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Variables - Elementary
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Microcredential ID : 56
Stack
Algorithms & Programming - Elementary
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
    2.AP.V.01 - Model the way programs store and manipulate data by using numbers or other symbols to represent information (e.g., thumbs up/down as representations of yes/no, arrows when writing algorithms to represent direction, or encode and decode words using numbers, pictographs, or other symbols to represent letters or words).
  • Wyoming Content and Performance Standards > Variables
    5.AP.V.01 - Using grade appropriate content and complexity, create programs that use variables to store and modify data.
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

This micro-credential is intended for teachers in grades K-6. If you teach middle school or high school grades, you will want to work on the secondary level computer science micro-credentials. The variables micro-credential is one of five micro-credentials that make up the algorithms & programming stack. The algorithms & programming stack is one of six micro-credential stacks that will lead to a Computer Science Teacher Master Distinction when completed.

Important Terms
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.

Chosen Grade Band:

The teacher/earner can choose which grade band and standard to focus their lesson around.

Complete Knowledge:

Refers to all of the skills listed in the proficient level of the 2019 WY Computer Science Performance Standards (see in the resources) for the chosen standard.

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 & software); the creation, access, and use of information through algorithms and problem solving, and the impact of computing on society.

Conditionals:

A feature of a programming language that performs 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.)

Control:

(in general) The power to direct the course of actions. (in programming) 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:

Information that is collected and used for reference or analysis. Data can be digital or non-digital and can be in many forms, including numbers, text, a show of hands, images, sounds, or video.

Decompose:

To break down into components.

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.

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 standard to be met by the end of the grade band. In grades 9-12, the standards provide level 1 and level 2 standards. Level 1 standards include introductory skills. The level 2 standards are intended for students who wish to advance their study of computer science.

K-14:

Refers to Computer Science standards ranging from kindergarten into postsecondary education.

Loop:

A programming structure that repeats a sequence of instructions as long as a specific condition is met.

Performance Standards:

The standards all students are expected to learn and be assessed on through the district assessment system by the end-of-the grade band (see 2019 WY Computer Science Performance Standards in the resources).

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.

Scope and Sequence:

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

Supporting CS Standard:

All students are expected to be instructed on these CS standards, taught within the context of the performance standards. (see Micro-credential Map by Grade Band in the resources) If no supporting standards are listed on the map, this area is not applicable.

Unplugged:

Tasks take place away from a computer in order to model key concepts.

Variable:

A symbolic name 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.

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 K-6. 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

All instructions are included in the worksheet. Once you have completed the worksheet, upload it in the evidence section as a PDF.

Analyze: Standards:

Analyze: Standards This task requires an analysis of both computer science content standards and the CSTA Standards for Computer Science Teachers. Google Docs Template: https://bit.ly/3rnNUET

ANALYZE – K-6 Algorithms & Programming – Variables.docx

Analyze: Standards:

Analyze: Standards This task requires an analysis of both computer science content standards and the CSTA Standards for Computer Science Teachers. Google Docs Template: https://bit.ly/3rnNUET

ANALYZE – K-6 Algorithms _ Programming – Variables.docx

Category: Design/Develop

This lesson plan shows the planned instruction of your computer science focus standard.

Lesson Plan:

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. Google Docs Template: https://bit.ly/3ummSzC

DESIGN_DEVELOP.docx

Category: Implement

Implement the set of activities or lesson plan you designed.

Student Work:

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

Evaluate how effective your activities were at promoting student learning of the standards. Use specific examples from the artifacts you submitted in the Implement activity. Google Docs Template: https://bit.ly/3J5Og8X

Journal:

All instructions are included in the worksheet. Once you have completed the worksheet, upload it in the evidence section as a PDF.

EVALUATE – Worksheet.docx


Review Criteria

Evidence submissions and reflections will be reviewed for alignment with the assignment guidelines and this proficiency scale. This checklist will help you review your submission materials to ensure you address everything that is expected for this micro-credential.

Proficiency scale: https://bit.ly/3HuHfhH. Checklist: https://bit.ly/3B57Wr2.

Reflection Prompts

Please provide a self-assessment, a score from 1–4, on each component of the proficiency scale found here: https://bit.ly/3HuHfhH. 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

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

Inform instruction through assessment – 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. CSTA 4g

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

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

Plan instruction to foster student understanding – 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. CSTA 4f

Resources
2nd grade CS Lessons Gilbert Public Schools
https://www.azed.gov/sites/default/files/2019/09/2nd%20Grade%20CS%20Lessons.pdf?id=5d72d03b1dcb251298c0fa91

Lessons aligned to each CS Standard for grades K-2.


5th grade CS Lessons Gilbert Public Schools
https://www.azed.gov/sites/default/files/2019/09/5th%20Grade%20CS%20Lessons.pdf?id=5d72d0c61dcb251298c0fa9e

Lessons aligned to each CS Standard for grades 3 -5.


Blank Space Stories
https://studio.code.org/s/coursef-2021/lessons/6

In this lesson, students will use fill-in-the-blank stories (similar to Mad Libs®) as a context for understanding how computers take and store input from a user, then use it later as a program runs. This lesson provides a shared context that will be helpful for understanding how variables work.


