CourseA

Course A

Course A offers computer science curriculum for beginning readers around the kindergarten age range. Students will learn to program using commands like loops and events. The lessons featured in this course also teach students to collaborate with others meaningfully, investigate different problem-solving techniques, persist in the face of difficult tasks, and learn about internet safety. By the end of this course, students create their very own custom game or story from Play Lab that they can share.

Lesson 1: Debugging: Unspotted Bugs

Bug | Debugging | Persistence | Unplugged

  • Warm Up (12 min)
  • Marble Run Breakdown (10 - 20 min)
  • Wrap Up (10 - 20 min)
  • Extended Learning

This lesson will guide students through the steps of debugging. Students will learn the mantra: "What happened? What was supposed to happen? What does that tell you?"

Teacher Links: Teacher Prep Guide | Storybook (PDF) | Reflection Journal Student Links: Online Story

Lesson 2: Persistence & Frustration: Stevie and the Big Project

Fail | Frustrated | Persistence | Unplugged

  • Warm Up (15 min)
  • Marble Run (20 - 45 min)
  • Wrap Up (5 min)
  • Extended Learning

When students run into a barrier while answering a question or working on a project, it’s so easy for them to get frustrated and give up. This lesson will introduce students to the idea that frustration can be an important part of learning. Here, frustration is presented as a step in the creative process, rather than a sign of failure.

Teacher Links: Teacher Prep Guide | Storybook (PDF) | Reflection Journal Student Links: Online Story

Lesson 3: Real-Life Algorithms: Plant a Seed

Unplugged | Algorithms

  • Warm Up (10 min)
  • Main Activity (20 min)
  • Wrap Up (10 - 20 min)
  • Assessment (15 min)
  • Extended Learning

In this lesson, students will relate the concept of algorithms back to everyday, real-life activities by planting an actual seed. The goal here is to start building the skills to translate real-world situations to online scenarios and vice versa.

Teacher Links: Teacher Video | Worksheet | Assessment | Reflection Journal

Lesson 4: Learn to Drag and Drop

Click | Double-Click | Drag | Drop | Pair Programming

  • Warm Up (10 min)
  • Bridging Activity - Drag and Drop (10 - 15 min)
  • Main Activity (20 - 30 min)
  • Wrap Up (5 - 10 min)
  • Extension Activities

This lesson will give students an idea of what to expect when they head to the computer lab. It begins with a brief discussion introducing them to computer lab manners, then they will progress into using a computer to complete online puzzles.

Teacher Links: Teacher Video | Website | Manipulatives | Lesson Recommendations | Reflection Journal Student Links: Student Video

Lesson 5: Programming Unplugged: Happy Maps

Unplugged | Algorithms | Sequencing

  • Warm Up (15 - 20 min)
  • Main Activity (15 - 20 min)
  • Wrap Up (8 min)
  • Extension Activities

The bridge from algorithms to programming can be a short one if students understand the difference between planning out a sequence and encoding that sequence into the appropriate language. This activity will help students gain experience reading and writing in shorthand code.

Teacher Links: Worksheet | Manipulatives | Teacher Video | Reflection Journal

Lesson 6: Programming in Maze

Algorithms | Debugging | Program | Programming

  • Warm Up (5 min)
  • Bridging Activity - Programming (10 min)
  • Main Activity (30 min)
  • Wrap Up (5 - 10 min)
  • Extended Learning

In this series of online puzzles, students will build on the understanding of algorithms, debugging, and general computer literacy. Featuring characters from the game Angry Birds, students will develop sequential algorithms to get the bird to the pig without crashing into walls or TNT. Debugging puzzles have also been mixed into this stage for added practice with problem solving and critical thinking.

Teacher Links: Website | Manipulatives | Lesson Recommendations | Reflection Journal

Lesson 7: Common Sense Education: Going Places Safely

Common Sense Education | Unplugged

  • Warm Up (20 min)
  • Main Activity (20 min)
  • Wrap Up (15 min)
  • Assessment (5 min)
  • Extended Learning

In collaboration with Common Sense Education - Website, this lesson helps students learn that many websites ask for information that is private and discusses how to responsibly handle such requests. Students also find out that they can go to exciting places online, but they need to follow certain rules to remain safe.

Teacher Links: Teacher Video | Lesson Video | Assessment | Website | Reflection Journal | Resource List

Lesson 8: Loops Unplugged: Happy Loops

Unplugged | Loop | Repeat

  • Warm Up (10 - 15 min)
  • Main Activity (15 - 20 min)
  • Wrap Up (8 min)
  • Extension Activities

Loops are a very helpful and powerful tool in programming. To understand how helpful loops can be, students will need to be driven to want an easier way to solve mundane problems.

Teacher Links: Worksheet | Worksheet | Manipulatives | Manipulatives | Reflection Journal

Lesson 9: Loops in Collector

Loop | Collector

  • Warm Up (10 min)
  • Bridging Activity - Loops (10 min)
  • Main Activity (30 min)
  • Wrap Up (5 - 10 min)
  • Extended Learning

Building on the concept of repeating instructions from "Happy Loops," this stage will have students using loops to collect treasure more efficiently on Code.org.

Teacher Links: Website | Manipulatives | Lesson Recommendations | Reflection Journal

Lesson 10: Loops in Artist

Loop | Artist

  • Warm Up (10 min)
  • Main Activity (30 min)
  • Wrap Up (5 - 10 min)

Returning to loops, students learn to draw images by looping simple sequences of instructions. In the previous plugged lesson, loops were used to traverse a maze and collect treasure. Here, loops are creating patterns. At the end of this stage, students will be given the opportunity to create their own images using loops.

Teacher Links: Website | Lesson Recommendations | Reflection Journal

Lesson 11: Events Unplugged: The Big Event

Unplugged | Event

  • Warm Up (15 min)
  • Main Activity (15 min)
  • Wrap Up (15 min)
  • Assessment (10 min)
  • Extended Learning

Events are a great way to add variety to a pre-written algorithm. Sometimes you want your program to be able to respond to the user exactly when the user wants it to. That is what events are for.

Teacher Links: Teacher Video | Worksheet | Assessment | Reflection Journal

Lesson 12: Events in Play Lab

Play Lab | Event

  • Warm Up (10 min)
  • Bridging Activity - Events (10 min)
  • Main Activity (30 min)
  • Wrap Up (5 - 10 min)
  • Extended Learning

In this online activity, students will have the opportunity to learn how to use events in Play Lab and to apply all of the coding skills they've learned to create an animated game. It's time to get creative and make a story in the Play Lab!

Teacher Links: Website | Manipulatives | Lesson Recommendations | Reflection Journal