Canvas Users – Access SAS Curriculum Pathways Resources Quickly and Easily!

If you're a Canvas customer who’d like to use our over 1700 tools and lessons, you can start by simply adding SAS Curriculum Pathways as an app.

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You can find the SAS Curriculum Pathways app on the Canvas app page.


Creating Assignments using SAS Curriculum Pathways  resources

Once the app is set up, teachers can get started creating new assignments with SAS Curriculum Pathways resources. Using either the Dashboard or Courses tab on the right side of the window, select the class in which the assignment will reside.

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By clicking the appropriate course, you'll be taken to the class page home. In the window on the left, you'll see another set of tabs, including one for assignments. Click here to view all the current and past assignments you've created for this class. In the top right corner, you'll see a blue button labeled + Assignment, which allows you to create a new assignment. You may enter your assignment name, a description, who will complete the task, when it is due, etc.


Embedding SAS Curriculum Pathways

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To embed SAS Curriculum Pathways in the assignment, you'll use the drop down menu box within the submission section of your assignment creation. You'll have the option to select an External Tool.

 

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The Find button will allow you to select SAS Curriculum Pathways and embed the link to the resource you wish to be completed.


Finding and selecting resources

Selecting SAS Curriculum Pathways brings up the browse resources page. You can also do a keyword search using the search for resources text bar at the top of the pop-up box. Once you have found the resource(s) that you wish to include in your LMS, simply check the box labeled Add To My LMS beside the resource description; then select Back to my LMS to confirm your selections.

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Once you're in SAS Curriculum Pathways, on the left side, many filter options are available, such as discipline, grade level, type, and compatibility, which will direct you to the resource best suited for the assignment.


Submitting Student Work

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For students to submit their work on this task, a second assignment must be created within Canvas. As before, click the + Assignment button in the proper course page and enter your assignment name, a description, who will complete the task, when it is due, etc. However, you will choose Online from the Submission Type box and select File Uploads.

By integrating SAS Curriculum Pathways with Canvas, we not only offer all 1,700+ resources, but also allow easy implementation. Hopefully, with our smooth integration and this guidance, you're ready to begin using SAS Curriculum Pathways in Canvas!

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Buried Treasures: Acquiring Advanced Dictionary Skills

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If you are a regular reader of the blog posts on this site, you may recall that our curriculum specialists occasionally identify and describe some of their favorite SAS Curriculum Pathways resources. For example, 5 SAS Curriculum Pathways Hidden Gems highlights valuable—but often overlooked—lessons in math, English, science, social studies, and Spanish.

I’d like to take a slightly different approach with this post. Rather than identifying my favorite English language arts resources or those that are “hidden gems,” I will look within resources to reveal treasures that you may not have been aware were there. And because so many precious jewels are lurking within the hundreds of resources available, this blog will be the first in a series called Buried Treasures.

Let’s begin with a vocabulary building lesson titled Greek and Latin Prefixes and Roots (QL #1056). As the title suggests, students learn the meanings of Greek and Latin roots and prefixes and use them to determine the meanings of unfamiliar words. So when they discover that the Greek prefix hemi- means half, for example, they can begin to guess the meaning of hemisphere.

Using this lesson, students study selected Greek and Latin prefixes and roots and their meanings.

Using this lesson, students study selected Greek and Latin prefixes and roots and their meanings.

However, the lesson’s title does not reveal the little nugget of unexpected treasure you’ll find if you delve further into this lesson. In a handout called Developing Dictionary Skills, students compare entries in various dictionaries and define typical abbreviations, such as these:

Bibl., colloq., derog., euphem., naut., and, of course, Gk.

Students then address a series of questions designed to deepen their understanding of how dictionaries are constructed. Here are just a few examples:

  • What is a cross-reference? How is it indicated?
  • What is a phrasal verb? Give an example.
  • What is a nidiom? Give an example.
  • What does the superscript number next to each entry indicate?

So in a lesson about Greek and Latin roots and prefixes, you’ll find a mini-lesson on advanced dictionary skills. Who knew?

That’s a question I intend to answer often over the next few months as we discover more buried English language arts treasures.

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What an Hour of Code Looks Like in 2016

When Andy Williams first sang "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," I don't think he had visions of Computer Science Education Week and millions of students completing an Hour of Code. He may not even have known that this "time of the year"  includes Grace Hopper's birthday. But what a wonderful time it's become--a joyful tradition that began just three years ago.

