This year I am teaching Computer Science to all 6th grade students. My schedule entails having a group of students for about 20 days then rotating to a new group. This rotation allows me to teach the same concepts to all of the students, and it allows me to use different manipulatives, such as Bloxels, Ozobots, and LittleBits, and internet tools, such as Code.org, CS First, and Scratch, for each group. My goal is at the end of the school year, having all of the 6th grade students being introduced to Computer Science and exposed to coding.
When I found out I was teaching Computer Science, I was excited and anxious to teach the students everything I know about the subject. Then, I had a reality check. Having a group of students for about a 20 day cycle would not allow me to teach them everything I wanted, so then I focused on just the basics.
Unit 1: Introduction to Computer Science
Unit 2: Introduction to an Interface
Unit 3: Computational Thinking
Unit 4: Logical Thinking
In Unit 1, I go over the basics of Computer Science, the affects it has in our daily lives, binary code, digital etiquette, teamwork and relationships. The picture below shows students completing an unplugged activity by using buttons to write their names in binary code. Another unplugged activity I used was using a Computer Science BreakoutEDU game to build teamwork and relationships.
Furthermore, I will be using social media and a class blog to document our class journey and to give students a voice. Students can use #CS4WDMS on Twitter and Instagram to show their work to a global and authentic audience. They can also reflect on their experiences using a class blog. Because I decided to implement social media into the classroom, I included online safety and digital etiquette into Unit 1 of the curriculum.
Next week, I plan to implement Unit 2, which will introduce students to a visual programming language, or a block based coding. This can either be Blockly, Scratch or the Ozobot Blockly editor. Whatever I decide, it will expose the students to similar concepts commands, the tool box, the workspace, the output area, and much more.
Please follow our class journey on Twitter and Instagram using #CS4WDMS and read the class blog at http://cs4wdms.blogspot.com/. Stay tuned for the next blog post.