TeachersFirst Edge - Animation

 

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Wolfram Demonstrations Project - Wolfram Mathematica

Grades
4 to 12
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Discover a huge collection of interactive illustrations to help explain complex concepts in science, technology, art, math, and a range of other topics. Use these activities to create...more
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Discover a huge collection of interactive illustrations to help explain complex concepts in science, technology, art, math, and a range of other topics. Use these activities to create interactive visualizations. There are thousands of Mathematica Demonstrations. A demonstration is a Mathematica notebook that takes advantage of Mathematica's manipulate command. Use the manipulate command to create sliders or buttons or check boxes to change the values of parameters in the displays in the demonstration. The result is you control the animation. View demonstrations on topics ranging from odd and even numbers to odd and even functions, fractions to fractals, and from linear functions to linear algebra and linear programming. In addition to mathematical topics, there are demonstrations illustrating the time in different cities around the world, global demographic information, the solar system, and art and music concepts. You need to download the Wolfram CDF player to use and interact with the demonstrations.
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tag(s): addition (224), animals (324), architecture (83), computers (105), division (158), fractions (232), geometric shapes (172), gravity (53), logic (253), maps (296), money (184), multiples (31), multiplication (210), plants (175), psychology (65), statistics (133), subtraction (187), weather (211)

In the Classroom

Explain how to use the Demonstrations on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Allow students to explore on their own classroom computers. (Remember to download the CDF player onto each computer or request it in advance from your tech department.) Challenge students to create a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted for reproduction). Use avatars to explain activities performed using a Demonstration. Use a site such as Blabberize, reviewed here. The beauty of the demonstrations is that it allows students to manipulate and "play" to view the impact of changes made, allowing many opportunities for classroom discussion. Ask students to predict the impact of changes using the manipulate command; then discuss the actual impact as it occurs.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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3D Photo Cube - Hame

Grades
K to 12
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Create a digital photo cube with 3D photoCube. Upload your favorite photos or images and add special digital effects. Make your photo cube glow, disappear, or control how it ...more
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Create a digital photo cube with 3D photoCube. Upload your favorite photos or images and add special digital effects. Make your photo cube glow, disappear, or control how it spins. Copy the html code into your MySpace, blog, or website.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creativity (115), images (273), photography (145)

In the Classroom

This tool is obviously too complicated for your elementary students to use independently. However, it could be used as a whole group/teacher led activity with any grade level. Visualize photo cubes with pictures of special class events, field trips, or just the usual day! Change the cube daily, to feature different activities, subjects, or kids. Bring into subject area content and add public domain images to add visual information for the content you are studying. For vocabulary words, add images to explain. Use photo cubes to show the main idea of historical events, literature, or even math concepts. Make a photo cube with related or unrelated images and use as a writing prompt. Use photo cubes for sequencing practice. Have fun with extra curricular clubs and highlighting events. Begin your school news show featuring the cube from different places in your school during the day. Have older students create their own photo cubes to accompany poetry in an online literary magazine (using Creative Commons or their own images). Art students can create a cube with images of their own work as an opener to a portfolio web site. Share this tool as an option for a "visual aid" during speech units pr to present images as art of a research report. Embed cubes on your class wiki to support conepts such as environmental concerns or local history. Challenge gifted students to create visual "puzzles" where viewers must guess the word or concept that the images have in common. Teach creative flexibility!

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Make an Animation - ABCya!