The advocacy of Code.org and Computer Science Education Week has introduced coding to millions of students around the world. The Hour of Code calls for critical thinking, collaboration, communication, creativity, and problem-solving skills to create games, solve puzzles, or navigate robots in real or virtual worlds. Students have so much fun (and so do the teachers and our SAS Curriculum Pathways volunteers)! Volunteers from across SAS took our newest app, CodeSnaps, to hundreds of students this week. Below, you can check out all the fun recorded on Twitter.

Don't take my word for it; just look at how engaging and empowering computer science can be. Don't forget to share your awesome experiences with #HourofCode and #CSEdWeek hashtags.

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https://twitter.com/yuan89amy/status/806212570025750528

 

 

 

And check out all the other Computer Science posts from this week and beyond:

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You Can Do an Hour of Code with SAS CodeSnaps

This week volunteers around the world, including many from SAS, are entering classrooms to lead an Hour of Code. Guiding a class full of eager students through that hour code activity is an awesome experience. It's also fairly easy, requiring no--or very little--expertise because of the vast number of readily available resources designed just for CSEdWeek. CodeSnaps is our new app for learning to code; all you need is one iPad and one robot for a classroom full of learners. Using printed, tangible coding blocks, students create programs that, when scanned by the CodeSnaps app, can be executed on a robotic ball. We wanted to make CodeSnaps easy for volunteers to use with a class, so we developed a coding activity that requires collaboration and even getting up and moving around, which is great for young learners.

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Here is what you need to get started with CodeSnaps and an Hour of Code:

Oh, and one more thing! Here is a script to guide your Hour of Code activity with CodeSnaps. It even includes an example of what to say. Computer Science can be challenging (and we love that), but we hope you find leading an Hour of Code is not with these resources.

Below you'll find the contents of the linked script:

1. Introduce yourself.

Example: Welcome to the Hour of Code! I am Dr./Ms./Mr. Code, and I volunteered to help with an Hour of Code because computer science is important, fun, and rewarding.

2. Introduce computer science, Computer Science Education Week, and the Hour of Code.

Example: Raise your hand if you can answer this question: What is computer science?  [Possible responses: programming, coding, creating things with a computer, solving problems.] Here’s one way to define computer science: solving problems using a computer, often by writing code.

This is Computer Science Education Week, and millions of students will try an Hour of Code to learn about this exciting field. How excited are you about starting our activity today?

3. Describe why computer-science knowledge is important.

Example: Raise your hand if you can tell me why it’s important to know about computer science and how to code. [Possible responses: college, jobs, games, fun.] Great opportunities—and lots of jobs—await those who study computer science. More than 500,000 computer-science job openings exist in every state, in every industry. Speaking of every industry, where might we find computer science or programming in action? [Possible responses: games, mobile phones, computers, other entertainment.] Computer science is especially exciting because you can apply it in whatever field you find exciting. Interested in fashion? There are websites and apps that need to be built. Interested in being a veterinarian? You can solve mystery illnesses by analyzing data with code.

[Optional] How does computer science affect your daily life? What are you interested in, and how might you use computer science?

4. Video overview of the Hour of Code.

After connecting to the smartboard, projector, or other display, play the following linked video from Code.org containing celebrities endorsing the Hour of Code.

Two-minute video from Code.org: https://youtu.be/FC5FbmsH4fw.

5. Describe the agenda.

Example: Today we’re going to learn about computer science and complete an activity in which YOU will write code. How many of you have written code before?

SAS CodeSnaps

Example: In this activity, you will write code with paper blocks to navigate a Sphero robot through an obstacle course. To do this, you will work in teams of three. Each team will consist of a domain expert, a software developer, and a tester. The domain expert will investigate the obstacle course, draw a picture, measure the course, and make notes to guide the software developer, who will write the program using the paper blocks. When you think your program is ready, the tester will let me know, and I will scan your code into the iPad; the tester will then see how well the robot navigates the course. It’s likely the tester will find some small mistakes, known as software bugs. The team will work to fix these bugs until the robot navigates the course successfully.

