Tip: Check out the Scratch 3.0 Tutorial Cards - Link to all cards
Coding can be done asynchronously and socially distanced. AND, it provides students an opportunity to be creative and display content knowledge
Scratch is a FREE Coding Platform that has endless opportunities to allow your students to begin creating with Code. We created this Scratch Starting Place Learning Slide Deck to help you get going with wherever your starting place is with Scratch. Learn some of the teacher basics as well as build your Coding skills with simple overviews of the Code Block Families.
Tip: Check out the Scratch 3.0 Tutorial Cards - Link to all cards
Take on 1 (or More!) of the Coding Challenges below!
Hour of Code is almost here! Resources below!
‘Creative constraints’ has been a common phrase heard on Think, Make, Innovate. In our current reality of self-isolation and quarantine, creative constraints has become our anthem.
Recently, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles challenged the community to recreate famous works of art with household items. The community responded with gusto! This seems like the perfect challenge for our students, but with a bit of a twist! Because Grant Wood is our famous local artist, we wanted to challenge our teachers, students, and own Grant Wood staff to recreate famous Grant Wood artwork.
A few suggestions or tips we have to get started:
Get your family involved.
Include your pets!
Household items, toys, and food are great items to create with.
Use lighting to your advantage.
Get inspired by checking out our Wakelet with some examples from the Getty Museum Challenge and see a small collection of Grant Wood Art that is just waiting to be remade.
We can’t wait to see what you make! Make sure to share your pictures with us by tagging @DLGWAEA or use #HaveFunMaking. You can also email us at email@example.com.
~Amber Bridge and Mindy Cairney
Digital Learning Consultants
Recently, we wrapped up our last meeting of the Creativity Cohorts with our year 1 and 2 participants. We asked them on an endnote, how are we taking what we’ve learned during this time to alter our instruction for the future? What they had to say was so wise, we captured it and are sharing it with you.
Here are their lessons learned:
Life right now is the ultimate creative challenge. Teachers, students, and parents are being asked to do things we have never had to navigate with constraints that have never been placed on our lives before. As you connect remotely with your students, consider how you can release control to them and allow them to make some creative choices to help foster their own creative confidence.
What are the current lessons you are learning and how will they impact you when we finally arrive at the doorstep of our classrooms?
~Amber Bridge, Corey Rogers, Mindy Cairney
Digital Learning Consultants
Do your students listen to podcasts? These bite-sized audio nuggets can be a great way to practice all kinds of curricular skills. Speaking and listening standards are a great place to start. Listening comprehension is fundamentally linked to Literacy. That's why it is an important part of common core standards from Kindergarten all the way up to 12th grade. In the classroom, or at home, students can put that into practice when they listen to a podcast and speak (or write) about what they just listened to.
Podcasts are also a great way to vary the formats that you are using to disseminate content. Text can be a barrier for many students. It is important that students know how to read and analyze text, but if we only present our content in this way, we risk alienating students that find text a barrier to their learning. Audio can be a more accessible format for these students. It can remove barriers from your classroom whether you are recording the audio yourself, or using podcasts you have found elsewhere. Furthermore, when reading is no longer a barrier, students are able to listen to content and comprehend material that is several grade levels above what they would be able to read in a text format.
The only remaining problem is where to find the podcasts that you need, and this is exactly what this blog post is for. It is not an exhaustive list, but the links below are a curation of some of the more popular podcasts that are made for kids of all ages. They cover Literacy, Science, Social Studies and more. For your convenience, they are embedded in the Awesome Table below. If you can't see the list below, feel free to follow this link to find the best podcasts for kids.
If you have suggestions of your own, things that you would like to have added to this list, please let me know. I am more than happy to update this with anything else that would be useful for students and teachers in the classroom. My contact details are below.
Jonathan Wylie, Digital Learning Consultant
Grant Wood AEA | firstname.lastname@example.org | @jonathanwylie
In a time before social distancing, we were able to capture our last classroom in maker action with one of the participants of the Creativity Project class, Keri Annis and one of her library classes at Pierce Elementary in Cedar Rapids.
In this challenge, students tackle the idea of creating models from a fairy tale that could move. The students created pigs that could move or roll into the three houses in sequence with the story.
To get started, students randomly drew a card from a bucket that either had a pig or a house on it. Then, they found the student who had the same card as them and that's how they found their partner and prompt for this maker challenge. Quick and easy way to jump in and start creating!
We love a makerspace mash-up and this episode, the students incorporated green screen technology to place their models in a fairy-tale setting. Check out what the students created in the student edition below.
Those Pigs are Popular
The three little pigs are so popular! We have actually used them in a prior Think, Make, Innovate and there are so many different interpretations of the story, which is an amazing test of creativity in itself.
Here are some unique versions we have stumbled across:
Have you come across a unique version of The Three Little Pigs or another fairy tale that could inspire movement? Leave us a comment and help get our creativity moving!
Our Maker Community wants to see what you make! Please email pictures and videos to email@example.com. You can also tag @DLGWAEA on any social media platform! And make sure to use...
~Amber and Mindy
Schools are closed but the need to communicate with staff, parents and students is still a priority. To meet that need, lots of people are turning to Zoom. It has become the go-to video conferencing tool for millions of people during the COVID-19 outbreak. However, it's also one of those tools that have hidden gems that are just waiting to be explored. In this post we are going to cover 10 Zoom tips you might not know!
