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Variables - Secondary
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Microcredential ID : 44
Stack
Algorithms & Programming - Secondary
Credits
0.5 PTSB Recertification Credit

Description

Earners demonstrate their understanding of how computer programs store and manipulate data using variables. Earners will demonstrate how they support students in learning about variables and ways to organize extensive data collections into data structures of increasing complexity. Additionally, earners will need to show how they plan activities that use evidence-based, CS-specific teaching strategies to develop students’ conceptual understanding and proactively address student misconceptions in CS.

Standards
  • Computer Science Teachers Assocation (CSTA) Standards for CS Teachers > Instructional Design
    4a - Analyze CS curricula. Analyze CS curricula for implementation in their classrooms in terms of CS standards alignment, accuracy, completeness of content, cultural relevance, and accessibility.
  • Computer Science Teachers Assocation (CSTA) Standards for CS Teachers > Instructional Design
    4b - Develop standards-aligned learning experiences. Design and adapt learning experiences that align to comprehensive K-12 CS standards.
  • Computer Science Teachers Assocation (CSTA) Standards for CS Teachers > Instructional Design
    4f - Plan instruction to foster student understanding. Plan activities that use evidence-based, CS-specific teaching strategies to develop students’ conceptual understanding and proactively address student misconceptions in CS.
  • Computer Science Teachers Assocation (CSTA) Standards for CS Teachers > Instructional Design
    4g - Inform instruction through assessment. Develop multiple forms and modalities of assessment to provide feedback and support. Use resulting data for instructional decision-making and differentiation.
  • Wyoming Content and Performance Standards > Variables
    8.AP.V.01 - Using grade appropriate content and complexity, create clearly named variables that represent different data types and perform operations on their values.
  • Wyoming Content and Performance Standards > Variables
    L1.AP.V.01 - Use lists to simplify solutions, generalizing computational problems instead of repeatedly using simple variables.
  • Wyoming Content and Performance Standards > Variables
    L2.AP.V.01 - Compare and contrast simple data structures and their uses (e.g., lists, stacks, queues).
How To Earn This Microcredential

To earn this micro-credential you will process through the ADDIE learning model producing evidence that demonstrates your knowledge of the Wyoming Computer Science Content and Performance Standards and the CSTA Standards for Teachers. Through the ADDIE learning model you will analyze standards, design/develop and implement a lesson, collect student work artifacts, and evaluate your professional practices.

Fees
There will be no fee assessed for reviewing this microcredential.
Clarifications

The variables micro-credential is one of two micro-credentials that make up the algorithms & programming stack. The algorithms & programming stack is one of six micro-credential stacks which when completed will lead to a Computer Science Teacher Master Distinction.

Important Terms
Complete knowledge:

All of the skills listed in the proficient level of the Wyoming Computer Science Content and Performance Standards (see the resources) for a chosen standard.

Universal design for learning (UDL):

A framework for designing curriculum to be broadly accessible to all students. (See UDL for Learning Guidelines + Computer Science/Computational Thinking in the resources)

K–14:

Refers to computer science standards ranging from kindergarten into postsecondary education.

Scope and sequence:

Scope refers to the topics and areas of development within a curriculum, and sequence is the order in which those skills are taught.

Grade band:

The computer science standards are written in grade bands (K–2, 3–5, 6–8, and 9–12). The standard committee (CSSRC) determined the standards to be met by the end of the grade band. In grades 9–12, there are level 1 and level 2 standards. Level 1 standards include introductory skills. Level 2 standards are intended for students who wish to advance their study of computer science.

Chosen grade band:

The teacher or earner can choose which secondary grade band and standard to focus their lesson on.

Supporting computer science standard:

There is a difference between supporting standards and performance standards. All students are expected to be instructed on supporting computer science standards, taught within the context of the performance standards. Supporting standards do not need to be assessed through the district assessment system. If no supporting standards are listed on the "Micro-credential Map by Grade Band" (see the resources), this area becomes N/A.

Performance standards:

The Wyoming Content and Performance Standards serve several purposes. They articulate a set of expectations for what students should know and be able to do, enabling them to be prepared for college and career success; to live a life that contributes to the global community. These expectations are communicated to students, parents, educators, and all other Wyoming stakeholders, and provide a common understanding among educators as to what students should learn at particular grades. Standards do not dictate methodology, instructional materials used, or how the material is delivered. (See Wyoming Computer Science Content and Performance Standards in the resources.)