Grades
2 to 8
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This cool tool, developed especially for older elementary to middle school students, allows you to create simple animations. You are provided with 40 frames. Click to choose your color,...more
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This cool tool, developed especially for older elementary to middle school students, allows you to create simple animations. You are provided with 40 frames. Click to choose your color, brush size, and more. The site includes the options to copy a frame, draw with a pencil instead of a brush, save, undo, clear and start over, and more. This is a simple to use tool. More in-depth instructions are provided on the site. Animations are saved as a .gif file. Read the tips on the home page to learn how to open your downloaded .gif.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animation (61), creativity (115)

In the Classroom

This site is useful for both teachers and students. During the first day of school, create a simple animation to share with your class. Highlight information about yourself, class rules, highlights from the year, and more. Create math animations showing different geometric shapes on 2-3 slides (just click to copy a frame, rather than remaking the slide) and giving the students a chance to guess the shape before the answer is provided on the next slide. Challenge students to create their own animations "introducing themselves" to the class. Students could also create animations to demonstrate what they have learned about a piece of literature, a science unit, social studies theme or unit, or more. Save the students' work and share the animations on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge your gifted students to create animations about their in-depth interests or curriculum concepts they have pretested out of so others in the class can learn from them. This tool is simple enough for bright students in early elementary to navigate on their own, a real asset when your gifted ones are working alone while you teach others.

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Gickr - Gickr.com

Grades
K to 12
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Create gif animations easily from uploaded images using this site. Images can be uploaded from computer files, pulled from Flickr, or pulled from YouTube videos. Choose up to four images,...more
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Create gif animations easily from uploaded images using this site. Images can be uploaded from computer files, pulled from Flickr, or pulled from YouTube videos. Choose up to four images, select size and speed, then select the continue button in the right-hand corner of the screen. Images can take up to a few minutes to process before seeing the resulting gif. When the animated gif is created, share using links on the page to many popular social sharing sites or download to your computer.
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tag(s): animation (61), images (273)

In the Classroom

Create an animated gif for any subject as an introduction to a new unit. Include images to spark student conversation as a way of determining background knowledge before teaching. Share this site with students to use when creating multimedia projects. Create a fun image to use on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) when introducing the student of the week. Share student-created images on your classroom website or blog to enhance or inspire student writing or poetry projects. Make a class mascot image to include on your wiki or blog and have young students write stories about it.

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Draw Island - DrawIsland.com

Grades
2 to 8
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Create drawings and simple gif animations. Four canvas sizes are available for drawing and two sizes are included for creating gif animations. Select a drawing tool to draw free hand...more
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Create drawings and simple gif animations. Four canvas sizes are available for drawing and two sizes are included for creating gif animations. Select a drawing tool to draw free hand or select pre-defined shapes to use in your images. Click the save button to download your drawing or animation to your computer.

tag(s): drawing (74), graphic design (42)

In the Classroom

Allow students to create collaborative drawings through this site as responses to literature. Share the finished products on an interactive whiteboard, projector, or your class website. Have a group of students create a drawing, then another group can use that as a story prompt. Use this site with students in a computer lab (or on laptops) setting to create a drawing of the setting of a story as it is being read aloud. Have students create an online book of images and captions about any topic using saved images with Storybird,reviewed here.
 

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Font de Music - Rightwork, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Font de Music lets you add sound and movement to words. You write your text, select font, choose color, and add movement to your words by moving your mouse up ...more
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Font de Music lets you add sound and movement to words. You write your text, select font, choose color, and add movement to your words by moving your mouse up and down. Creations can be shared via a link or through Twitter. No limit on words is stated on the site, but it appears that you can put in a few words. Note: this site loads more slowly at high traffic times. You will notice that the site creators are not very good at spelling in English. Some directions are misspelled, but the tool works. Here is an example of a musical vocab word created by TeachersFirst.

tag(s): animation (61), firstday (23), vocabulary (302), word study (73)

In the Classroom

Use this site to spice up some lessons around vocabulary -- what "mood" would you choose for an individual word? Or, if students were to create one of these musical pieces around their name, what decisions would they make for font, color and music? Students can use the site to make online presentations interesting, just link to their creation for inclusion in reports in Prezi reviewed here or other presentations. Use the site as an interesting way to begin a lesson and capture students' attention. Use this site as a first week of school activity. Have students write in their names and favorite hobby or color and put it to music!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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SketchUp - Google