1. Touch Up My Appearance
If you go to the Settings in your Zoom app and click Video from the sidebar, you will see an option called Touch Up My Appearance. If you check this box, you will see a video filter applied to your webcam. Essentially, the purpose of this filter is to soften your skin. It won't make you look ten years younger, but many people prefer this version to the standard webcam view.
Learn More: Touch Up My Appearance
2. Use Virtual Backgrounds
Did someone drop a Zoom meeting on you at short notice? Do you wish you had more time to tidy that messy spare bedroom? Fear not. Virtual backgrounds are here to save the day. Simply go to Settings > Virtual Backgrounds and choose an image (or a video) to use as your background. You can use one from the Zoom gallery or upload your own. Although you can do this in front of a green screen, you don't have to, so long as your lighting is good and your background is not too busy. Simply uncheck the box that says, I have a green screen.
Learn More: Virtual Background
3. Record Your Zoom Calls
If you want to create a webinar, record a podcast, or simply save a record of your meeting for future reference, you can record your Zoom call. This option is available to free and paid subscribers. You can then upload your recorded video to Google Drive, YouTube or other cloud platforms. All you need to do is click the Record button on your meeting toolbar to start recording. You can pause or stop the recording at any time. The media is saved to your Documents folder on your computer where you will see two folders; one that has the video and one that just has the audio.
Learn More: Local Recording
4. Take Control as the Meeting Host
If you created and scheduled the Zoom call, then you are the meeting host. This gives you some super powers that you can help you bring order to your remote meeting. You can also delegate some of these powers to another person in the meeting by making them a co-host. So, here are a list of some of things you can do as a meeting host in Zoom from the Manage Participants window:
Learn More: Managing Participants in a Meeting
5. Emoji Reactions
As you probably already know, it is sometimes just best practice to remain muted for much of the meeting if you are not the one who is talking. This cuts down on background noise and other interruptions. However, being muted doesn't stop you from interacting and adding your voice to the conversation. You can do that with the Reactions button on your toolbar. From here you can choose a thumbs up or an applause emoji to let the speaker know that you are on the same page as them. The reaction will display for 5 seconds and will be visible to everyone on the call who can see your video. For more options, you can also use non-verbal feedback options.
Learn More: Meeting Reactions
6. Schedule Recurring Meetings
If you're setting up office hours, or you want to have the same meeting at the same time every week without creating a new link for everyone, you need recurring meetings. Here's how it works:
This will open your default calendar app, (Outlook or Google Calendar), where you can use the recurring event options in your calendar to choose the times you want this meeting to be held. The meeting will repeat for as many times as you need it and the same URL will be used for each meeting. You can also invite people to the meeting from your calendar so that they get all the meeting info they need.
Learn More: Scheduling Recurring Meetings
7. Take Attendance
If you want a quick way to to take attendance at a Zoom meeting, don't take attendance, because Zoom does that for you. Simply log in to your Zoom account on the web, click Reports, then Usage Reports. This lets you filter your Zoom meetings by month. Find the one you want, then click on the number of participants. This shows you who attended, how long they were in the meeting and even their attentiveness score. The data can also be downloaded as a CSV file if required. You need a Pro, Business, or Education plan in order to take advantage of this feature.
8. Create Breakout Rooms
If you have your whole staff on a Zoom call and you want to divide and conquer by splitting up a task so that small groups can work on it, you can use Breakout Rooms. You will find this option on your Zoom toolbar at the bottom of your screen. Breakout Rooms need to be initiated by a host or a co-host, but once activated, you can manually choose who goes in what group, or you can have Zoom randomly assign people to groups for you. There is even an option to upload your groups ahead of time so that they are ready to go when you start your meeting.
Learn More: Getting Started With Breakout Rooms
9. Annotation Tools
Zoom's built-in annotation tools can be used while screen sharing or on a virtual whiteboard. They are also collaborative so everyone can annotate at once, (although this can be disabled if required). When you share your screen, you will see the Annotate button at the top of your screen on the screen share toolbar. If you are viewing someone else's screen, click View Options from the same toolbar at the top of your screen, and then select Annotate. This will give you access to a whole slew of annotation tools that you can use to markup screens, images, and more. Annotations can also be saved as a screenshot at any time by clicking the Save button from the Annotations toolbar.
Learn More: Using Annotation Tools on a Shared Screen or Whiteboard
10. Tech Support
It's not enabled by default, but if you log in to your Zoom account on the web, you can turn on something called Remote Support. This allows you to request control of another participant's computer. Once they approve, you can control control their desktop, a specific application, or even request a restart on their computer. This can be great to help a teacher troubleshoot computer problems or fix and it can all be done remotely.
Learn More: Remote Support Session
Bonus Tip: The Waiting Room
If the link for your Zoom meeting is public, and you are unsure about who might join your Zoom meeting, you can enable the Waiting Room feature. This puts all attendees in a virtual waiting room where they need your approval in order to join the meeting. If you don't see a name you recognize, you don't need to let them join your call. You can approve all attendees at once, or individually as you see fit. You can enable the Waiting Room before your meeting starts, or do it once you have started your meeting. So, if you are a little nervous about unwanted people crashing your party, this can be one method you can use to make your room a little more secure.
Learn More: Waiting Room
Jonathan Wylie (@jonathanwylie)
Digital Learning Consultant
Grant Wood AEA
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