Connecting The Learning Dots with Computational Thinking As The Golden Ticket to Learning 2019

gen z studentsIt's that time of year again -  as we welcome the new 2019-2020 school year, many of you are focused on building stronger communities of learners in your classrooms with your students. You may be looking at new innovative strategies to include computational thinking activities, so you can reach more of your Gen Z and Gen Alpha student's diverse learning needs. Yes your focus is spot on - as computational thinking is the golden ticket to learning, which opens the computer science doorway to excitement, engagement and motivation- even with your most reluctant learners. It provides a framework to engage your students with solving for real world problems, and to be able to process information like a computer would at a deeper and more meaningful level.  And better yet.... it improves the overall communication, collaboration, and "problem finding" strategies when solving for real-world challenge s that are all around us.

Computational thinking guides our students through a series of steps to express a solution, similar to an algorithm. These sequencing of events allows students to look for patterns, compare and contrast similarities and differences of data points- and to ultimately solve for a problem based on one's documented findings and results. The question you may now be asking is how.... "How do I as an educator plan and prepare to connect the learning dots for ALL of my students when it comes to computation thinking implementation strategies... and to be able to model experiences that stress the importance of the WHY we need to prepare today's learners differently for their future creative workforce, and that truly has meaning, has substance, and matters to them?"

brain based learningWe need to make the learning experiences and tasks more personalized- and it starts with quick, simple and snackable content bites that revolve around a child's interest, learning passions, comfort levels and their learning world.

So this is what you have been waiting for... here are your five sets of golden tickets of learning opportunities for you k-2 classroom, that I have made just for you! These K-2 computational thinking activities are in the form of customizable Google Drawing templates that you can make a copy and use immediately, or make a copy and personalize for your own grade level and content focus. +++Please note I am working on the next sets of golden ticket task cards for grades, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12 during the months of September and October as well :-)

These differentiated golden ticket task cards will not only open the computational thinking and computer science doorway to excitement, engagement and motivation for you and your students, it will also provide you a yellow brick road learning pathway to improve communication, collaboration, and "problem finding" strategies. It will also lay the groundwork to build confident and curious learners to be able to seek and persevere when following through on difficult challenges, and dig deeper into understanding the why when solving for some of our future global challenges that we have yet to see!

QUESTION - What are your go to computational thinking learning activities that excite and motivate your students in the k-2nd grade classroom? Please share an example and or a teaching resource and your why so we can continue to build a rich repository of back to school CT and CS activities for the littles!

Example Golden Tickets

Golden Ticket Set #1- Unplugged and Tinkering Challenges

Golden Ticket Set #2 - Making and Remixing Challenges

Golden Ticket Set  #3 - Problem Finder and Critical Thinker Challenges

Golden Ticket Set #4 - Solutionist and Collaborator Challenges

Golden Ticket Set #5 - Self-Starter and Communicator Challenges

All 5 sets of Golden Tickets on a Google Doc to print. 




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Submitted by Naomi Harm on Tue, 08/27/2019 - 3:09 pm EDT

CS for All Teachers <notifications@csforallteachers.org

Hi Naomi,

Love this idea, may I borrow and adjust to 5th & 6th grade CT & robotics, would also like to include as a piece in my dissertation "A Qualitative Study Exploring Robots as a Teaching Tool for Computational Thinking in a Sixth Grade Class. If you have any suggestion to modify for this age that would be also wonderful



In reply to by Naomi Harm


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Submitted by Naomi Harm on Tue, 08/27/2019 - 3:21 pm EDT

Hi Carol,

Yes you may, please use them- that is what they're there for. Just make sure when you access one of the Google drawings, you just go to the top menu bar and go to "file make a copy" and then you can customize and edit.

I utilized the CS k-12 framework and standards and ISTE Computational Thinker standards for students to create and make the types of activities focused on computational thinking and computer science. I also did a dry run on all of these activities at a Green Bay Wisconsin 3 day training in August, because I wanted to make sure they were spot-on for the grade levels and that they were something that the students and teachers were truly motivated and engaged in to provide choice, voice, and also challenges to stretch those big beautiful brains of our k through twos littles.

I will continue to create the 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12 cards over the month of September through October. Would also enjoy seeing your modified cards that you make for your 5 through 6 grade students. 

Here is also an engineering toolkit as Book Creator ebook I created with my women in leadership team from WI this past year. You may also find this supportive and very helpful with your kiddos. Grade level targeted is 3rd -8th grade. We ran engineering derbies on Saturdays during January and February. It was amazing the amount of students and parents and teachers that showed up, we had so much fun.


Naomi Harm


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Submitted by Nancy McGowan on Tue, 08/27/2019 - 8:35 pm EDT


Thank you for creating a fabulous resource for the little ones! Each activity is so engaging and works to build critical problem solving skills.


In reply to by Nancy McGowan


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Submitted by Naomi Harm on Wed, 08/28/2019 - 10:52 am EDT

Thanks Nancy. I hope to expand upon this collection as well and make a choice of two or three in each topic area, more hands on creative play will be incorporated with LEGO's, making and coding and robotic tools. 



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Submitted by Brenda Burmeister on Wed, 08/28/2019 - 12:05 pm EDT

Yes, this is a fabulous framework for all levels/ grades. 

I have found Computational Thinking Bins a great addition to my 6-12 classrooms.

Golden Tickets could also be used with them to create a more dynamic experience and student choice. 




In reply to by Brenda Burmeister


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Submitted by Naomi Harm on Thu, 08/29/2019 - 3:03 pm EDT

Thanks Brenda for the extension resource. I will check into this and refer to it as I make the next sets for 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. 

I appreciate your feedback,