Wyoming DOE Logo MIDAS Logo

Computational Thinking in the K-12 Classroom
Material Image
Microcredential ID : 9
Computational Thinking
0.5 PTSB Recertification Credit


This micro-credential represents the earner's ability to teach computational thinking concepts in any K–12 classroom. Computational thinking is defined as the thought processes involved in formulating a problem and expressing its solutions in such a way that a computer (human or machine) can effectively carry them out. Please see "01. PROFICIENCY SCALE – Computational Thinking" in the resources to view specific performance standards included in this micro-credential.

No standards provided.
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 applying computational thinking concepts in a K–12 classroom. Through the ADDIE learning model you will analyze standards, design/develop and implement a lesson, collect student work artifacts, and evaluate your professional practices.

There will be no fee assessed for reviewing this microcredential.

The Computational Thinking Micro-Credential is a stand-alone micro-credential designed to be completed by K–12 educators across all curriculums. It is also the first micro-credential to complete as part of the Wyoming Computer Science Teacher Master Distinction.

Important Terms

Process: The process of reducing complexity by focusing on the main idea. By hiding details irrelevant to the question at hand and bringing together related and useful details, abstraction reduces complexity and allows one to focus on the problem. Product: A new representation of a thing, a system, or a problem that helpfully reframes a problem by hiding details irrelevant to the question at hand. [MO DESE, 2016]


The design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. Accessibility standards that are generally accepted by professional groups include the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 and Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) standards. [Wikipedia]


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

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. [College Board, 2016]

Computational thinking:

The thought processes involved in formulating a problem and expressing its solutions in such a way that a computer (human or machine) can effectively carry them out.

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.


The process of finding and correcting errors (bugs) in programs. [MO DESE, 2016]


Breaking down a problem or system into components. [MO DESE, 2016]


A programming structure that repeats a sequence of instructions as long as a specific condition is true. [Tech Terms]

Universal design for learning (UDL):

A framework for designing curriculum to be broadly accessible to all students. To learn more about utilizing the UDL framework in computer science education, find "About Universal Design for Learning" in the resources.

Culturally relevant pedagogy:

A teaching technique that incorporates the cultural resources of the learners and that “empowers students to maintain cultural integrity, while succeeding academically." [Billings, 1995]

Pattern recognition:

Finding the similarities or patterns among small, decomposed problems that can help us solve more complex problems more efficiently.

Unplugged activity:

Tasks performed away from a computer in order to model key concepts in different ways.

Plugged activity :

A lesson that requires use of hardware, software or both in order to fully address the intent of the standard.

Background Scenario / How This Will Help You

This micro-credential provides earners the opportunity to document their knowledge and skills in teaching computational thinking to students in grades K–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
Be sure to submit the type and number of pieces of evidence specified below.
Category: Analyze

Analyze: Standards:

Complete "02. ANALYZE – Curriculum Screener – Computational Thinking in My Classroom" in the resources section below. Examine how each of the five computational thinking concepts including decomposition, abstraction, pattern recognition, algorithm design, and testing & debugging are currently integrated in your classroom. Submit as a PDF. The resource can be found by following this link: https://bit.ly/2U3eXaC.

Student Resources Create and submit a set of student resources that support the use of computational thinking concepts in your selected grade level. The set of resources should address decomposition, abstraction, pattern recognition, algorithm design, and testing & debugging. The set of resources can be worksheets, posters, videos, etc. Please choose the format that works best for you and your students.

Category: Design/Develop

Lesson Plan:

Find "03. DEVELOP – Computational Thinking" in the resources section below. Design or revise a lesson plan that integrates the application of one of the following computational thinking concepts: decomposition, abstraction, pattern recognition, algorithm design, and testing & debugging. All instructions can be found in the resource. Submit as a PDF. The resource can be found by following this link: https://bit.ly/3d92ZCC.

Category: Implement


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


Find "04. EVALUATE – Computational Thinking 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/3jbRHRO.

Review Criteria

Evidence submissions and reflections will be reviewed for alignment with the assignment guidelines and this proficiency scale, found here: https://bit.ly/3zZe0jY. This checklist will help you review your submission materials to ensure you address everything that is expected for this micro-credential: https://bit.ly/3bT9QPP.