Grades
8 to 12
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With SketchUp, users can create 3D models of homes, shacks, sheds, decks, design wood work projects, and even imagine and visualize space ships. Once a user has navigated this tool,...more
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With SketchUp, users can create 3D models of homes, shacks, sheds, decks, design wood work projects, and even imagine and visualize space ships. Once a user has navigated this tool, it becomes fast to use, flexible, and fun! The pile of possibilities is sky high (and higher in the spaceship case!). Your creations can be shared online and/or added to Google Earth to get a picture of what your creation would look like in real life from the sky! For more information about Google Earth click here. Beyond a doubt, this is a very cool tool to use for learners, amateur architects, and professionals alike!

tag(s): architecture (83), design (89), drawing (74)

In the Classroom

To introduce yourself to the program, check out the training video. There are templates that you can use to create your designs and they are offered in both metric and English measurements. The application is reminiscent of basic paint programs. Perhaps the best way to learn how to create with this tool is to take some time to "play" with it. The editors at TeacherFirst strongly recommend working your way through a sample before you implement this in a class. It gives your students a great model to visualize your expectations, and it will give you the hands on experience that you can use to help them. Another way to implement this is to roll it out to your students and have them "play" with it. You may learn more from them than you could have ever anticipated. Another neat feature of this program is that it allows you to Google search for previously constructed 3D models and download them directly into SketchUp on your computer!

As part of a multidisciplinary unit in science, technology, economics, math, social studies, and English classes, use this site to create a culminating design project. In English classes, have students create a written grant or design proposal. In economics, have the students discover how to construct the project for the best possible cost. Have the final design project be a new museum or historical/tourist attraction to commemorate a local hero/heroine. In math and science classes, have the students "build" the project with accurate measurements. Then as follow up, have students use Google Earth reviewed here to predict the environmental impact of the new construction. Or, in technology education or industrial arts class, use this as a way to submit project drafts for construction.

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Homestyler - Autodesk

Grades
5 to 12
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Homestyler is a free online interior design planner. Users choose a layout plan, add details such as doors, windows, and furnishings, and then decide on color schemes for interior decorating....more
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Homestyler is a free online interior design planner. Users choose a layout plan, add details such as doors, windows, and furnishings, and then decide on color schemes for interior decorating. Designs are viewable in both a 2D and 3D format. This is a free online program that requires no downloading. Registration does require an email address. This site may or may not be fully accessible inside your school filtering. Check to make sure all portions of this site are available when using your school's network. Homestyler does have a retail component that suggests certain name brands for appliances, and building supplies but the 3D designing capability outshines this form of advertising.

tag(s): architecture (83), area (71), design (89), volume (52)

In the Classroom

Users click and drag design components onto the main layout page. The free draw tool is a bit trickier to control but is similar to drawing tools in other programs. The perimeter measurement scrolls alongside the line you are drawing. The interface for such a complicated concept is intuitive. Students will need explicit instructions on how to operate this program.

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to share the tutorial presentation and demonstrate how to use the design tools. Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Consider this resource to help math students visualize how to compute the surface area of three-dimensional shapes and understand how area and volume change with scale. Social Studies and History teachers can ask students to re-create the interior of an early American home, Greek Temple or even their own classroom. With guidance, this could be a wonderful tool to help younger students understand interior mapping skills. Classrooms focusing on "real-world learning" may find this a valuable resource tool to help students create design plans for an alternative environment.

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Blabberize - Mobouy Inc.