Algorithm:

A step-by-step process to complete a task.

App:

A type of application software designed to run on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet computer. Also known as a mobile application.

Computational artifact:

Anything created by a human using a computational thinking process and a computing device. A computational artifact can be, but is not limited to, a program, image, audio, video, presentation, or web page file.

Computer science:

The study of computing principles, design, and applications (hardware and software); the creation, access, and use of information through algorithms and problem-solving; and the impact of computing on society.

Control:

In programming, it is the use of elements of programming code to direct which actions take place and the order in which they take place.

Control structures:

A programming (code) structure that implements control. Conditionals and loops are examples of control structures.

Data structure:

A particular way to store and organize data within a computer program to suit a specific purpose so that it can be accessed and worked with in appropriate ways.

Events:

Any identifiable occurrence that has significance for system hardware or software. User-generated events include keystrokes and mouse clicks; system-generated events include program loading and errors.

Prototype:

An early sample, model, or release of a product built to test a concept or process or to act as a thing to be replicated or learned from.

Recursion:

Recursion is the process of defining a problem (or the solution to a problem) in terms of (a simpler version of) itself.

Variable:

A symbolic name that is used to keep track of a value that can change while a program is running. Variables are not just used for numbers; they can also hold text, including whole sentences (strings) or logical values (true or false). A variable has a data type and is associated with data storage location; its value is normally changed during the course of program execution.

Conditionals:

A feature of a programming language that perfroms different computations or actions depending on whether a programmer -specified Boolean condition evaluates to true or false. (A condition could refer to a conditional statement, conditional expression, or conditional construct.)

Modalities of assessment:

Modalities of assessment include written assessment, oral assessment, performance tasks, or visual representations.

Forms of assessment:

These include formative, summative, or student self-assessment.

Background Scenario / How This Will Help You

This micro-credential collection provides earners with the opportunity to document their knowledge and skills in teaching computer science to students in grades 6–12. The content provides resources to support understanding.

Earners are encouraged to participate in additional learning opportunities if more extensive learning is needed. Additional learning opportunities may include free online resources, postsecondary courses, and local courses.

The micro-credential structure offers earners flexible pathways and timelines. Earners can complete the micro-credentials in any order that aligns with their classroom timelines and availability. Micro-credentials offer earners the opportunity to submit evidence and receive evaluator feedback. Earners are encouraged to resubmit evidence until mastery is earned. Each resubmission will be reviewed, and updated feedback will be provided.

Evidence Options
Candidates are required to submit multiple pieces of evidence.
Category: Analyze

Analyze: Standards:

Complete "02. ANALYZE – Algorithms & Programming – Variables" in the resources section below. All instructions are included in the worksheet. Once you have completed the worksheet, upload it in the evidence section as a PDF. The resource can be found by following this link: https://bit.ly/3Cib2YT.

Category: Design/Develop

Lesson Plan:

Find "03. DESIGN/DEVELOP" in the resources section below. All instructions are included in the worksheet. Once you are finished with this task, upload your lesson plan in the evidence section as a PDF. The resource can be found by following this link: https://bit.ly/2Urhzik.

Category: Implement

Implementation:

Implement the set of activities or lesson plan you designed. Submit evidence of student learning for your focus standard. Include evidence of students that have met the standard and students that have not met the standard. Examples include videos of students working, completed student worksheets, etc. Annotate each piece of evidence to demonstrate how you facilitated student achievement of the standard.

Category: Evaluate

Journal:

Find "04. EVALUATE – Worksheet" in the resources section below. All instructions are included in the worksheet. The resource can be found by following this link: https://bit.ly/3xMingf.


Review Criteria

Evidence submissions and reflections will be reviewed for alignment with the assignment guidelines and this proficiency scale, found here: https://bit.ly/3CiC6aq. This checklist will help you review your submission materials to ensure you address everything that is expected for this micro-credential: https://bit.ly/3k2QTyr.

Reflection Prompts

Please provide a self-assessment, a score from 1–4, on each component of the proficiency scale found here: https://bit.ly/3CiC6aq. Provide a few sentences stating where the pieces of evidence that support the scores for each component are located.

If you are resubmitting, please indicate what changes were made in the documents (e.g., highlight, text color) and include "Resubmission #" with the resubmission number in the file title when you upload.


Review Criteria

Proficiency scale: https://bit.ly/3CiC6aq. Checklist: https://bit.ly/3k2QTyr.

