TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Nov 27, 2022
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
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GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse information on this site to plan and prepare for Hour of Code events at school and within your classroom. Create excitement for your upcoming event by engaging students during the days leading up to your Hour of Code by asking them to share ideas about coding using a word cloud created with Answer Garden, reviewed here. For example, create a word cloud that asks students to provide a short response to the question, "What is Creativity?" Extend student learning after your Hour of Code by providing various coding resources to try during computer centers or as an at-home activity. Ask students to reflect upon their coding experience using Canva Comic Strip Templates, reviewed here, to share their feelings about participating in Hour of Code. Extend learning by creating infographics and asking students to create and share information about coding and computer science careers. Infogram, reviewed here, and Genially, reviewed here, provide easy-to-use infographic creators that include many templates to use as a starting point.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomAlthough this site is a resource for Hour of Code, it is available at any time. Include the tutorials on classroom computers for students to use during computer center time or as an ongoing STEM activity. Encourage students to revisit lessons and try them again with their newly-found coding skills or ask them to try a different tutorial than the one used during Hour of Code. Ask students to become coding experts by sharing tips and ideas created using a screen recording tool such as Free Screen Recorder Online, reviewed here. Share the recordings on your class website for students to access from any location. Consider starting a monthly podcast designed by students to share coding tips and suggestions with the larger school community. Buzzsprout, reviewed here, offers up to two hours of free podcast uploads monthly. Hour of Code lessons are supported in many languages, including a transcript option for deaf students. Registration isn't required; however, it allows you to track progress and earn badges on the Khan Academy site.
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 a lab setting. The site offers different learning opportunities, 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 share their knowledge with peers by creating tutorials using Free Screen Recorder Online, reviewed here. Although the Draw with Code book provides ideas to use with the Hour of Code in mind, it provides many different activities for students to complete throughout the year. Use a different page weekly to try their hand at coding or share with students to complete at home.
GradesK to 3
In the ClassroomInclude Bee-Bot Online as part of a computer center activity to encourage students to code and develop critical thinking skills. Have students use a screen recorder such as Free Screen Recorder Online, reviewed here, to record both successful and unsuccessful attempts and share with their classmates. Be sure to share a link to Bee-Bot Online on your class website and in newsletters for students to access at home.
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.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomUse 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 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.
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 Flip, 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 12
In the ClassroomMake use of the resources offered by Microsoft to share with your students as they learn how to code. Share project ideas with students and include materials for them to create their projects as part of makerspace activities. Have students take pictures of their creation and enhance their learning by using ThingLink, reviewed here, to add audio to describe their creative process. Add images to your class website as part of your student work gallery. Challenge students to use Sway, reviewed here, to create an online multimedia page including images, video, and text to describe, evaluate, and share their work with coding projects. Include project ideas from the site and set up a makerspace during open house events at your school.
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.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this site with your school's administration or anyone willing to consider leading an after-school computer program for girls and ask them to become a sponsor. Be sure to share information on the Summer Immersion Program with your high school guidance counselor and technology teachers as an excellent opportunity for interested students.
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 Creative Cloud Express Video Maker, 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