Computational thinking assists students to break down problems into smaller parts so that it is easier to understand and solve them. Abstraction is pulling out specific differences to make one solution work for multiple problems.
MITECS Computational Thinker
The math learning center is an app and online platform that allows students to use manipulatives virtually. In this activity, students will use virtual manipulatives to add fractions.
Parents are able to see student work as soon as it is posted. In this activity, students will solve a math problem with three integers and explain their thinking using SeeSaw.
Students will soon figure out algorithms are part of the many things they do everyday from planning their day, working on a project to writing code. An algorithm is a detailed step-by-step instruction set or formula for solving a problem or completing a task.
Students play a little game to catch germs. Then they sort them into like groups. Then they complete the building of a bar graph.
In this activity, students will solve a subtraction problem with Base 10 blocks and post their work to SeeSaw. The Number Pieces App allows students to manipulate base 10 blocks electronically to show their understanding of counting concepts.
In this activity, students will solve a base 10 math problem and explain their thinking using SeeSaw.
The Code-a-Pillar teaches the basics of coding, using sequencing and programming, with segments of the caterpillar's body. Each of the eight segments is labeled with different symbols and colors. The students will put them together, attach them to the caterpillar's smiling, blinky-eyed, motorized head, and press a button to get the whole toy to move.
The students will learn coding skills with Colby, the programmable robot mouse. The students build a maze with the 16 maze grids, a 20" x 20" maze board, 22 maze wall and three tunnels that are provided in the kit. The students will program the sequence of steps and Colby will race to find the cheese. There are also 30 double-sided coding cards, 10 double-sided activity cards, a cheese wedge, and an activity guide to provide the perfect hands-on introduction to coding concepts. You can even add Jack the programmable robot mouse to race Colby!
Coding is a skill that all students need for 21st century careers. There are many neat new programs that teach the foundation for programming. The programs use blocks with commands that students connect together to achieve the goal.
Scratch Jr. is an app where children can program their own stories and games. They learn to solve problems, design projects, and express themselves creatively.
A Google Slide Deck introduction to the MITECS competency Computational Thinker - Students develop and employ strategies for understanding and solving problems in ways that leverage the power of technological methods to develop and test solutions.
Example: In a high school physics class, students designed catapults that could hit measured distances at two different points. Prior to mapping designs, students used calculators and computer-based scenario software to practice and apply formulas based on data to test hypothesis. Once they had a working theory that the team agreed on, the students created prototypes for initial testing. They shared the recordings with scientists and engineers from the local university, who posted feedback on the comment feature of a video channel. Student teams used the feedback to make changes to their designs and built their miniature catapults. They then conducted their final tests.
Questions for Reflection:
- How do the MITECS compliment core content?
- How might you and your colleagues develop cross-curricular experiences to support the MITECS?
- Which of the competencies are you most familiar with?
- Which competency is an area of growth for you, as an educator?
Students will use knowledge of coding to code through various holiday programs from Code.org and Google.
Decomposition one of the four parts of Computational Thinking breaks down problems into smaller parts so that it is easier to understand and solve them.
There are many simple experiments students can do to analyze data. They can test two objects designed to solve the same problem and compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs. The teacher will create a spreadsheet to collect the data to share with the students.
The math learning center is an app and online platform that allows students to use manipulatives virtually. In this activity, students will show equivalent fractions using lines and shapes.
Engaging students in their education is not always easy. One way is to give them the opportunity to be involved in school event decision making processes. Providing them with a task, having them poll their peers, and then using the analyzed data to inform their decisions is sure to keep them engaged.
The Number Pieces Basic app helps students develop a deeper understanding of place value while building their competition skills with multi-digit numbers. Students can use the number pieces to represent multi-digit numbers, count, regroup, add, and subtract. The drawing tools allow students to label representations and show their understanding numbers and math concepts.
Students will design a survey to explore their classmates' feelings and experiences with bullying. Once the class has participated in the survey, they will analyze the data, discussing implications and how they can improve/build classroom community.