Posts Tagged ‘middle school’

Computer Programming Teaching Tool!

June 4th, 2022

It’s Saturday, June 4, 2022, and time for Other Electives at ClickSchooling!

Computer Science – Free Alice Computer Programming Software

(www.alice.org/)

This website offers “Alice” – free educational software from Carnegie Mellon University that teaches students computer programming in a visual, 3-D environment. It makes it easy to create animation for interactive games and videos and much more.

The description from the website best explains it:

“Alice is a freely available teaching tool designed to be a student’s first exposure to object-oriented programming. It allows students to learn fundamental programming concepts in the context of creating animated movies and simple video games. In Alice, 3-D objects (e.g., people, animals, and vehicles) populate a virtual world and students create a program to animate the objects.

In Alice’s interactive interface, students drag and drop graphic tiles to create a program, where the instructions correspond to standard statements in a production-oriented programming language, such as Java, C++, and C#. Alice allows students to immediately see how their animation programs run, enabling them to easily understand the relationship between the programming statements and the behavior of objects in their animation. By manipulating the objects in their virtual world, students gain experience with all the programming constructs typically taught in an introductory programming course.”

When you get to the site you can read the latest news and media coverage about Alice software and then click on the menu items that include:

  • Downloads – Get Free downloads of the software designed specifically for middle school students and/or high school and college students that will allow you to get started learning computer programming in a fun and engaging way.
  • All About Alice – Click on this item and a new page opens that explains how Alice works – and provides promotional videos you can watch to better understand how to get started.
  • Teaching Materials – Alice provides instructional materials to support teachers and students in classrooms. Resources include textbooks, lessons, tests, and more that you can download and print out.

NOTE: Some of you may have heard about “Alice” in the context of media coverage about one of the developers, Randy Pausch. Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University professor, died of pancreatic cancer on July 25th, 2008 at the age of 47, leaving behind his wife and three young children. He gained worldwide attention through an inspirational “Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” in which he recounted how he achieved his childhood dreams of becoming a football player, experiencing zero gravity, and developing Disneyland attractions. There are lessons in his last lecture for all of us. You can view it here: ClickSchooling

Learn 3D Programming

April 9th, 2022

It’s Saturday, April 9, 2022, and time for Other Electives at ClickSchooling!

Computer Science – Free Alice Computer Programming Software

(www.alice.org/)

Grade 6-12, with parental supervision

This website offers “Alice” – free educational software from Carnegie Mellon University that teaches students computer programming in a visual, 3-D environment. It makes it easy to create animation for interactive games and videos and much more.

The description from the website best explains it:

“Alice is a freely available teaching tool designed to be a student’s first exposure to object-oriented programming. It allows students to learn fundamental programming concepts in the context of creating animated movies and simple video games. In Alice, 3-D objects (e.g., people, animals, and vehicles) populate a virtual world and students create a program to animate the objects.

In Alice’s interactive interface, students drag and drop graphic tiles to create a program, where the instructions correspond to standard statements in a production oriented programming language, such as Java, C++, and C#. Alice allows students to immediately see how their animation programs run, enabling them to easily understand the relationship between the programming statements and the behavior of objects in their animation. By manipulating the objects in their virtual world, students gain experience with all the programming constructs typically taught in an introductory programming course.”

When you get to the site you can read the latest news and media coverage about Alice software and then click on the menu items that include:

  • Downloads – Get Free downloads of the software designed specifically for middle school students and/or high school and college students that will allow you to get started learning computer programming in a fun and engaging way.
  • All About Alice – Click on this item and a new page opens that explains how Alice works – and provides promotional videos you can watch to better understand how to get started.
  • Teaching Materials – Alice provides instructional materials to support teachers and students in classrooms. Resources include textbooks, lessons, tests, and more that you can download and print out.

NOTE: Some of you may have heard about “Alice” in the context of media coverage about one of the developers, Randy Pausch. Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University professor, died of pancreatic cancer on July 25th, 2008 at the age of 47, leaving behind his wife and three young children. He gained world-wide attention through an inspirational “Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” in which he recounted how he achieved his childhood dreams of becoming a football player, experiencing zero gravity, and developing Disneyland attractions. There are lessons in his last lecture for all of us. You can view it here: ClickSchooling

Art Tutorials for Middle & High School

March 19th, 2022

John MacTaggart: Artyfactory

(www.artyfactory.com/)

Grades 6 and up, with parental supervision

This ad-supported website includes step-by-step, how-to art lessons. It also offers art appreciation tutorials on topics like “Still Life” or “Animals in Art” or broader “Art Movements.”