Grades
1 to 12
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Blabberize is a photo editing tool that creates talking animations from a photo or other image. Browse the ready-made blabbers or create new ones. Upload an image from your computer,...more
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Blabberize is a photo editing tool that creates talking animations from a photo or other image. Browse the ready-made blabbers or create new ones. Upload an image from your computer, select an area to become the talking "mouth," and record sound using your microphone or upload a short .mp4 file from your computer. Make sure to "allow" access to your computer's microphone. Narrate your photo within the allotted 30 seconds, then save when complete. Options include marking your blab "mature" or "private" (not shown on the "latest" pages and other public areas). Share completed blabs via email or embedd in another web page, blog, or wiki. Users unfamiliar with copy/pasting embed code can simple share by the URL of the blab's page.
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tag(s): animation (61), firstday (23), images (273), photography (145)

In the Classroom

If your students have never tried to make a Blabber, share the introduction blab on the home page on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Browse a few examples first to get ideas on how to make a mouth on your photo to move and "talk." Be sure to turn up your sound! Have a student demonstrate uploading an image from a safe and legal source. You may want to use a single, whole-class account you create with your "extra" email account. Be sure to spell out consequences of inappropriate use/content of blabs. Have students enter the site through the "Make" page link provided in this review to steer clear of the "latest" blabs. You may want your students to make their blabs "private" so they do not show on the public areas, depending on school policies. If you are implementing technology in your classroom, this is an augmentation tool.

Blab the homework directions on your teacher web page. Have your students use photos or digital drawings to "blab"! Have students draw in a paint program, save the file, and then make it "speak." Spice up research projects about historic figures or important scientists. Have literary characters tell about themselves. This tool is great for gifted students to go above and beyond the basics with an independent project. Create entire conversation sequences of blabs between people in world language or ESL/ELL classes (with students speaking in the language, of course), then embed them in a wiki. Have speech/language students make blabs to practice articulation and document progress over time. Promote oral reading fluency with student-read blabs. Create book "commercials." Have students blab what the author may have been thinking as he/she wrote a poem or literary selection or as an artist painted. Blab politicians' major platform planks during campaigns for current events. Blab the steps to math problem solving. Even primary students can make an animal blab about his habitat if you set up the blab as a center. Make visual vocabulary/terminology sentences with an appropriate character using the term in context (a beaker explaining how it is different from a flask?) Students could also take pictures of themselves doing a lab and then blab the pictures to explain the concepts. This would be a great first day project (introducing yourself and breaking the ice). Share the class blabs on your class web page or wiki! Give directions to your class (for when a substitute is there). Use at back to school night to grab parents' attention for important information.

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Voki - Oddcast

Grades
K to 12
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Create a free, animated speaking character that represents yourself for a blog, wiki, or any website. Voki can also be emailed to others and downloaded to phones. Appropriate for student...more
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Create a free, animated speaking character that represents yourself for a blog, wiki, or any website. Voki can also be emailed to others and downloaded to phones. Appropriate for student use in grades 6-12 but for teachers at all levels.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): speaking (23)

In the Classroom

Access to a microphone is required to record a voice. There is an option to use text to voice (however, it does not have great sound.) Import audio from a file or use a cell phone instead to capture audio. Only one minute of audio can be recorded so be brief. Students need to carefully think of their narrative before recording. Users must be able to copy and paste html code for use in an external site.

Use the controls to create your character's style, click customization to further refine your character, change your background, and add your voice. Keep in mind that animated backgrounds may take longer to load on your site. When done, click publish to view and copy the embed code which can then be used on a blog, wiki, or web pages.

Monitor all aspects of student production and use for appropriateness and copyright. If concerned about using student email, consider creating a class account for students to use. Be sure that students understand not to change the Voki of other students if using a class account. Check your school district policy about using emails or identifying student information on the Internet.

Introduce and share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this free site to record a greeting for students that can be seen on the start page of your blog, wiki, or website. Record online assignment information that is spoken by the Voki (always more pleasing to look at than the teacher!). Use this to share homework assignments, a message from you (via a substitute), and more. Use a character that is interesting or matches the assignment you may be leaving. Use Voki to record two different opinions or viewpoints and create a poll of students to view reactions. Use the Voki in Math by posing possible solutions to problems and create a class discussion or poll to determine which one is the actual answer. As students are working on projects, create a Voki that provides hints and tips for students. Allow students to use Voki to provide peer assessment to others. Consider using Voki in place of other assignments such as "What I did this summer vacation..." or "Here is information about me..." Use in any language class to record narratives or translations. Students can create a variety of Voki recordings over time which can show their learning of a language over time. Create classroom newscasts using student(s) on a rotating basis. Use Voki for vocabulary exercises which can be created by students or the teacher. The possibilities for this tool are endless. The quick and engaging nature of this tool offers unlimited uses.

