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Computational Thinking and Coding for Every Student - Book Cover Look Inside

Computational Thinking and Coding for Every Student

The Teacher’s Getting-Started Guide

By: Jane I. Krauss, Christie (Kiki) Prottsman

Computer science is the backbone of innovation. This is the beginner’s guide for K-12 educators who want to know how to integrate coding and computational thinking into their curriculum.
Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781506341286
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2016
  • Page Count: 208
  • Publication date: November 18, 2016

Price: $26.95

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Empower tomorrow’s tech innovators

Our students are avid users and consumers of technology. Isn’t it time that they see themselves as the next technological innovators, too?  Computational Thinking and Coding for Every Student is the beginner’s guide for K-12 educators who want to learn to integrate the basics of computer science into their curriculum. Readers will find 

  • Practical strategies for teaching computational thinking and the beginning steps to introduce coding at any grade level, across disciplines, and during out-of-school time
  • Instruction-ready lessons and activities for every grade
  • Specific guidance for designing a learning pathway for elementary, middle, or high school students
  • Justification for making coding and computer science accessible to all
  • A glossary with definitions of key computer science terms, a discussion guide with tips for making the most of the book,  and companion website with videos, activities, and other resources 

Momentum for computer science education is growing as educators and parents realize how fundamental computing has become for the jobs of the future. This book is for educators who see all of their students as creative thinkers and active contributors to tomorrow’s innovations.

“Kiki Prottsman and Jane Krauss have been at the forefront of the rising popularity of computer science and are experts in the issues that the field faces, such as equity and diversity. In this book, they’ve condensed years of research and practitioner experience into an easy to read narrative about what computer science is, why it is important, and how to teach it to a variety of audiences. Their ideas aren’t just good, they are research-based and have been in practice in thousands of classrooms…So to the hundreds and thousands of teachers who are considering, learning, or actively teaching computer science—this book is well worth your time.”
Pat Yongpradit
Chief Academic Officer,


Jane I. Krauss photo

Jane I. Krauss

Jane Krauss is a teacher, author and consultant who does curriculum and program development designed to increase participation of girls and other underrepresented groups in computer science. She will gladly tell you why computational thinking is the fundamental literacy of our technical age!

Jane also writes and offers professional development internationally around the topic of project-based learning with technology. With Suzie Boss, she is coauthor of Reinventing Project-Based Learning: Your Field Guide to Real World Projects in the Digital Age (2nd ed., 2014, ISTE) and Thinking Through Project-Based Learning: Guiding Deeper Inquiry (2013, Corwin).

In her free time, Jane enjoys dabbling in glasswork and mosaics, and keeps fit running and hiking on woodland trails just outside her door in Eugene, Oregon.

Christie (Kiki) Prottsman photo

Christie (Kiki) Prottsman

Kiki Prottsman is Education Program Manager at and a former computer science instructor at the University of Oregon. As a member of Mensa and a past Chair of Women in Computer Science, she also writes for the Huffington Post and has graced the cover of Open For Business magazine.

As a champion for responsible computing and equity in both CS employment and education, Kiki works with organizations to improve the experience of girls and women in STEM. Her landmark work with the hands-on Traveling Circuits computer science curriculum helped Thinkersmith receive the 2013 Google RISE Award for excellence in Science and Engineering. She currently sits on the Advisory Board for Wonder Workshop Robotics, and is a vital member of the Leadership team for the Oregon Girls Collaborative Project.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



     Why This Book? Why Now?

     What to Expect

     A Note About Preparation

     Lights, Camera, Action!


About the Authors

Part 1: Storyboarding

Chapter 1. An Introduction to Computer Science

     Computer Science Is Within You

     An Introduction to Computational Thinking

     What Computer Science Is

     What Computer Science Is Not

Chapter 2. Why Kids Should Have the Opportunity to Learn

     What Computer Science Really Teaches

     A Look Back

     It Would Be Irresponsible Not to Introduce Computer Science

Part 2: Casting Call

Chapter 3. Try Your Hand at Coding

     Time Well Spent

     Key Strategy: Pair Programming

     Teacher Warm-ups and Exercises

Chapter 4. Getting Started in the Classroom

     Start Low-Tech

     Encourage Movement

     Foster Critical Consumption

     Protect Privacy and Prevent Cyberbullying

     Achieve Access

     Banish Anxiety

Chapter 5. Dos and Don’ts of Teaching Computer Science

     1. DON’T Expect to Be an Expert

     2. DO Let Your Class Explore

     3. DO Let Your Class Share

     4. DO Give Kids Time to Move

     5. DO Get Creative

     6. DON’T Be a Bore

     7. DO Relate Computer Science to Students’ Lives

     8. DON’T Expect Cookie-Cutter Results

     9. DO Set Students up for Success

     10. DO Treat CS as an Art

     11. DO Give It a Try

Part 3: In Production

Chapter 6. Activities That Foster Computational Thinking

     Thinking Computationally

     Digging Deeper Into Computational Thinking

Chapter 7. Decomposition

     Decomposition Resources

     Lesson Plan: Break It Down!

     Decomposition: Break It Up!

Chapter 8. Pattern Recognition (With Pattern Matching)

     Pattern Recognition Resources

     Lesson Plan: Divine Patterns

Chapter 9. Abstraction

     Abstraction Resources

     Lesson Plan: So Abstract

     Sample Stories

Chapter 10. Automation

     Automation Resources

     Lesson Plan: Algorithms and Automation— A Compliment Generator

     A Last Word on Computational Thinking

     What’s Next?

Chapter 11. Activities That Foster Spatial Reasoning

     Spatial Abilities Tied to Success in STEM

     “Spatialize” Your Teaching

     Wrapping It Up

Chapter 12: Making With Code

     Making Within STEAM Studies

     Design for Design Thinking

     “Freestyle” Making

Part 4: Your Feature Presentation

Chapter 13. Designing a Curriculum Continuum Across K–12

Chapter 14. Important Ideas Across All Grades

     Pair Programming

     Learning to Learn

     Resources at the Ready

     Equitable Practices

Chapter 15. The Elementary Pathway

     Kindergarten and First Grade

     Second and Third Grades

     Fourth and Fifth Grades

     Out-of-School Learning in the Elementary Grades

     Elementary Computer Science Resources

     Curriculum: Build an Alligator!

Chapter 16. The Middle School Pathway

     Out-of-School Time in the Middle Grades

     Middle School Computer Science Resources

     Curriculum: Create Your Own Fortune

Chapter 17. The High School Pathway

     Out-of-School Time in High School

     High School Computer Science Resources

     Curriculum: Roll the Dice

Chapter 18. Adapting Lessons for Your Class

     1. The Lessons Are Only Suggestions

     2. Adapt a Lesson for Younger Students

     3. Adapt a Lesson for Older Students

     4. Create a Lesson to Squeeze Into Other Curricula

Chapter 19. What People Are Doing and How They Are Doing It Well

     Taking It to the Streets: Build Community Enthusiasm for Computer Science


Afterword: Opportunities Abound

Discussion Guide