Description: When you get to the site, choose from:

  • Art Lessons
  • Art Appreciation
  • Design Lessons

Little ones can’t interact with Artyfactory on their own. The content and writing are at an advanced level. (In fact, it is suspect most of the content doubles as MacTaggart’s college course material.) But there’s tremendous potential here for a creative homeschooler as follows:

  • Use it directly as reading or coursework for a high school student.

  • Adapt the lessons for younger pupils. The “Pencil Shading” exercises, for example, found under “Pencil Portraits” in the Art Lessons section, would be a fun challenge. The “How to Draw Animals” lessons might work with a talented middle school student, too, but these are no Ed Emberley thumbprints: they require a good eye and a controlled hand.
  • Fill in holes in your own knowledge. After spending some time on this site you’ll be able to introduce your children to Expressionism paintings and more next time you visit a museum.

There’s a wealth of information here: color theory (both technical stuff like the color wheel and the emotional impact of colors in painting), a thorough overview of African masks and Egyptian hieroglyphs, shading techniques in pen and ink, etc.

NOTE: As always, PARENTS SHOULD PREVIEW the site to determine suitability of content for your own children.

Ultimate Homeschool Reading Lists

March 2nd, 2022

iHomeschool Network/Reading Lists

(ihomeschoolnetwork.com/homeschool-reading-lists/)

All grades; children with parental supervision

Here is a resource you’ll love! The iHomeschool Network has earned our praise for developing the reading list of all reading lists! They explain: “Sometimes it’s difficult to sort through all of the massive amounts of information to discover what is truly useful to our homeschooling children or our own selves. With so many resources available both online and in everyday chatter among homeschooling families, internet searches, Pinterest and chat groups it can be hard to narrow down to what works versus what doesn’t. That’s why we wanted to bring you our favorite reading lists for homeschoolers.”

They have gathered their top reading lists and sorted them by relevant categories and organized them alphabetically! When you visit the website, scroll down through the various categories to locate a myriad of reading lists. Choose from:

  • Reading Lists for Homeschool How-to, Resources, and Advice
  • Homeschool Educational Methods
  • Reading List by Age Groups:
  • Early Childhood
  • Babies & ToddlersPreschool – Kindergarten
  • Elementary School (1st Grade – 4th Grade)
  • Middle School (5th Grade – 8th Grade)
  • High School (9th Grade – Graduation)
  • Reading Lists by Subjects
  • Classics
  • Favorites/Topical
  • And Many More!

Bookmark this page and return often. You’ll find yourself falling in love with reading all over again while you share the love with your children!

Have fun!

Math Games Make Learning Fun!

February 21st, 2022

XP Math

(www.xpmath.com/)

Grades 2-10 (varies depending on skill level), with parental supervision

This website offers free math games, ebooks, and videos covering arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and probability.

The games were developed by the creator of the site – a middle school math teacher who enjoys integrating math and technology in the classroom.

When you get to the site, use the horizontal menu at the top of the screen to explore the Math Games Arcade:

Number & Operations

Algebra

Geometry

Measurement

Data Analysis & Probability

There are a lot of fun games here! Bookmark it to return often.

Art Lessons for All Levels

February 12th, 2022

Haringkids.com: Keith Haring Art Lessons for Kids

(www.haringkids.com/lesson_plans/)

All grades, with parental supervision

This website, sponsored by the Keith Haring Foundation, is a tribute to the artist Keith Haring, whose bold, vibrant work appeals to kids of all ages. Haring loved children, and through this website the foundation continues to inspire and encourage the artist in everyone.

The site contains a wide array of Haring-inspired, free art lesson plans using different art mediums including crayons, paint, clay, photography, and much more. The lessons were submitted by teachers and students worldwide.

When you get to the site you’ll see an introduction to the lesson plans. Use the horizontal menu (in black) at the top of the page to search by age/grade range that includes:

  • Early Childhood – One of the lessons is called “Colorful Dogs” and teaches students how to identify basic shapes and colors while assembling paper dogs.

  • Elementary 1 – Use these lessons to make holiday ornaments or paint a mural.

  • Elementary 2 – Learn to use oil pastels while creating spontaneous art similar to the subway paintings done by Keith Haring in New York.

  • Elementary 3 – Try your hand at “Drawing with Wire” and discover how to use mixed media such as wire, paper, and markers to create silhouette drawings.

  • Middle School – Haring’s artwork contains social commentary. One of his most famous murals was called “Crack is Wack.” This section contains an explanation of the meaning of it, and instructions for creating a Haring-inspired mural. You’ll find other lessons as well.

  • Above 14 – This section for older students also explores the messages in Haring’s work while providing lesson ideas for learning how to make clay portraits, animations, and mobiles.

I’ve focused on the HaringKids Lesson Plans for this review. There are many more interesting things to explore at the website. Parents, as always, should preview the content to determine suitability for their own children.

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