Content knowledge – CSTA 4a The teacher demonstrates accurate and complete knowledge of the content and skills of the standard being taught.

Inform instruction through assessment – CSTA 4g The teacher develops multiple forms and modalities of assessment to provide feedback and support. The teacher uses resulting data for instructional decision-making and differentiation.

Supporting standards The teacher identifies and explains the connection of supporting computer science standards to the standard being taught in their lesson.

Vertical alignment – CSTA 4b The teacher explains the relationship of the standard in the scope and sequence of computer science standards directly above and below chosen grade band.

Plan instruction to foster student understanding – CSTA 4f The teacher plans activities that use evidence-based, computer science-specific teaching strategies to develop students’ computational understanding and proactively address student misconceptions in computer science.

Resources
Tool – UDL for Learning Guidelines + Computer Science/Computational Thinking
https://ctrl.education.ufl.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2020/05/Copy-of-UDL-and-CS_CT-remix.pdf

UDL is a framework for designing curriculum to be broadly accessible to ALL students. Learn more about utilizing the UDL framework in computer science education.


Standards – CSTA Standards for Computer Science Teachers
https://www.csteachers.org/page/standards-for-cs-teachers

These standards are designed to provide clear guidance on effective and equitable computer science instruction in support of rigorous computer science education for all K–12 students.


Micro-Credential Map By Grade Band
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1E6pQDbFCQ42O1FUzQIakJS9CRKraHiORCXdUXmdcBCw/copy#gid=1114401374

The computer science standards are written in grade bands (K–2, 3–5, 6–8, and 9–12). The standard committee (CSSRC) determined the standard to be met by the end of each grade band. In grades 9-12, there are level 1 and level 2 standards. Level 1 standards include introductory skills. Level 2 standards are intended for students who wish to advance their study of computer science. The teacher or earner can choose which grade band and standard to focus their lesson on.


03. DESIGN/DEVELOP
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Vboh_Hu3kK53uYJZCcQlDLCB6NTRwVPxvCyszP4zhUY/copy

Use this resource for the design/develop step of the ADDIE model.


04. EVALUATE – Worksheet
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1eevTS3Ay1X9nbtSvWvUjX7yj6DwaiZYEAAsyuNGlEb4/copy

Evaluate how effective your activities were at promoting student learning of the standards. Use specific examples from the artifacts you submitted in Implement and suggest any changes in practice or approach that you might make in the future based on your experience with this micro-credential.


Standards – Wyoming Computer Science Content and Performance Standards
https://edu.wyoming.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/2020-CS-WYCPS-with-all-PLDs-effective-04.07.21.pdf

Performance Level Descriptors (PLDs) describe the performance expectations of students for each of the four (4) performance level categories: advanced, proficient, basic, and below basic. These are a description of what students within each performance level are expected to know and be able to do. All PLDs are found in this document.


Article – "Unwrapping" the Standards: A Simple Way to Deconstruct Learning Outcomes
https://corwin-connect.com/2015/03/unwrapping-the-standards-a-simple-way-to-deconstruct-learning-outcomes/

“Unwrapping” is a simple method that all teachers in all grade levels can use to deconstruct the wording of any standard in order to know its meaning inside and out.


Sample Response – Completed Devices Micro-Credential
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ESoWRRdNZRjruO2j-1eq4CUU3YoWLlh1/view?usp=sharing

This resource includes a sample response for analyze, design/develop, implement, and analyze as well as a sample reflection prompt response for the devices micro-credential.


01. PROFICIENCY SCALE – Algorithms & Programming – Variables
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kyUwl2-SKPlcnQKIF_9Ku9qGA5izP17WhjZARjkTL5o/copy

This scale is provided as a resource for learners to view micro-credential criterion and the performance descriptor levels for demonstration of mastery.


02. ANALYZE – Algorithms & Programming – Variables
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Z3EyvTqVhp5afcGrbyXaMjlQglYDhh0H6Gt7L9FJ-vY/copy

Analyze the student and teacher standards aligned with the Algorithms & Programming – Variables micro-credential. Aligned standards and instructions for selecting a focus standard are outlined below the task description. There are two parts to this task.


Article – PRIMM: A Structured Approach to Teaching Programming
https://blogs.kcl.ac.uk/cser/2017/09/01/primm-a-structured-approach-to-teaching-programming/

PRIMM is one approach that we hope can help teachers structure lessons in programming. It is based on research into the learning of programming but combines different areas. Our overall interpretation of the research is that teaching programming requires a blended approach using a range of strategies.


