upon their learning through blogs. Edublogs, reviewed here, is a free blogging platform developed for classroom use. Modify technology use by asking students to include screenshots of their work and discuss their problem-solving tips as they work through the different levels of coding skills. Use a screenshot tool such as Awesome Screenshot, reviewed here. As students become more proficient in using code, ask them to create their own games using Blockly, reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude 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.
Grades2 to 6
In the ClassroomTake 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 for Education, 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.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomAdd 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.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomShow 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.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomCoding 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.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomMake 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.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomCoding 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.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse 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.
This resource would be engaging for students just learning how to code.Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomCreate 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. Extend learning by challenging students or groups to create videos explaining their creations using Adobe Spark Video Creator, 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.
Great resource for all ages, more appropriate for middle school and above.Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5