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Science Fair Projects World - Solar System 3D Simulator - Science Fair Projects World

Grades
2 to 12
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Use this free application to create accurate 3D models of the solar system. Show the planets and orbits as well as the sun and the moon. View detailed information of ...more
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Use this free application to create accurate 3D models of the solar system. Show the planets and orbits as well as the sun and the moon. View detailed information of the physical and chemical make-up of the planets, the energy of the sun, and details of solar eclipse. View all images in great color. Change orbit views or tilt and rotate orbits to other angles. Speed up or slow down the movement of the solar system. Application download is for Windows PC only and appears NOT to work with Vista.

tag(s): planets (139), solar system (125)

In the Classroom

Users will need the skills of downloading and finding and managing applications. The software is easy to use and has a wonderful interface for finding great information about the planets. The only safety concern is whether your school's policy allows you to install this free software. If not, try approaching an administrator or department head to show them the descriptions and request installation at least on you teacher computer for sharing on projector and/or whiteboard.

Use this free model to understand the physics of the universe or learn astronomy. Use as a science fair project, to ask questions or find answers, and to create material for presentation online or in class. Share the model on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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Spore Creature Creator - Electronic Arts, Inc.

Grades
2 to 12
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Use Creature Creator to make interesting and imaginative animals. Your students may recognize it as a tool for making characters for the Spore video game, but it is actually a ...more
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Use Creature Creator to make interesting and imaginative animals. Your students may recognize it as a tool for making characters for the Spore video game, but it is actually a useful tool for learning, as well. Use a pre-made creature or create your own custom creature. Add carnivore features to your creation that include mouths, ears, eyes, arms, hands, feet, and legs. Weapons such as horns, spikes, and clubs can also be added to the creature as well as wings. Change the position of the features and alter them through unbelievable joint changes which then alter how your creature walks and moves. Paint your creation when done and place it in its woodland environment. The creature can walk, show emotion, have offspring, and make sounds. Use the software to take a picture, record a movie, and make an avatar. By adding a description and tags, your creation can be uploaded to the spore website or to a You Tube account. Here is the first Spore tutorial , which is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, it may not be viewable.

Creature Creator is a free download but is a limited version of the original purchased program. The purchased program provides many more choices for the features and environments used to make the creatures. The download is available for both PC and Mac.

tag(s): adaptations (18), animals (324), animation (61), classification (24)

In the Classroom

User needs to be able to download and install the free program. Easy to use interface. Start with a blob, which you manipulate into a shape, pulling its spinal cord in any direction with the mouse, before adding a head, limbs and various optional extra body parts. Choose your part by using the onscreen catalog. Manipulate it further by changing the position of joints or through adding or deleting segments. Add a background and move your creature by dragging your mouse for it to follow. Continue to alter your creature to get the movement or features needed.

Pressing "H" brings up the spore guide which includes topic categories such as "Welcome to Spore," "Getting Started," "Build Mode," "Test Drive," and "Paint Mode."

Check your district policy on downloading and installing of programs. Check with your IT department. Teachers who must request software installation by tech staff may want to try this tool at home and create some sample projects to convince administration of its educational value.

Uploading pictures and videos of creations to You Tube or the spore site may expose students to advertising as well as inappropriately created creatures. You may want to send students directly to URLs for their own projects, maintain the creatures on the classroom computer itself, or use Teacher Tube to upload the creations. Uploading creatures enables outsider comments without teacher control. Outsiders can interact or mark the creations as favorites. Many school policies prohibit such interaction, so be sure to check your school policy. You will want to discuss these features in the context of Internet Safety or establish specific written class rules and consequences for interacting with outsiders. Student work can be saved as a picture and printed, as well, for sharing and showing. Check your school policies on whether student work may be displayed online and what information is permitted, then enforce that policy with your students.