Reflection Prompts

Please provide a self-assessment, a score from 1–4, on each component of the proficiency scale found here: https://bit.ly/3MmvRI2. 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/3zZe0jY Checklist: https://bit.ly/3bT9QPP.

KNOWLEDGE OF COMPUTATIONAL THINKING The teacher demonstrates understanding of these individual concepts: decomposition, abstraction, pattern recognition, algorithm design, and testing & debugging. The teacher effectively teaches one of the computational thinking concepts in their lesson.

BUILD CONNECTIONS BETWEEN COMPUTATIONAL THINKING AND OTHER DISCIPLINES The teacher identifies connections between the primary subject matter they teach and the following concepts: decomposition, abstraction, pattern recognition, algorithm design, and testing & debugging. The teacher effectively integrates one of the computational thinking concepts with the content standards being taught in their lesson.

Article – A Simple Way to Self-Monitor for Bias

Teachers concerned that they might be showing bias against students in marginalized groups can use this short checklist for self-assessment.

Research – Applying Levels of Abstraction to Mathematics Word Problems

This paper can help teachers see how computational thinking can be applied to other curriculum areas.

Research – Computational Thinking Self-Efficacy Scale: Development, Validity and Reliability

This paper can help teachers to understand why computational thinking is so important to creating a 21st century learner and the effect it can have on the whole student.

Tool – Computational Thinking in Elementary Classrooms: A Toolkit to Scaffold Teacher Learning

This toolkit is focused on the elementary classroom but has helpful tools and examples of how to apply computational thinking outside of computer science lessons/classes. It focuses on the same four computational thinking skills as those the micro-credential focuses on.

Research – Development of Computational Thinking Scale: Validity and Reliability Study

This scale could be used in a secondary classroom to assess student ability in computational thinking.

Research – Computational Thinking for All: Pedagogical Approaches to Embedding 21st Century Problem Solving in K–12 Classrooms

This paper discusses the computational thinking strategies of abstraction, algorithms, and automation and how they relate to the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.

Tool – CT Vocabulary and Progression Chart

This chart shows the progression of decomposition and abstraction from prekindergarten to grade 12, with sample aligned activities. It can be helpful in designing an integrated computational thinking lesson.

Tool – CT4edu Toolkit

This is a great resource that teachers can use for simple definitions and ideas for activities to bring computational thinking into their general education classroom.

Lesson Plan – Integrating Computational Thinking

This is the perfect resource for a teacher who has no background experience with computational thinking. It is engaging with videos and quizzes to help teachers learn the basics.

Video – Infusing Computing Webseries

A podcast with real teachers who are integrating computational thinking.

Webpage – CT4edu

Website based on integrating computational thinking in K–5. It includes links to more computational thinking resources, a blog with lesson ideas, a lesson toolkit, and more.

Lesson Plan – Exploring Computational Thinking

Searchable Google collection of references, demonstrations, lesson plans, and explorations.

Lesson Plan – GoogleCT Lesson Search

A library of K–12 lessons that integrate computational thinking.

Lesson Plan – Bitesize Computational Thinking Learning Guides

Defines each part of the computational thinking process and includes graphics, videos, and quizzes to help teachers build basic understanding in computational thinking.

Article – Early Learning Strategies for Developing Computational Thinking Skills

This article defines the four parts of computational thinking and provides teachers with simple ways they can encourage computational thinking in their elementary classrooms.

Article – How to Develop Computational Thinkers

This article can help teachers understand how to help develop their students ability to think computationally.

Micro-Credential Map By 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 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.

Standards – Wyoming Computer Science Content and Performance Standards

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.

01. PROFICIENCY SCALE – Computational Thinking

Solve a problem using computational thinking. Define a problem by breaking it down into parts, evaluating the parts, and determining whether a computational solution is appropriate. Identify patterns and extract common features from specific examples to create generalizations. Use generalized solutions and parts of solutions designed for broad reuse. Iteratively test and refine an artifact.

Article – Computational Thinking Introduction

Explains the basic concepts of computational thinking and integration into math and science topics.

Video – Computational Thinking: What Is It? How Is It Used?

