Posted: Tue, 08/27/2019 - 2:12 pm EDT
It'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?"
We 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!