I've been teaching a Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary (DESE) Computational Thinking unit related to fraction multiplication. As with every new unit, I'm bumbling a bit as I introduce the unit in a systematic way, yet I can definitely see the value of this new teaching focus and the way it is affecting my own perspective with regard to navigating the world around me.
As I teach this unit, I am aware of the many related positive challenges ahead:
- Using the language of computational thinking and algorithmic thinking more. The mini poster at the top of the page will help. Also since taking Fortran many years ago, I've typically set up my online and offline learning menus with an "If, than, or else" pattern which is a computational thinking pattern.
- Immersing myself more into the language and information related to computational thinking, while I'm a bit wary of the Koch Brother's publication, Big Think, I did think these articles provide a good starting perspective of why to teach computational thinking today and how to whet young students' appetite for that study:
- The true value of coding: It teaches you to think differently
- Your Life is an Algorithm, Your Brain is an Operating System
- Learning about how our school system is teaching and developing students' computational thinking knowledge and use so that I can connect my teaching to that work in developmentally appropriate and advantageous ways.
- Learning more about how to intersect this perspective and activity with the math curriculum.
- Reviewing more of DESE's related units and embedding those efforts into the math and science curriculum.
- Thinking about how we can better incorporate coding into the math program?
|Unit Additions Link|
To develop learning/teaching programs in ways that help students to navigate their world today and into the future well is a terrific focus that keeps one invested and engaged in education--the focus on computational thinking will work well for me in this regard.