This video is highly recommended and details what the computational thinking mindset is and how it relates to math. This video consists of a computational thinking activity to allow math teachers to get some ideas and inspiration. This video is beneficial for math teachers and provides teachers with pedagogical ideas to support them throughout the learning process via teaching computational thinking mindset. This video is beneficial in that it provides definitions of computational thinking concepts and helps facilitate teacher knowledge in relation to the material.

04. EVALUATE – Computational Thinking – Worksheet

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.

03. DEVELOP – Computational Thinking

For this task, design or revise a lesson plan that integrates the application of one of the Computational Thinking concepts: DECOMPOSITION, ABSTRACTION, PATTERN RECOGNITION, or TESTING & DEBUGGING. You will find a universal design for learning lesson plan template in this resource as well.

Video – Unplugged Lesson in Action – Computational Thinking

This brief video provides an overview and model for teachers who wish to deliver the Computer Science Fundamentals Unplugged activity, Computational Thinking.

Video – Best of Digital Literacy + Computational Thinking for Children

This video explains each computational thinking concept and uses a real world example to show how we use computational thinking strategies everyday.

Video – Computational Thinking Algorithm Design

This video explains the computational thinking concept algorithm design as it applies to real life as well as to computer science principles.

Video – Computational Thinking Abstraction

This video explains the computational thinking concept abstraction as it applies to real life as well as to computer science principles.

Video – Computational Thinking Pattern Recognition

This video explains the computational thinking concept pattern recognition as it applies to real life as well as computer science principles.

Video – Computational Thinking Deconstruction

This video explains the computational thinking concept deconstruction as it applies to real life as well as to computer science principles.

Video – Computational Thinking: Decomposition

This video introduces the concept and process of decomposition, the first step in computational thinking. Examples of decomposition are shown and resources for teaching decomposition skills in the classroom are introduced.

Video – What is Computational Thinking?

This video from Hello Ruby details what the computational thinking mindset is and how it relates to real-life examples and computers.

Sample Response – Completed Computational Thinking Micro-Credential

This is a sample completed computational thinking micro-credential.

Article – "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.

02. ANALYZE – Curriculum Screener – CT in my Classroom

Use this worksheet for the analyze task.

Video Tutorial: Platform Navigation Tutorias

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

Video Tutorial: Best Practice in Google Drive Organization

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

Computational Thinking Micro-credential Checklist

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

Canvas Course - Computational Thinking - Elementary

This course is designed to support you in completing the Computational Thinking micro-credential. The course has just one module and will cover the following concepts: (1) Abstraction, (2) Algorithmic Thinking, (3) Decomposition, (4) Pattern Recognition, and (5) Testing and Debugging.

Linsay Alexander

Linsay Alexander
Jennifer Anderson

Jennifer Anderson
Abigail Bever

Abigail Bever
Sue Clarke

Sue Clarke
James Cunningham

James Cunningham
Jill Felbeck-Jones

Jill Felbeck-Jones
Jamie Fortman

Jamie Fortman
Kiesa Geyer

Kiesa Geyer
Abby Hurley

Abby Hurley
Debbie Jacobson

Debbie Jacobson
Sandra Joslin

Sandra Joslin
Sara Kirkpatrick

Sara Kirkpatrick
Jared Lundholm

Jared Lundholm
Amanda Martin

Amanda Martin
Anna McClure

Anna McClure
Katie Mitchell

Katie Mitchell
Megan Mohr

Megan Mohr
Kaylee Nygren

Kaylee Nygren
Kyle Posten

Kyle Posten
Melissa Price

Melissa Price
Darcie  Punches

Darcie Punches
Courtney Pushcar

Courtney Pushcar
Melissa Rasmussen

Melissa Rasmussen
Christina Rodgers

Christina Rodgers
Lena Rossolo

Lena Rossolo
Annie Sampson

Annie Sampson
Jennifer Schultze

Jennifer Schultze
Carl Shuptrine

Carl Shuptrine
Walt Smith

Walt Smith

Wyoming Department of Education

122 W. 25th St. Suite E200

Cheyenne, WY 82002

Phone: (307) 777-7675 

© Copyright 2023 Wyoming Department of Education