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Designing a K-12 CS Continuum of Coding, Robotics and Experiences

Participate and share

Participate and share : Interactive lecture

Monday, November 30, 12:45–1:30 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Jared Mader  
Ben Smith  

Looking to include coding in your curriculum? Join us for an interactive session that dives into the CS Framework and aligns students' K-12 experiences through unplugged, coding and robotics activities. Leave with a playbook to integrate CS throughout your curriculum.

Audience: Coaches, Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: None
Topic: Computer science & computational thinking
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
For Students:
Computational Thinker
  • Students formulate problem definitions suited for technology-assisted methods such as data analysis, abstract models and algorithmic thinking in exploring and finding solutions.
For Education Leaders:
Visionary Planner
  • Share lessons learned, best practices, challenges and the impact of learning with technology with other education leaders who want to learn from this work.
Additional detail: Session recorded for video-on-demand

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose is to help participants identify and implement the key components of the CS Framework. We have tools to share that are being used by a number of schools across Pennsylvania to break down and understand the CS Framework and CSTA Standards. Then we use Practices from CS, Math, Science and ELA to establish activities that can be used across the curriculum. Finally, we used a backwards design approach to identify the software and hardware tools to meet the goals and objectives of the program.


Overview of the CS Framework and Strategic Planning (15 minutes)
- This time includes examing curricular tools to break the framework into "I can" and "I know" statements as well as highlighting vocabulary in different grade bands. We will share the SCRIPT process from CS4ALL and examples from schools that have been used to adopt a K-12 curriculum.
Identifying entry points of cross-curricular activities (15 minutes)
- This time will review overlapping sets of the Practices in each curricular area. We will then identify and demonstrate how coding activities can be used in designing curriculum.
Examing tools that can be recycled through the curriculum (15 minutes)
- We will engage participants in quick activities to demonstrate how 2 tools (Sphero, Micro:bit) can be used across multiple grade levels. For example, Sphero can be used at pre-reader levels through Draw Code, then in middle levels with Block Code and finally at secondary levels through Text Code. Returning to robotics creates a cohesiveness and extends the life and usefulness of a robotics.
Planning for student CS Success (10 minutes)
- We will examine the types of experiences students need to develop a strong understanding of algorithmic and computational thinking. Students should work with software, physical devices and text coding languages. We help participants to identify the entry point for each of these concepts, such as when and how to introduce Python.
Designing cross curricular activities (10 minutes) - In this last section, we will delve into how to create a continuum of activities across all grade levels. Identifying tasks and tools allows for a cohesive program where students cycle through key CS learnings. We will provide a toolkit that participants can take with them for their own districts.

Supporting research

- Bers, M. U., Flannery, L., Kazakoff, E. R., & Sullivan, A. (2014). Computational thinking and tinkering: Exploration of an early childhood robotics curriculum. Computers & Education, 72, 145-157.
- Lee, I., Martin, F., & Apone, K. (2014). Integrating computational thinking across the K--8 curriculum. Acm Inroads, 5(4), 64-71.
- Barr, V., & Stephenson, C. (2011). Bringing computational thinking to K-12: what is Involved and what is the role of the computer science education community?. Inroads, 2(1), 48-54.
- Gendreau Chakarov, A., Recker, M., Jacobs, J., Van Horne, K., & Sumner, T. (2019, February). Designing a Middle School Science Curriculum that Integrates Computational Thinking and Sensor Technology. In Proceedings of the 50th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (pp. 818-824). ACM.

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Jared Mader, Lincoln Intermediate Unit 12
ISTE Certified Educator
Ben Smith, Lincoln Intermediate Unit 12
ISTE Certified Educator

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