• 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. 
    • Work cooperatively and collaboratively with peers, teachers, and others when using technology.
    • Will kindly and productively critique work with groups.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of computer coding using both online and unplugged activities. 
    • Use an iPad and/or laptop for both shared and independent learning activities.
    • Communicate about technology using developmentally appropriate and accurate terminology. 
    • Demonstrate positive social and ethical behaviors when using technology.

    Grade 5 students will:

    • Create programs to solve problems and develop interactive games or stories they can share using the computer science language called Blockly using Tynker, then later, the computer language called Scratch. Both are user-friendly forms of Javascript. 
    • Work cooperatively and collaboratively with peers, teachers, and others when using technology.
    • Will kindly and productively critique work with groups.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of computer coding using both online and unplugged activities. 
    • Use an iPad and/or laptop for both shared and independent learning activities.
    • Communicate about technology using developmentally appropriate and accurate terminology. 
    • Demonstrate positive social and ethical behaviors when using technology.
    • Apply common computing vocabulary.

     

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

    In evaluating opportunities for a new course in Spring of 2017, 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 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. 

     

    CS update for the 2020-21 School Year

    Students will continue to engage in Computer Science courses in Grades 2, 3, and 5. The curriculum has been updated and modified to add more activities from Daisy the Dinosaur, Kodable, Tynker Programming courses, Tynker projects, Month of Code activities, and Robotics. 

     

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

    This course is not graded and will not be in the report card. We will continue to collect data from student surveys to check for engagement and growth at the beginning and end of the school year.

     

    Sample Resources Used by the Computer Science Course

    Code.org

    Daisy the Dinosaur

    Kodables

    Tynker