The tool does not show which work is attributable to each student. You may want to require student initials on projects in order to get credit.

Use Creature creator to create an unusual creature as a class project. Create a classification system of all the class creatures to demonstrate biology classification skills. When discussing the groupings in the Animal Kingdom, use Creature Creator to create a new organism for that group. Use the tool to create a class creature with adaptations to a specific environment. Have students create a creature and then write a story or poem about it and how it lives. Have students create a creature as a self-portrait of personality or other traits the students possess. Students can design and draw habitats that would house their creation including the calculation of the volume and area the housing would require. Use a classroom projector or white board to share/create creatures in class and discuss specific features of the creatures.

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Scratch - Lifelong Kindergarten Group, MIT Media Lab

Grades
1 to 12
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Want to get in touch with your inner child? Get Scratch! Warning: The use of this application is quite fun and engaging! Scratch is a downloaded program that creates interactive ...more
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Want to get in touch with your inner child? Get Scratch! Warning: The use of this application is quite fun and engaging! Scratch is a downloaded program that creates interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art. This application can be used for bringing simple ideas and projects to life. It has great use as a paint program without using the animations. Downloads/install files are available for Mac or PC. Other links include a Getting Started PDF, Help screens to show what each block controls and how to use, and a Reference Guide which provides an overview of the interface. A support page is also available for help in using the application.

Material created can only be viewed within the program. Drawings are not saved as a JPG or pic file. However, a "snapshot" of the screen can be created by using these keys in Mac: apple, shift, and 4 and click/drag to surround the portion to save. In PC use: control/print screen. These snapshots can be uploaded or used as a picture in other applications.

tag(s): animation (61), coding (78), computational thinking (37), critical thinking (121), design (89), drawing (74), problem solving (292), STEM (211)

In the Classroom

Quick start: Click stage and in the center pane, click on backgrounds. Click on paint to make a new background. Different colors, pens, and materials can be used to create the background or an image can be brought in from your computer. Objects in Scratch are called a Sprite and can be added in by choosing the folders below the screen. By clicking the script tab, blocks can be moved in to create motion, add sounds (even record your own message), and change the look of the Sprite. Blocks are linked on to each other to create a series of events. A control block dragged to the top of the blocks control which key starts the event. Advanced options include adding variables and other controls.

Be sure to check with your Technology Department, as many districts require authorization to download or install new applications. Projects can be shared online; however an account is required.

Work is saved to the computer itself and only shared online via an account. To avoid problems concerning content made by outsiders or issues with sharing, save the work locally and either create your own gallery on a supervised class website/wiki or set up a single account where you share the "best" projects online via your own log-in. Remind students of the school's Acceptable Use Policy and consequences of violations, if you do allow them to join/share. Images used should adhere to all copyright rules. Use pictures taken in class or those with Creative Commons licensing (and provide attribution!).

Practical tips: Students quickly catch on to this program when allowed to play and easily see what they can make from it. Provide a simple assignment with defined rules/tasks to learn the tools. Younger students may familiarize themselves more easily working with a partner. Have students use a storyboard to write down what they will do/draw/say in their creation in order to keep tabs on what students and their creations.

Possible uses: For the lower grades, Scratch provides unlimited possibilities. Use as a new way to show vocabulary usage. Use the paint program to add information to a picture from your class field trip or science experiment. Use Scratch to help in storytelling a concept in a new and unique way, such as how rocks are formed. In the upper grades, use Scratch to show complex material in a new way. For example, students can draw DNA and show replication, etc. through their drawings and storytelling. Draw the different movements of landforms in plate tectonics. Draw or illustrate solutions to Math problems.

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