Computational thinking and computer programming, or coding, have gotten a lot of traction lately. New computer science standards are suggesting that these skills should be integrated throughout K-12 in order to prepare students for this unique way of thinking and enacting upon their world. What some people don’t realize is computational thinking and computer programming have authentic connections to the way that we engage with language and mathematics, which makes them excellent companions to enhance literacies at every grade level.
Here is a collection of resources that we have put together to help get you started:
Computational Thinking & Coding/Programming Integration in K-12
- Strategies for integrating computational thinking/programming into the classroom
- Case study of integrating coding across an entire campus
- Computer Science Teachers Association resources
- Overviews of Computational Thinking:
- Computational Concepts, Practices, and Perspectives (Includes resources to develop computational fluency with Scratch)
- BBC Bitesize Introduction to Computational Thinking (Includes online lessons)
- ATT Internet Service Basic Coding Guide (Includes overview modules)
- Non-Digital Introductory Activities:
- Narrative Books to Teach Children about Computational Thinking
- Bueno, C. (2015). Lauren ipsum: A story about computer science and other improbable things. San Francisco, CA: No Starch Press.
- DK Publishing. (2014). Help your kids with computer coding: A visual guide. New York, NY: DK Publishing.
- Deutsch, S. & Saujani, R. (2017). The friendship code #1 (Girls who code). New York, NY: Penguin Workshop.
- Kubica, J. (2012). Computational fairy tales. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
- Liukas, L. (2015). Hello ruby: Adventures in coding. New York, NY: Feiwel and Friends.
- Yang, G. & Holmes, M. (2015). Secret coders: Get with the program. New York, NY: Roaring Book Press.
- Guided Learning Apps and Tools:
- Code.org (free, web-based)
- Hour of Code (free, web-based)
- The Foos (free or subscription, Android/iOS)
- Lightbot (free, web-based/Android/iOS/Kindle/Mac/PC)
- Tynker (subscription, web-based/Android/iOS)
- Code Academy (free, web-based/Android/iOS; advanced coding)
- Code Combat (free, web-based; advanced coding)
- Visual-Based Coding Apps and Tools:
Computer Programming + Literacy/Writing
- Conquering the Myth: Expository Writing and Computer Programming (theory article)
- Hoat, N. (1987). Conquering the Myth: Expository Writing and Computer Programming. College Composition and Communication, 38(1), 93–95. http://doi.org/10.2307/357591
- “both programming and expository writing are based on the ability to recognize that a complex whole is composed of manageable parts” (Hoat, 1987, p 93).
- Programming Multimedia Stories in Scratch to Integrate Computational Thinking and Writing with Elementary Students (theory article)
- Smith, S. & Burrow, L. (2016). Programming multimedia stories in Scratch to integrate computational thinking and writing with elementary students. Journal of Mathematics Education. 9(2), 119-131.
- “this type of multimedia creation uses a variety of mathematical and verbal literacy processes that simultaneously link to Papert’s constructionist concept of the personally meaningful creation of digital artifacts and Brennan and Resnick’s (2012) computational thinking framework” (Smith & Burrow, 2016, p 130).
- Teach reading through writing code with Scratch Jr. (lesson activity)
- Writing to explain: Expository writing how-to scripts and demonstrations (lesson activity)
- Choose Your Own Adventure game made in Scratch “Help the Turtle!” and Planet Bravo’s Planning Template for creating your own in Scratch
Computer Programming + Mathematics
- Math is the root of computer science
- Math + Code ‘Zine: Exploring math through code
- Math projects created using Scratch
Scratch Jr. Resources
- Scratch Jr. – free download for iPads and Android tablets
- Learn about Scratch Jr. Interface, printable PDF version
- ScratchJr.It YouTube Channel (tutorial videos)
- Scratch Jr. Introductory Activities
- Scratch Jr. Curricula
- Scratch Jr. Assessments
- Scratch Jr. printable “blocks” for unplugged activities and practice
- Try running Scratch on a PC or Mac with Andy Android Simulator
- Scratch – free web-based version and download for PC/Mac/Linux
- Harvard’s ScratchEd resources for educators (forums, lesson plan sharing, etc.)
- Scratch video tutorials
- Learn more bits of code with Scratch “Help” Playing Cards
- ScratchEd Professional Development workshop materials and facilitator guides
- ScratchEd’s “Creative Computation” Free 44 lesson curriculum
- Research on Scratch