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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Hour of Code - Code.org

Grades
K to 12
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Join students around the globe each December to participate in Hour of Code activities. This site provides all the information needed to get started and join the annual celebration....more
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Join students around the globe each December to participate in Hour of Code activities. This site provides all the information needed to get started and join the annual celebration. Register your event to be included in the global map of events, receive updates, and obtain help finding a local software engineer to inspire students. View the activities area to find beginner and "comfortable" coding activities for preschool through high school-aged students. Use filters to find exercises by content area, type of coding language, and lesson length, and choose from self-led activities or lesson plans. Additional options found at Hour of Code provide detailed information on planning and promoting your Hour of Code event to encourage participation and excitement within your classroom. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): coding (77), computational thinking (38), computers (97), preK (246), problem solving (219), STEM (228), Teacher Utilities (128)

In the Classroom

Use 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.

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Try an Hour of Code with Khan Academy - Khan Academy

Grades
3 to 12
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Participate in Hour of Code by selecting from different options provided by Khan Academy. Offerings include drawing with Javascript, using HTML and CSS to make webpages, and an Hour...more
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Participate in Hour of Code by selecting from different options provided by Khan Academy. Offerings include drawing with Javascript, using HTML and CSS to make webpages, and an Hour of Databases. All courses introduce beginners to coding through videos, challenges, and a final project. The teachers' guide provides clear guidelines for preparing and implementing Hour of Code activities. In addition, Khan Academy encourages participants to follow up on activities through links to their full coding curriculum.

tag(s): coding (77), critical thinking (104), logic (164), STEM (228)

In the Classroom

Although 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.

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CodeGuppy - CodeGuppy

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn JavaScript coding using CodeGuppy's free tutorials. CodeGuppy works well for both beginners and those with some coding skills. Begin with the tutorial that introduces the basics...more
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Learn JavaScript coding using CodeGuppy's free tutorials. CodeGuppy works well for both beginners and those with some coding skills. Begin with the tutorial that introduces the basics of the workspace and simple instructions. Additional lessons teach how to work with pixels and coordinates, draw colored lines and shapes, and customize many different games and activities. Next, follow the link to Hour of Code to find a downloadable Draw with Code book. This book provides basic coding information and directions to code to create various objects such as a car, flower, and balloon. Registration isn't required; however, creating an account allows you to save work.

tag(s): coding (77), STEM (228)

In the Classroom

Coding 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.

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Bee-Bot Online - Terrapin

Grades
K to 3
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Bee-Bot Online is an engaging way for young students to explore and learn basic coding skills. First, use Bee-Bot Online to program a virtual Bee-Bot by choosing from several included...more
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Bee-Bot Online is an engaging way for young students to explore and learn basic coding skills. First, use Bee-Bot Online to program a virtual Bee-Bot by choosing from several included virtual mats. Then, move the virtual robot through directional arrows one square at a time. Finally, use blue X to clear a path and start over. Mat options include CVC word choices, a community map, alphabets, and more.

tag(s): coding (77), computational thinking (38), critical thinking (104), problem solving (219), STEM (228)

In the Classroom

Include 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.
 

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MakeCode Arcade - Microsoft

Grades
4 to 12
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Modify or create your retro games with MakeCode Arcade. Resources on the site include coding tutorials, game design concepts, learning outcomes, and courses in coding. Follow the prompts...more
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Modify or create your retro games with MakeCode Arcade. Resources on the site include coding tutorials, game design concepts, learning outcomes, and courses in coding. Follow the prompts within the tutorials to create unique games using drag and drop code blocks. As you become familiar with coding, expand knowledge with javascript or python. Share using the links or download onto Microsoft game devices if available.

tag(s): coding (77), computers (97), game based learning (167), Microsoft (74), STEM (228)

In the Classroom

Use 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.

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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 (77), computers (97), game based learning (167), STEM (228)

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 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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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 (77), STEM (228)

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 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.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Microsoft MakeCode - Microsoft

Grades
K to 12
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Learn computer science through hands-on learning projects for all ages at Microsoft MakeCode. Take advantage of project ideas to inspire computing projects for your classroom. Introductory...more
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Learn computer science through hands-on learning projects for all ages at Microsoft MakeCode. Take advantage of project ideas to inspire computing projects for your classroom. Introductory courses for middle school students teach the basics of coding and beyond. Learn more through live sessions offered weekly by Microsoft team editors as they share tips for using different editing programs. If your district blocks YouTube, then the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): coding (77), makerspace (43), Microsoft (74), STEM (228)

In the Classroom

Make 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.

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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 (77), computational thinking (38), computers (97), critical thinking (104), engineering (111), problem solving (219), STEM (228)

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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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 activities ...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 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. Free resources include a lesson plan, videos, computer science curriculum, and a teacher training. The free trial is limited by the number of logins and includes 25 for teachers with an Office 365 Education account and 10 for all other users. Trial logins cannot be refreshed.

tag(s): coding (77), computational thinking (38), computers (97), critical thinking (104), design (85), problem solving (219), STEM (228)

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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Girls Who Code - Reshma Saujani

Grades
6 to 12
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Girls Who Code is an organization founded to help close the gender gap in technology. They have several programs offering girls the opportunity to explore coding with peers. The Clubs...more
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Girls Who Code is an organization founded to help close the gender gap in technology. They have several programs offering girls the opportunity to explore coding with peers. The Clubs Program is for girls in grades 3-12 and meets two hours each week in local schools and provides opportunities for computer training for beginners through advanced learner. Click Locations from the top menu to see if there is a school near you. The Summer Program offers a 2-week immersion program or a 6 week self-paced program for 9th-12th-grade students in coding and exposure to jobs in the technology field. While most of the content on this site is appropriate for middle school girls, please preview before you share.

tag(s): coding (77), communities (32), computers (97), critical thinking (104), logic (164), women (108)

In the Classroom

Share 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.

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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 signing up, choose one of the Get Started projects to begin. Choose the practice area to hone skills...more
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CodeChef for Schools offers computer programming training and competitions. After signing up, choose one of the Get Started projects to begin. 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 contests, with an introduction to competitive coding targeted for their age group. These take place on various dates throughout the month with the length of time to complete the contest (click "Upcoming Coding Contests" at the bottom of the page). The demonstration videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): coding (77), competitions (10), computational thinking (38), computers (97), critical thinking (104), problem solving (219), STEM (228)

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
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.

tag(s): coding (77), computational thinking (38), computers (97), critical thinking (104), game based learning (167), gamification (79), logic (164)

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.

Comments

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

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Pencil Code Gym - David Bau

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Code your own art, music, and interactive fiction with Pencil Code Gym. The main language is Coffescript, but you can click the word Reference in the upper left corner to ...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 click the word Reference in the upper left corner to use HTML for writing tags in your code. Code Pencil also supports Javascript and CSS. Follow instructions to code using drag and drop blocks or text. Toggle back and forth between the two formats to view the different formats. Click the pencil in the upper left corner to see several resources including Materials for Teachers, Teachers Manual, Printable Activities, and several others. 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.

tag(s): coding (77), computational thinking (38), critical thinking (104), digital storytelling (135), drawing (60), geometric shapes (132), musical notation (36), problem solving (219)

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. 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.
 

Comments

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

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