Leader notes: You’ll likely need to encourage teams to assign roles and begin. Help the domain expert get started. Remind them that the Move Forward blocks use meters! This activity is good for leaders who are comfortable with iPads and Bluetooth-connected devices. For K-2 students, you may want to write the distance values on the course. Check out the obstacle course lesson here: https://www.sascurriculumpathways.com/portal/#info/2775

Note: Download SAS CodeSnaps here, for free: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sas-codesnaps/id1153615534?mt=8Support videos for CodeSnaps can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLILtGJkEhiG3cXIrfOZMiua2zXXpKvA6k

6. Wrap-up.

Example: Can some of you share what you learned today? [Possible responses: how to code, why it’s important to be exact, specific, and detailed.] I hope you learned that computer science is a challenge you can meet and that it can be a lot fun.

If time allows, you may want to play this video as a finale: https://youtu.be/QvyTEx1wyOY (five minutes from Code.org).

Be sure to download this script as a PDF.

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Ready-to-Go Coding Lessons and Materials

A fantastic new app fromimg_4329 Curriculum Pathways, SAS CodeSnaps can engage an entire classroom with just one iPad and one robot. Using printed coding blocks, students create programs that, when scanned by the CodeSnaps app, can be executed on a robotic ball. While CodeSnaps is an excellent resource for introducing students to coding, it can also help teach concepts as diverse as geometry, friction, and teamwork.

Square Dancing (QL #1587) allows students to demonstrate an understanding of squares with the CodeSnaps iPad app and one robot. Using coding blocks, students guide a robot as it constructs a square given a single distance that may represent attributes of the square. Using the distance as 1) a side of the square, 2) a diagonal of the square, and 3) a segment between the midpoints of two sides of the square, students show knowledge of the special quadrilateral and its angles.

Three girls measuring the distances of an obstacle courseNavigating an Obstacle Course (QL #1588) is a collaborative activity that uses the CodeSnaps iPad app to introduce students to coding and the roles of a programming team. In groups of three, students program a robot to navigate an obstacle course. The domain expert measures and draws the course and communicates requirements back to the team. The lead programmer uses printed CodeSnaps blocks to write a program that controls the robotic ball. The tester watches the robot execute the program, notes any errors, and reports these back to the group as bugs for the team to fix.

Rolling Friction and Surfaces (QL #1589) helps students learn about friction by measuring changes in the speed of a robotic ball as it travels across different surfaces. Students first learn how balanced and unbalanced forces cause changes to objects in motion and how friction between surfaces impacts movement. Students then investigate rolling friction by first selecting surfaces (e.g., asphalt, carpet, tile, or wood) for a robotic ball to roll across and then predicting the surface on which the robotic ball will roll most quickly. Next, students use the CodeSnaps iPad app to program the robotic ball to roll the same distance across each surface. To calculate speed, students record each distance in meters and travel time in seconds. Finally, students use their calculations to determine which surfaces exerted the most friction and explain the impact of friction on speed.

Watch for more lessons using SAS CodeSnaps and learn how you can engage and empower students through computer science.

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Why We Love Computer Science (Education Week)

Computing is ubiquitous. Cisco predicts there will be as many as 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, when the world population will reach 7.7 billion.

That's 6.5 devices per person.

No wonder forecasters predict so many jobs requiring computer science skills.

When you ask people why they love computer science, you get a range of answers as wide as the field itself: "Great job opportunities," "Computers have always done exactly what I told them to do," "It's an awesome challenge," "bubble sorting," "artificial intelligence,"... Now, yes, tremendous opportunities are expected for those who pursue the discipline and develop cool algorithms, but what we really love is that you can pick your passion and apply computer science. You can select complex problems and challenges that you find engaging and apply your skill set. This breadth of application is so appealing since it affords you a connection with computer science that you find meaningful, rewarding, and fulfilling.

How many jobs can make that claim?

And while computer science can be challenging, it's a challenge you can meet. And if you do, there's a world of fun and opportunity on the other side. (Learn more about Booming Enrollment and Gender Diversity in Computer Science here.)cs_challengequote

This is Computer Science Education Week, which is all about creating awareness and experiences for everyone through an Hour of Code. The event calls for critical thinking, collaboration, communication, creativity, and problem-solving skills to create games, solve puzzles, or navigate robots in real or virtual worlds. More than 300 million enthusiasts will try an hour of code this year. An abundance of resources are freely available to create your own experience and learn about the field. We like many of these resources because they provide excellent tutorials with self-guided, self-paced instruction and video support for all learners. But because we love computer science, love watching students experience computer science, love watching students actively solve problems collaboratively, and love making our resources available for free, we recently launched SAS CodeSnaps.