Article – Proposal #1 to Change CS Education to Reduce Inequity
https://computinged.wordpress.com/2020/07/20/proposal-1-to-change-cs-education-to-reduce-inequity-teach-computer-science-to-advantage-the-students-with-less-background/

This blog post identifies four teaching methods that advantage students with less computing backgrounds.


Article – Use-Modify-Create
https://www.futurelearn.com/info/courses/secondary-programming-pedagogy/0/steps/68415

When you look at programming pedagogy in this way it becomes obvious that we should be showing our learners plenty of examples of working programs before letting them loose on coding for themselves. This is where Use-Modify-Create comes into play.


Article – How to Teach Variables to Kids
https://www.tynker.com/blog/articles/ideas-and-tips/how-to-teach-variables-to-kids/

In most programming languages, a variable is a container that holds information that you can access. You can think of a variable as a box that contains something. You can open the box to find out what is inside, or even put something else into the box. In some ways, human memory and computer memory are similar. We rely on our memory for remembering all sorts of things.


Research – Introducing the Computer Science Concept of Variables in Middle School Science Classrooms
https://dl.acm.org/doi/pdf/10.1145/3159450.3159545

The K–12 Computer Science Framework has established that students should be learning about the computer science concept of variables as early as middle school, although the field has not yet determined how this and other related concepts should be introduced. Secondary school computer science curricula such as Exploring CS and AP CS Principles often teach the concept of variables in the context of algebra, which most students have already encountered in their mathematics courses. However, when strategizing how to introduce the concept at the middle school level, we confront the reality that many middle schoolers have not yet learned algebra. With that challenge in mind, this position paper makes a case for introducing the concept of variables in the context of middle school science.


Lesson Plan – Lists Explore
https://curriculum.code.org/csp-20/unit5/1/

This Code.org lesson introduces lists in an unplugged activity.


Article – When to use Which Data Structure – Top 6 Data Structures
https://www.hellocodeclub.com/when-to-use-which-data-structure-top-6-data-structures/

In this article, you will learn the top six data structures that you should know if you want to become a software engineer and when to use which data structure.


Video – Coding Basics: Variables | Programming for Beginners |
https://youtu.be/ghCbURMWBD8

This video defines variables and introduces the vocabulary that goes along with them with humor and visualizations.


Video – Computer Science Misconceptions Debugged
https://youtu.be/WctlJ2b_zuI

Two female software developers discuss computer science misconceptions.


Video – What are Some Common Misconceptions that Pertain to CS?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WctlJ2b_zuI

This video playlist from CS at Pitt discusses the common misconceptions that pertain to CS.


Video Tutorial: Platform Navigation Tutorias
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hUZSMULBOzj-_CmIo2zuiZG2QziB40D_qBOXqAc5P5k/edit?usp=sharing

This is a list of videos that support navigation of the Midas platform. Including how to submit micro-credentials for review.


Video Tutorial: Unpacking Wyoming Computer Science Standards
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fy_LGu8NWKlbhJWlGblE01V520kGsPJ6/view?usp=sharing

This video helps for unpacking the Wyoming Computer Science standards as part of the micro-credential.


Video Tutorial: Best Practice in Google Drive Organization
https://drive.google.com/file/d/15WPbS__MRNpSGpEyTWWocd362qK6piZX/view?usp=sharing

This video provides best practices in Google Drive organization for the micro-credentials.


Video Tutorial: Completing the CSTA CS Teacher Standard Analyze Task
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1STn9CNmjxjjosyglv_-VbQxUOevp8Ax7/view?usp=sharing

This video gives pointers on completing the CSTA CS teacher standard analyze task for the micro-credential.


Variables Micro-credential Checklist
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GS7T9BgKQNSIbHOpwDMSBbKQ7rlzPqf2Rc_ONF77_-I/copy

This checklist will help you review your submission materials to ensure you address everything that is expected for this micro-credential.

Earners
Jennifer Anderson

Jennifer Anderson
Kiesa Geyer

Kiesa Geyer
Abby Hurley

Abby Hurley
Debbie Jacobson

Debbie Jacobson
Amanda Martin

Amanda Martin
Anna McClure

Anna McClure
Kyle Posten

Kyle Posten
Lena Rossolo

Lena Rossolo
Walt Smith

Walt Smith

Wyoming Department of Education

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Cheyenne, WY 82002

Phone: (307) 777-7675 

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