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Computational Thinking and Coding for Every Student

Computational Thinking and Coding for Every Student
The Teacher’s Getting-Started Guide

Foreword by Pat Yongpradit of

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November 2016 | 208 pages | Corwin

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Empower tomorrow’s tech innovators

Our students are avid users and consumers of technology. Isn’t it time that they see themselves as the next technological innovators, too?  Computational Thinking and Coding for Every Student is the beginner’s guide for K-12 educators who want to learn to integrate the basics of computer science into their curriculum. Readers will find 

  • Practical strategies for teaching computational thinking and the beginning steps to introduce coding at any grade level, across disciplines, and during out-of-school time
  • Instruction-ready lessons and activities for every grade
  • Specific guidance for designing a learning pathway for elementary, middle, or high school students
  • Justification for making coding and computer science accessible to all
  • A glossary with definitions of key computer science terms, a discussion guide with tips for making the most of the book,  and companion website with videos, activities, and other resources 

Momentum for computer science education is growing as educators and parents realize how fundamental computing has become for the jobs of the future. This book is for educators who see all of their students as creative thinkers and active contributors to tomorrow’s innovations.

“Kiki Prottsman and Jane Krauss have been at the forefront of the rising popularity of computer science and are experts in the issues that the field faces, such as equity and diversity. In this book, they’ve condensed years of research and practitioner experience into an easy to read narrative about what computer science is, why it is important, and how to teach it to a variety of audiences. Their ideas aren’t just good, they are research-based and have been in practice in thousands of classrooms…So to the hundreds and thousands of teachers who are considering, learning, or actively teaching computer science—this book is well worth your time.”
Pat Yongpradit
Chief Academic Officer,

Why This Book? Why Now?

What to Expect

A Note About Preparation

Lights, Camera, Action!

About the Authors
Part 1: Storyboarding
Chapter 1. An Introduction to Computer Science
Computer Science Is Within You

An Introduction to Computational Thinking

What Computer Science Is

What Computer Science Is Not

Chapter 2. Why Kids Should Have the Opportunity to Learn
What Computer Science Really Teaches

A Look Back

It Would Be Irresponsible Not to Introduce Computer Science

Part 2: Casting Call
Chapter 3. Try Your Hand at Coding
Time Well Spent

Key Strategy: Pair Programming

Teacher Warm-ups and Exercises

Chapter 4. Getting Started in the Classroom
Start Low-Tech

Encourage Movement

Foster Critical Consumption

Protect Privacy and Prevent Cyberbullying

Achieve Access

Banish Anxiety

Chapter 5. Dos and Don’ts of Teaching Computer Science
1. DON’T Expect to Be an Expert

2. DO Let Your Class Explore

3. DO Let Your Class Share

4. DO Give Kids Time to Move

5. DO Get Creative

6. DON’T Be a Bore

7. DO Relate Computer Science to Students’ Lives

8. DON’T Expect Cookie-Cutter Results

9. DO Set Students up for Success

10. DO Treat CS as an Art

11. DO Give It a Try

Part 3: In Production
Chapter 6. Activities That Foster Computational Thinking
Thinking Computationally

Digging Deeper Into Computational Thinking

Chapter 7. Decomposition
Decomposition Resources

Lesson Plan: Break It Down!

Decomposition: Break It Up!

Chapter 8. Pattern Recognition (With Pattern Matching)
Pattern Recognition Resources

Lesson Plan: Divine Patterns

Chapter 9. Abstraction
Abstraction Resources

Lesson Plan: So Abstract

Sample Stories

Chapter 10. Automation
Automation Resources

Lesson Plan: Algorithms and Automation— A Compliment Generator

A Last Word on Computational Thinking

What’s Next?

Chapter 11. Activities That Foster Spatial Reasoning
Spatial Abilities Tied to Success in STEM

“Spatialize” Your Teaching

Wrapping It Up

Chapter 12: Making With Code
Making Within STEAM Studies

Design for Design Thinking

“Freestyle” Making

Part 4: Your Feature Presentation
Chapter 13. Designing a Curriculum Continuum Across K–12
Chapter 14. Important Ideas Across All Grades
Pair Programming

Learning to Learn

Resources at the Ready

Equitable Practices

Chapter 15. The Elementary Pathway
Kindergarten and First Grade

Second and Third Grades

Fourth and Fifth Grades

Out-of-School Learning in the Elementary Grades

Elementary Computer Science Resources

Curriculum: Build an Alligator!

Chapter 16. The Middle School Pathway
Out-of-School Time in the Middle Grades

Middle School Computer Science Resources

Curriculum: Create Your Own Fortune

Chapter 17. The High School Pathway
Out-of-School Time in High School

High School Computer Science Resources

Curriculum: Roll the Dice

Chapter 18. Adapting Lessons for Your Class
1. The Lessons Are Only Suggestions

2. Adapt a Lesson for Younger Students

3. Adapt a Lesson for Older Students

4. Create a Lesson to Squeeze Into Other Curricula

Chapter 19. What People Are Doing and How They Are Doing It Well
Taking It to the Streets: Build Community Enthusiasm for Computer Science


Afterword: Opportunities Abound
Discussion Guide


"Change in education and schooling comes in waves, and coding, computer science, and computational thinking represent the next very big wave. This very readable book will introduce teachers, parents and students to the future."

Dr Neil MacNeill, PhD, EdD.

This book will help a lot of educators take their first steps toward bringing high quality programming experiences to their students. It offers clear examples
and good strategies supported by research and best practices.

Sylvia Martinez

Wondering whether this book is for you? Check out the “dos and don’ts” of Chapter 5 and then take them to heart. I did!

Dr. James Cohoon
University of Virginia

This book is so clear and so encouraging. I recommend it to my Girls Excelling in Math and Science (GEMS) leaders as we work to incorporate more computer science into our activities. The authors present a comprehensive introduction to computing in a way that’s useful, readable, and fun.

Laura Reasoner Jones

For instructors

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