 

We love SAS CodeSnaps because it requires a single iPad and a single connected robot for an entire classroom of coders. CodeSnaps gets students up and moving, collaborating in teams, solving problems, writing code, fixing bugs, and having fun. You can learn more about CodeSnaps and how to get started in these posts, or you can download the app here.

We hope you try an hour of code, lead an hour code, or tweet about an hour of code in support of Computer Science Education Week. You'll be helping students all over the world fall in love with computer science.

 

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Punctuation Rules! is now a free iPad/iOS App!

pr_blog_videotutorialWe all know the feeling. Call it "punctuation despair." The sense that you're about to do something dreadfully wrong. Sartre might have called it "l'inquiétude de la virgule incertaine" ("the disquiet of the uncertain comma").

Your writing assignment is due, and you’re still not sure whether the semicolon in your carefully crafted opening sentence should be replaced by a colon. Or a comma. Or no mark at all. Or you need some quick and easy help for using a question mark: should it go inside or outside the quotation marks?

You've worked hard on this paper, and you don't want to tarnish your work with sloppy mechanics. Your punctuation rule book never has an example that quite matches the one you're trying to write.

What to do?

The new iOS app addresses the nine essential punctuation marks

The new iOS app addresses the nine essential punctuation marks

Well, help has finally arrived. You can get just-in-time answers to these and many other questions with Punctuation Rules! It's now available for use on your iPad and iPhone.

You'll see all the features that have made Punctuation Rules! one of our most popular resources, and you'll find some enhancements:

  • Each of the 22 punctuation rules is now searchable, linkable, and launchable.
  • Instruction on each rule demonstrates the connection between punctuation and meaning.
  • Students provide specific words, phrases, and clauses to create sentences and punctuate them.
  • Because we use the same language parser as in Writing Reviser, students learn to punctuate their own sentences, rather than abstract examples in which they have no investment.
  • A new menu system helps accommodate smaller screens.
  • In Practice, an indicator is color-coded to show progress.
  • Also in Practice, correct and incorrect answers are accompanied by audio feedback.
  • Students complete short quizzes to check understanding.

We can't promise that Punctuation Rules! will allay all types of existential dread, but it's an ironclad cure for punctuation despair!

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SAS CodeSnaps: A New Way to Code!

Some people think that K-12 computer science requires a large budget, a classroom full of tablets and robots, and an experienced tech teacher. We are pleased to dispel those myths--and introduce you to SAS CodeSnaps!
cs_socialtile_imageCodeSnaps is a collaborative coding environment requiring only one iPad and one robot. The app takes advantage of tangible, printed coding blocks, allowing students to prepare programs together on a shared work surface without a device. After students scan the blocks with the app, commands can be executed on the connected robot (
compatible robots include Sphero, Ollie, SPRK, and SPRK+).

SAS CodeSnaps Features

All you need is one iPad and one compatible robot (Sphero, Ollie, SPRK, and SPRK+). After downloading the free app, you can expect the following:

  • Printable coding blocks perfect for student collaboration.
  • An interface for scanning code blocks into the app.
  • A digital coding space for fine-tuning scanned code or starting from scratch.
  • Optional cloud storage through your free SAS Curriculum Pathways account.
  • No internet required!

Try It Out

Looking for a fun coding lesson? Challenge students to work together in teams to navigate a Sphero robot through an obstacle course.

  1. Scanning CodeSnap blocks into the app.

    Scanning CodeSnaps blocks into the app.

    Download SAS CodeSnaps for free from the App Store.

  2. Print off the CodeSnaps blocks.
  3. Calibrate your robot using the SAS CodeSnaps app.
  4. Set up an obstacle course using materials in your classroom.
  5. Divide students into groups of three; assign each student one of three roles:
    • The Domain Expert devises the steps necessary to navigate the obstacle course.
    • The Lead Coder oversees code development, using information from the Domain Expert.
    • The Tester runs the robot through the course, noting any errors (also known as bugs).
  6. Ask the Domain Experts to measure the course and write down any additional requirements for successfully completing the course (e.g., changing colors, turning).