Coding Basics: Variables
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghCbURMWBD8

Video defining variables and introducing the vocabulary that goes along with them with humor and visualizations.


Comparing Fractions: Slicing Sandwiches
http://everydaycomputing.org/lessons/action-fractions/grade-4/comparing-fractions-slicing-sandwiches

Students experiment with using loops and variables to create representations of fractions in Scratch.


Computer Science in K-12: An A to Z Handbook on Teaching Programming - Chapter N: Naive Conceptions of Novice Programmers (Paid Resourcce)
https://www.amazon.com/Computer-Science-K-12-Z-Programming/dp/1734662700/ref=sr_1_3?crid=1RE3W96NIVS3J&keywords=computer+science+in+k-12+an+a-z+handbook+on+teaching+programming&qid=1643995368&sprefix=teaching+programming+in+k%2Caps%2C79&sr=8-3

This is a handbook for K-12 teachers interested in teaching programming. It's designed to focus on pedagogy and be accessible to beginners and useful for teachers who are more experienced. Each chapter has tons of examples and ideas of what to look out for in terms of misconceptions.


Computer Science in K-12: An A to Z Handbook on Teaching Programming - Chapter V: Variables (Paid Resourcce)
https://www.amazon.com/Computer-Science-K-12-Z-Programming/dp/1734662700/ref=sr_1_3?crid=1RE3W96NIVS3J&keywords=computer+science+in+k-12+an+a-z+handbook+on+teaching+programming&qid=1643995368&sprefix=teaching+programming+in+k%2Caps%2C79&sr=8-3

This is a handbook for K-12 teachers interested in teaching programming. It's designed to focus on pedagogy and be accessible to beginners and useful for teachers who are more experienced. Each chapter has tons of examples and ideas of what to look out for in terms of misconceptions.


CS First Gaming Unit
https://csfirst.withgoogle.com/c/cs-first/en/game-design/overview.html

This programming unit from CS first will introduce your students to variables while coding different types of games using the Scratch platform.


CS Misconceptions Debugged
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WctlJ2b_zuI

In this Code.org unplugged lesson students work in teams to write instructions using symbols to get the "flurb" to the fruit.


How to Code a Roller Coaster (Paid Resource)
https://www.amazon.com/How-Code-Rollercoaster-Josh-Funk/dp/0425292037/ref=sr_1_3?crid=2XMWT8AW9GNDJ&keywords=how+to+code+a+sandcastle&qid=1643993109&sprefix=how+to+code+a+%2Caps%2C72&sr=8-3

This children's book tells a story of a girl coding a robot to build a rollercoaster to introduce variables and if-then-else sequences.


Introducing Variables: Robot Boxes (unplugged)
http://everydaycomputing.org/lessons/action-fractions/grade-4/robot-boxes

Students act out programs as robots to grasp the role of variables.


PRIMM: A structured approach to teaching programming
https://blogs.kcl.ac.uk/cser/2017/09/01/primm-a-structured-approach-to-teaching-programming/

This resource introduces CS instructors to the PRIMM model: Predict, run, investigate, modify, and make as a teaching strategy to use when teaching programming.


Proposal #1 to Change CS Education to Reduce Inequity: Teach computer science to advantage the students with less computing background
https://computinged.wordpress.com/tag/subgoal-labeling/

This blog post identifies four teaching methods that advantage students with less computing background. It was linked from the CSTA website for the definition of 4f.


Secret Codes for Kids Lesson
https://www.melissaanddoug.com/blogpost?postId=6-secret-codes-for-kids

Multiple ideas on how to begin to teach young students about codes and symbols that have a different meaning.


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

This website summarizes a three-stage concept or teaching strategy that helps reduce anxiety in coding while supporting growth called Use-Modify-Create.


Variables in Scratch
https://gettingunstuck.gse.harvard.edu/modules/variables.html

This project explores the use of variables. Variables are a way of storing, retrieving, and interacting with data. While variables have many uses, a common application uses variables to keep track of things like the score in a game. When a variable reaches a certain number, this can cause something else to happen in the project.


Variables: Math Chat
http://everydaycomputing.org/lessons/action-fractions/grade-4/math-chat

Students revise a Scratch program, using variables to make the program more flexible.


Video: Variables
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62Y0GN1DmmA

Rap song created to teach students about how variables work and the three main types.


Video: What are Variables? Coding for Kids
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjZDZ1TJe4o

Video for teachers or students to introduce variables in programming with Kodable.


What are some common misconceptions that pertain to CS
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBF9EABEA9C9123D4

Video playlist from CS at Pitt about the common misconceptions that pertain to CS.

Earners
Linsay Alexander

Linsay Alexander
Jamie Fortman

Jamie Fortman
Erika Jorgensen

Erika Jorgensen
Megan Mohr

Megan Mohr
Shebree Moore

Shebree Moore
Kaylee Nygren

Kaylee Nygren
Melissa Price

Melissa Price
Courtney Pushcar

Courtney Pushcar
Melissa Rasmussen

Melissa Rasmussen
Annie Sampson

Annie Sampson
Jamy Shassetz

Jamy Shassetz

Wyoming Department of Education

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