ALEX Classroom Resource

  

Computational Thinking

  Classroom Resource Information  

Title:

Computational Thinking

URL:

https://www.remc.org/21Things4Students/21/21-computational-thinking/

Content Source:

Other
REMC Association of Michigan
Type: Learning Activity

Overview:

Have you ever had a complex problem that you needed to solve? This could be a math problem, science experiment, an essay you need to write, and coding and game design. It could even be as simple as planning the best route to school or baking your favorite cookies!

Computational thinking can be used to take a complex problem, understand what the problem is and develop possible solutions to solve or explain it.

Students will complete Quests to learn about the four stages of computational thinking:

  • Decomposition: Decomposition is to break down a complex problem or system into smaller, more manageable parts.
  • Pattern Recognition: Pattern recognition is looking for patterns and sequences.
  • Abstraction: Abstraction is focusing on important information only, ignoring irrelevant detail.
  • Algorithms: Using algorithms you develop a step-by-step solution to the problem, or the rules to follow to solve the problem.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

When you have completed this activity you will:

  1. understand computational thinking [Computational Thinker]
     
  2. be able to solve complex problems using computational thinking. [Computational Thinker]

  3. be able to break down a problem into smaller more manageable parts. [Computational Thinker]

  4. know how to look for patterns and sequences. [Computational Thinker]

  5. be able to focus on important information only. [Computational Thinker]

  6. be able to develop a step-by-step solution to the problem. [Computational Thinker]

  7. know how to use coding to automate a task [Computational Thinker]

  8. understand computational design by applying technology to a problem [Innovative Designer]

  9. understand programming as you complete hands-on activities, solving problems encountered [Computational Thinker]

  10. understand the coding your program creates [Empowered Learner]

Content Standard(s):
Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 6
1) Remove background details from an everyday process to highlight essential properties.

Examples: When making a sandwich, the type of bread, condiments, meats, and/or vegetables do not affect the fact that one is making a sandwich.

Insight Unpacked Content
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students will:
  • identify the essential components and remove any inessential descriptors given an everyday task.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • process
  • essential properties
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • how to identify details and descriptors
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • remove descriptors, only leaving essential details
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • descriptors assist in visualizing a process but do not affect the root process.
Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 6
6) Identify steps in developing solutions to complex problems using computational thinking.

Insight Unpacked Content
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students will:
  • use the problem solving or design thinking process to think logically through a previously solved complex problem.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • computational thinking
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • how to define the problem.
  • how to plan solutions.
  • how to implement a plan.
  • how to reflect on the results and process.
  • how to iterate through the process again.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • identify the steps involved with formulating problems and solutions in a way that can be represented or carried with or without a computer.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • computational thinking is formulating problems and solutions in a way that can be represented or carried out with or without a computer.
Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 6
7) Describe how automation works to increase efficiency.

Example: Compare the amount of time/work to hand wash a car vs. using an automated car wash.

Insight Unpacked Content
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students will:
  • explain how an automated activity or system increases productivity.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • automation
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • how automation works to increase efficiency.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • describe how automation increases efficiency.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • automation works to increase efficiency.
Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 6
30) Discuss and apply the components of the problem-solving process.

Example: Students will devise a plan to alleviate traffic congestion around the school during drop-off and pick-up.

Insight Unpacked Content
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students will:
  • discuss the components of the problem-solving process.
  • apply the components of the problem-solving process.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • problem-solving process
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • when solving problems, one should identify the problem, identify possible solutions, evaluate to select a best solution, implement the solution, evaluate the solution and/or seek feedback.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • identify a problem.
  • identify possible solutions.
  • evaluate to select a best solution.
  • implement a solution.
  • evaluate a solution.
  • seek feedback.
  • revise an artifact based on feedback.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • problem-solving is a process that can take multiple iterations.
Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 7
5) Solve a complex problem using computational thinking.

