• Computer Science Frequently Asked Questions

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    What is the computer science course?

    In the computer science course, students will experience lessons on and off computer that are designed to expose all students to the concepts of computational thinking and algorithmic processes. In this class, students will have the opportunity to apply computer science concepts to designing and building (coding) solutions to problems using technology. Students will be able to experience being active creators of technology and not just passive consumers.

    The computer science courses are aligned to the K-12 computer science framework. A portion of the class will be focused on engaging students in critical computer science concepts such as code, symbol, sequence, algorithm, pattern, command, loop, conditions, functions etc. The remaining time will be used for application of learned concepts to create projects using both computer science concepts and coding skills. CS classes blend opportunities for new learning with students based challenges and problem solving.  computer Science is frequently referred to as coding.

    Computer Science lessons can be unplugged (not using technology) or they may utilize technology. At times, lessons are unplugged to help students understand core concepts like looping, algorithms, etc. In the case of un plugged lessons, the lessons are generally collaborative and engaging.

    What is Computer Science (CS) (and what is it not):

    • The study of computers and algorithmic processes, including their principles, their hardware and software designs, their applications, and their impact on society. (Tucker et. Al, 2006, p.2)
    • CS builds on computer literacy, educational technology, digital citizenship, and information technology.
    • CS is NOT the everyday use of computers, or use of the internet to search, or creation of digital presentations.


    What can I expect my student to learn?

    Grade 2 students will:

    • demonstrate an understanding of computer coding using both online and unplugged activities.
    • use an iPad for both shared and independent learning activities
    • communicate about technology using developmentally appropriate and accurate terminology.
    • work cooperatively and collaboratively with peers, teachers, and others when using technology.
    • demonstrate positive social and ethical behaviors when using technology.

    Grade 3 students will:

    • create programs to solve problems and develop interactive games or stories they can share using the computer science language called Blockly, then later, the computer language called Scratch. Both are user-friendly forms of Javascript.
    • learn common computing vocabulary.
    • use Seesaw and optional interactive journals for workspace and planning, as well as reflecting on CS growth.
    • kindly and productively critique work with groups.

    Grade 5 students will:

    • create programs to solve problems and develop interactive games or stories they can share.
    • understand and implement concepts such as: algorithms, events, conditionals, variables, functions, loops, parameters.reflect and assess their progress using Seesaw.
    • gain understanding through Code.org in order to implement and explore with Google CS First.
    • have an opportunity to explore basic design when time permits.


    Why is it being offered in grades 2, 3, and 5?

    As of the 2017-2018 school year, District 65 is offering five elective classes for students. Over the past several years, we have offered four which include Library, Art, Drama, and Music. In evaluating opportunities for a new course, District 65 determined a need and an interest in adding curricular experiences in social emotional learning and STEM. The School Board agreed to add these courses to the K-5 curriculum in April 2017 and it was determined that each student would have three years of programming for each. Social Emotional and Equity Learning (SEEL) is being offered in kindergarten, first grade, and fourth grade and computer Science (CS) is being offered in second, third, and fifth grade.  

    The curriculum department will continue to work with schools and staff to define learning experience in social emotional learning and computer sciences during the years when the students do not have the class in order to keep students connected to their learning.


    Will the course be graded?  Is it on the report card?

    CS will not be graded this year and it will not appear on the report card. Our Curriculum and Instruction team plans to have a contest for students to officially name the course later this year and the team that has written the curriculum and the teachers will work on identifying the grading standards that we will apply for future years as we implement the course this year.


    Sample Resources Used by the Computer Science Course


    Creative Computing