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Computer Science in Elementary? Help!

With the recent computer science initiatives, more and more elementary teachers are being expected to incorporate computer science into their classrooms. The problem is that many teachers have never received any computer science training. This collection is a basic introduction to computer science, and has some unplugged activities that you can use to teach computer science in your own classroom.
A Collection By Lisa Kraus
  • 8 Collection Items
  • 8 Collection Items
  • Discussion
Computer Science in Elementary? Help!
  • Lisa Kraus says:
    An introductory video that explains what an algorithm is and why it is important. The video is designed to be viewed by teachers or students. The webpage also links to the lesson plan which includes the paper plane algorithm worksheet. This is an easy way to teach algorithms without a computer! (This resource is on Code.org which has more lesson plans and a curriculum)
  • Lisa Kraus says:
    In this fun lesson students learn how to create bracelets using binary. I love the chart that shows how to encode letters in binary. There is a video that teachers can watch that explains the lesson as well.
  • Lisa Kraus says:
    Even if you don't plan on teaching computer science using a computer, it's still important to discuss digital citizenship. If you don't know where to start, this lesson plan can help by teaching students about their digital footprint.
  • Lisa Kraus says:
    A brief introduction to the 'My Robotic Friends' activity. The lesson plan is included as a link on the page and is adaptable to any elementary grade level. The objective is to use a common language (arrows) to direct a person who is pretending to be the robot to stack cups in a certain shape.
  • Lisa Kraus says:
    The teacher pretends to be a 'Sandwhich Bot' and follows students instructions exactly as they are stated. This is a hilarious and effective way to teach students about errors and how to debug an algorithm.
  • Lisa Kraus says:
    I really appreciate how this video explains binary and how information can be stored using 0's and 1's in an easy to understand way. This video could be shown directly to students, or students could replicate the activity for hands-on experience using binary.
  • Lisa Kraus says:
    I love that this video takes the mystery out of computer science and uses every day tasks such as knitting socks to explain computer science concepts. Linda Liukas also has a great explanation about what a computer is.
  • iste.org
    iste.org

    Should We Teach Computer Science in Elementary School?

    5 minute read
    Lisa Kraus says:
    This article provides a balanced argument for and against computer science education. It also lists several great resources (such as Code.org and Scratch Jr.) for schools that do have enough computers to teach computer science using technology.