    Scanned CodeSnap blocks and digital coding space.

    Scanned CodeSnaps blocks and digital coding space.

  7. Under the direction of the Lead Coder, challenge groups to use their CodeSnaps blocks to write a program to navigate the robot through the course.
  8. Using the CodeSnaps app, scan the program.
  9. With supervision from the Tester, run the code and jot down any bugs.
  10. Have groups debug their code and try again!

Stay tuned for additional teacher materials and #HourofCode lesson plans coming soon!

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Active Reading and Primary-Source Analysis: Making (K-12) Civics Sizzle

Ok, all those STEM classes have cool calculations, coding, and climate change, but is there anything more exciting and relevant than teaching civics in a presidential election year?

Explore: Primary Sources offers a collection of over 200 text and audio resources that engage students in active reading. Here are just a few suggestions:

K-5 students can consider the historical context and answer online comprehension questions as they explore the patriotic images Emma Lazarus created in her poem "The New Colossus."

The New Colossus, by Emma Lazarus (1883

"The New Colossus," by Emma Lazarus (1883).

Middle-school students can analyze the humility in Benjamin Franklin’s speech to the Constitutional Convention when he admits, “…there are several parts of this constitution which I do not at present approve, but …having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions… The older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judgment of others.”

Benjamin Franklin’s speech to the Constitutional Convention (1878).

Benjamin Franklin’s speech to the Constitutional Convention (1878).

High-school students can assess the impact of the rapid-fire dialogue between two distinct dialects: a southern governor and a New England-born president. Temperatures rise as they discuss integration at Ole Miss in this 1962 Oval Office telephone conversation.

John F. Kennedy phone conversation (1962).

John F. Kennedy phone conversation (1962).

The National Center for History in Schools endorses the use of primary sources:

When we ask students to work with and learn from primary sources, we transform them into historians. Rather than passively receiving information from a teacher or textbook, students engage in the activities of historians — making sense of the stories, events, and ideas of the past through document analysis.

Too often students and teachers consider active, close reading an arduous task that technology cannot assist. Try a case-study approach to investigating key civics concepts. The resources in this Document Analysis series use an online tool to streamline the challenges of close reading. The tool prompts students to define unknown vocabulary, make comments on key passages within a text, and begin constructing arguments based on textual evidence.

The flipped classroom model also works well with these case studies. For example, to teach Freedom of Speech in Schools, you might do the following:

  • Assign background-movie tutorials as homework to teach the issues involved in the Tinker v. Des Moines Supreme Court case and introduce the case-study question, “Should students be allowed to wear t-shirts displaying the Confederate flag in school?”
  • Have students watch the videos at home, then come to class ready to read primary-source text passages with the online document analysis tool and get ready to debate the issues.
  • The flip allows the teacher to be an active coach for the more challenging steps of the learning process.
Freedom of Speech in School background video overview.

Freedom of Speech in School examines the history, issues, and documents of this landmark case.

Rollover tool tips define key terms and ideas.

Rollover tool tips define key terms and ideas.

Each of these primary source document lessons includes this video explaining document analysis.

An animated video tutorial helps students review key steps in document analysis.

Remember analyzing documents is not just for Advanced Placement courses. All civics students should practice reading and interpreting documents!

Check out additional no-cost online case study resources available for U.S. and world history classes here.

Document Analysis Series: U.S. History
Document Analysis Series: World History
Turning Points in U.S. History
Turning Points in World History

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Muggs the Dog: A Retrospective

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The SAS Curriculum Pathways team suffered a loss recently, as writer and editor Tim McBride’s American Staffordshire Terrier (Pit bull), Muggs passed away at the age of 10.

Now, many of us have pets and we don’t usually spend much time chronicling them here. But Muggs was different. Over the years he became the face of some of our more popular English Language Arts resources, particularly in our grammar tutorial series. Tim chronicled Muggs' role in this 2014 blog post, Pit-bull Guide to Powerful Prose.

As a sort of memorial for our missing friend, here are some of Muggs’ greatest hits.

 

 

 

So farewell Muggs, we shall not soon forget you - nor will school children everywhere.

You can view all of the grammar video series on SAS Curriculum Pathways - or on our Youtube Channel.

 

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