Insight Unpacked Content
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students will:
  • break a problem into parts or steps.
  • find patterns or trends.
  • create steps to solve the problem.
  • infer rules or principles associated with problem solving.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • computational thinking
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • smaller tasks are easier to solve than complex problems.
  • that trends in data can also speed up the problem-solving process.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • abstract portions of the problem and focus on smaller tasks to aid in solving a complex problem.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • complex problems can be overwhelming.
  • by decomposing the complex problem into simpler problems, a solution is easier to reach.
Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 7
6) Create and organize algorithms in order to automate a process efficiently.

Example: Set of recipes (algorithms) for preparing a complete meal.

Insight Unpacked Content
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students will:
  • use algorithms to automate a process such as sorting numbers in a random list or playing cards in a deck.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • algorithm
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • algorithms can be used to automate a process efficiently.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • use search and sort algorithms to automate organizing a set.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • algorithms organized and applied to the appropriate task can significant increase proficiency.
Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 7
8) Formulate a narrative for each step of a process and its intended result, given pseudocode or code.

Insight Unpacked Content
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students will:
  • write a text-based narrative for expected behavior, given code or pseudocode.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • narrative
  • pseudocode
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • that a narrative is a spoken or written account of events.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • identify the intended process in a given code or pseudocode.
  • convert given code or pseudocode to a narrative of expected behavior.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • every line of code has an intended behavior.
Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 7
30) Apply the problem-solving process to solve real-world problems.

Insight Unpacked Content
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students will:
  • define a problem.
  • analyze the problem.
  • seek multiple solutions to the problem.
  • evaluate possible solutions to the problem.
  • select a best solution to the problem.
  • seek feedback on the solution.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • problem-solving process
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • the steps to the problem-solving process.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • select and dissect a problem.
  • seek solutions.
  • select a best alternative.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • often there are multiple solutions to real
  • world problems.
Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 8
2) Explain how abstraction is used in a given function.

Example: Examine a set of block-based code and explain how abstraction was used.

Insight Unpacked Content
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students will:
  • identify how abstraction has been used in a function when given the function.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • function
  • abstraction
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • abstraction is the process of removing unessential details (color, size, etc.
  • ).
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • recognize when abstraction has been employed in a program or function.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • because code can be so complex, it is often in a programmer's best interest to simplify tasks to include only essential elements.
Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 8
5) Discuss the efficiency of an algorithm or technology used to solve complex problems.

Insight Unpacked Content
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students will:
  • examine a given artifact used to aid in problem solving.
  • discuss the efficiency of that artifact in problem solving.
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • that many solutions exist to solve a problem.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • communicate their opinion on the efficiency of problem solving methods.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • while many solutions exist for a problem, some are better suited to meet specific needs, such as efficiency.
Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 8
6) Describe how algorithmic processes and automation increase efficiency.

Insight Unpacked Content
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students will:
  • explain how algorithms and automation have and can increase efficiency.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • algorithmic process
  • automation
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • how algorithmic processes and automation have increased efficiency.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • explain how algorithmic processes and automation increase efficiency.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • automation is a useful tool for increasing efficiency.
  • while many things can and have been automated, not everything can be automated using algorithmic processes.
Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 8
29) Create an artifact to solve a problem using ideation and iteration in the problem-solving process.

Examples: Create a public service announcement or design a computer program, game, or application.

Insight Unpacked Content
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students will:
  • create an artifact to solve a problem.
  • revise the created artifact once feedback is received from stakeholders.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • ideation
  • iteration
  • problem-solving process
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • that problem solving is a process to find the best solution.
  • that through ideation and iteration, the final product or artifact may be a more polished or appropriate solution.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • gather initial data about a topic.
  • informally propose a solution.
  • gather feedback on informal proposal.
  • design a solution to a chosen problem.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • problem-solving is a process.
  • products or artifacts may undergo many revisions after data is reviewed and feedback is received.
Tags: abstraction, algorithm, automation, coding, computational thinking, pattern, problem solving, programming
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Author: Aimee Bates