Computational Thinking with Ready:
Computational Thinking describes the fundamental skill set needed to solve complex problems. This curriculum utilizes project-based tutorials, paired with thought provoking discussion questions to build skills of logic, analysis and prediction, that can be used throughout academic domains as well as outside the classroom.
Tutorial Set Up:
This curriculum uses a series of step by step tutorials to highlight computational thinking concepts. This curriculum is centered around 7 project tutorials.
This curriculum is geared towards middle school students, but can be adapted to accommodate many levels.
Select a tutorial to use for the class. Use the “Steps to Build” (pg 3 within the tutorial) to introduce the project. Going through the steps, elicit predictions and hypotheses about how each step is done. The goal is to break down the main mechanics of each project.
After completing a tutorial project, reserve 15 minutes at the end of class for selected students to present their projects. This is a great opportunity to assign non-presenting members of the class the role of peer-reviewer, and asking them to rate their partner’s performance during the build as well as for the presentation.
General class Strategies:
Pair Programming Build:
Low (Will need to answer questions, but students also have more peer support here.)
In this approach, students work with a partner to build a Ready project. Students utilize 1 computer to build with the Ready app, and another to display the tutorial and follow the steps. In this approach, two students will work to build a single project and will take turns between working as the “interpreter” and the “driver”. The “interpreter” will tell the driver what to do by reading the tutorial step to them, and pointing on the screen where to go. The “driver” will implement the step. Students should switch roles throughout the build so that each student acts as the interpreter and driver 2 times.
This strategy is intended to utilize collaboration between students. Students will work together to discuss steps and solve problems. Students will also practice listening, speaking, and interpreting skills while working on the pair programming builds.
Medium (Will need to understand project functionality to address problems).
In this approach, students work through the tutorial on their own and complete each step. It’s suggested that students talk to a partner during the discussion and experimentation sections. These sections can also be used as large group discussion points.
This strategy focuses on an individual’s ability to closely read, analyze, and implement the steps of their tutorial. It is intended to aid students in their ability to communicate misunderstandings, ask questions and get some feedback and discussion with peers.
This rubric has been made utilizing selected principles from the Computer Science Teachers Association standards with special focus given to the strands of Computational Thinking, Collaboration, and Computing Practice and Programming. You can also review how these standards are mapped to strands within the Common Core State standards at CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards Mapped to Common Core.
Rubric Grading Criteria:
Self-Check and Reflection
This measures whether students were able to issues or blockers problems within their work, as well as their ability to confront this. Positive strategies for dealing with blockers include asking for help, re-reading instructions, collaborating with peers, and analyzing the objective of the item. This section also refers to the student’s ability to review their work as a whole, and describe functionality through their own interpretations.
Attitude & Computational Thinking Disposition
This section refers to the student’s ability to carry out a positive attitude throughout the tutorial build, as well as their tolerance for multiple perspectives and open-ended problem solving.
This measures student’s skills in working as part of a team. This section focuses on how students balance listening, working, exchanging ideas, and carrying out the build.
This section focuses on the student’s ability to discuss and ask questions throughout the class. Students should be expected to participate in the discussion prompts with peers, and ask questions regarding items they don’t understand.
Computational Thinking Practice
This section looks at whether students are able to implement core components of computational thinking, including problem decomposition, iteration, testing, and evaluation.
This curriculum utilizes the Common Core State Standards as well as the Computer Science Teacher Association Standards.
The tutorial projects in this curriculum support the English Language Arts Common Core State Standards. The Discussion points and Experimentation prompts within these tutorials target specific standards within the Reading of Informational Texts Strand of the CCSS for grades 5, 6, and 7. We’ve highlighted places where these standards apply in the premise section of each tutorial, however, the broad nature of computational thinking makes these projects applicable to a wide variety of computational thinking standards.
We have additionally used selected standards from the Computer Science Teacher Association Standards. These competencies were selected to guide the CT learning trajectory and focus on computational thinking concepts, logic and reasoning skills, analysis and prediction, as well as collaboration.
These tutorials are divided into 3 sections:
1. The Premise of the project.
This describes what the final project will be able to do.
2. Steps to Build:
This is a general overview of the steps that will be completed throughout the activity. This section includes a numbered map of the final project. Each number corresponds to the numbers included in the “Steps to Build.” It is generally a good idea to go through this section as a large group, drawing out predictions from students regarding what each step might include, as well as using this map as a reference for sizing objects throughout the upcoming activity.
3. How It’s Done:
This section outlines the step, it’s overall objective, and a breakdown of how to carry out each step. In this section, there are also discussion and experimentation prompts that support specific computational strategies.