Tuesday Teacher Tips
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Get Coding for the Hour of Code! Office 365 Templates, Using Apple Maps for Geography
Hour of Code - Get your Class Involved
Computer coding is used across disciplines and career paths and can be found in everything from the art world to music to of course math and science based careers. The Made with Code Mentors are just some inspirational examples of how coding can impact many different fields from fashion to the medical professions.
You don't have to know code yourself to turn your kids loose for an hour. Check out the resources below to get them started.
See How Maddy is Using Code to Solve Problems in the Fashion Industry
Code.org is THE one stop shop to get your elementary kiddos coding. For the Hour of Code this year they are releasing Star Wars and Minecraft features, combined with last year's Frozen themed coding practice you will blow your student's minds and be THE.COOLEST.TEACHER.ON.THE. PLANET. Trust me. To get involved go to the website (linked above), click "Try it", choose your coding challenge and "Go" - that's all. It's that simple. If you want to be a little more prepared click on "Teacher's Notes" for an intro video, lesson plans and extension activities. Hour of Code activities can be used on any computer and is also accessible on a tablet.
Tynker is another great site to find Hour of Code activities. You can sort activities by grade level to see a variety of age appropriate activities. Kindergartners will enjoy activities like "Puppy Adventure" and "Candy Quest" and third graders will have fun with "Hot Wheels" and "Monster High". Use the slide bar near the top of the screen to choose your grade level. Students will want to start with "Beginner" activities if they have no previous experience. In no time they will be moving on to the Intermediate programs.
Made with Code
Made with Code is geared towards getting girls interested in coding, but it will for sure be a hit with boys. This activities on this site are really more for the "Intermediate" kid who understands how to use blocks to build the code. The Made with Code activities do rotate in and out. Last year we were able to code light patterns on Christmas trees, this year you have a Dancing Yeti, LED dress and a Kaleidoscope to name a few things. You can also connect with a community of coders and see many practical uses for coding - including the video above.
Made with Code
Check out the Intro Video for Minecraft
New in Office 365
Microsoft has released templates in Office 365. Now when you click on the "apps" menu to open up Word or PowerPoint, you have the option of choosing from a selection of templates including: MLA Style Paper, Resume and Cover Letters, Flyer, Literature Review, Student Report, a Project Planner and a variety of calendars.
These templates already have formatting that include different text features and photos that students can use to type over with their own content. It could be a great way to simplify the report design process for beginners or to help teach text features.
Overview of Office 365 Templates
Apple Maps & Ideas for Classroom Use
You can use Apple Maps in your class as you would in your car - to find the distance or directions from one place to another, but there are other uses that you may find beneficial. If you press the 'i' button at the bottom of the screen, you can switch the view to "Satellite" view and zoom out to view the earth and it's place during the day - you can rotate the earth around to show which areas of the world are in darkness and which are in light (NGSS 1-ESS1-1 - Use observations of the sun, moon, stars to describe patterns that can be predicted).
When you zoom in, you can get a "street" satellite view. It does not have the proximity that you would find in Google maps where they are actually on the street, but it could give your class a fairly close look at different areas of the world. Rotate your view and see how that affects the compass in the upper right hand corner of the satellite view. Additionally, some of the major cities have a "3D Flyover" feature that allows you to virtually fly over major landmarks in cities such as New York and Paris. These features in the map may pair well with teaching Geographical Reasoning - that you will see with the new Social Studies for the Next Generation.
See the video below for a tour of how these features work.