Making Connections 2019

Friday, November 1, 2019 @ Jouett Middle School

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VDOE Computer Science Standards of Learning and Curriculum Framework

VDOE Computer Science Resources

VDOE Computer Science Standards of Learning (Draft document with related SOLs as of Summer 2017)

Computational Thinking is an approach to solving complex problems logically, through abstraction, generalization, decomposition, algorithms, or debugging. These concepts can be used to formulate problems in a way that can be solved by a computer.

Elements of Computational Thinking

Element Definition Example
Abstraction The skill to decide what information about an entity/object to keep and what to ignore (Wing, 2011). Identifying the characteristics of five different rectangles that make them all rectangles but ignoring the ways that the rectangles are different.
Generalization The skill to formulate a solution in generic terms so that it can be applied to different problems (Selby, 2014). Recognizing patterns of “Red-Blue-Red-Red” and “Circle- Square-Circle-Circle” both as ABAA patterns.
Decomposition The skill to break a complex problem into smaller parts that are easier to understand and solve (National Research Council, 2010; Wing, 2011). Using FOIL (first, outer, inner, last) to solve the following algebraic expression: (3+4)(8-2).
Algorithms The skill to devise a step-by-step set of operations/actions of how to go about solving a problem (Selby, 2014). Writing instructions for an alien to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich correctly.
Debugging The skill to identify, remove, and fill errors (Selby, 2014). Programming an Arduino to display “Happy Birthday” on an LCD screen.
Note. Adapted from “A K-6 Computational Thinking Curriculum Framework: Implications for Teacher Knowledge,” by C. Angeli, J. Voogt, A. Fluck, M. Webb, M. Cox, J. Malyn-Smith, and J. Zagami, 2016, Educational Technology & Society, 19 (3), pg. 50. Copyright 2016 by Journal of Educational Technology & Society.


Summary of resources available to learn about and teach Computational Thinking in elementary schools

Resources Materials Focus CT Specific CT Elements Teacher knowledge curriculum,
independent activities for learners
No, general CS G, Al, Db
Exploring Computational Thinking Teacher knowledge, curriculum Yes Ab, G, Dc, Al
Computational Thinking for Educators Teacher knowledge, curriculum Yes Ab, G, Dc, Al
Computational Thinking Teacher Resources (ISTE & CSTA, 2011) Teacher knowledge, curriculum, lesson plans Yes Ab, G, Dc, Al
Computational thinking: A guide for teachers (Csizmadia et al., 2015) Teacher knowledge Yes None
K-12 Computer Science Framework (, 2016) Advocacy, teacher knowledge Some None
Creative Computing (Brennan et al., 2011) Teacher knowledge, lesson plans Some, general CS Al, Db
CS Unplugged: An enrichment and extension programme for primary-aged children (Bell et al., 2015) Student activities No, general CS Dc, Al, Db
Note. Ab = abstraction; G = generalization; Dc = decomposition; Al = algorithms; Db = debugging

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