June 10, 2020

Introducing: Computer Science Essentials

This hybrid elementary course teaches STEM, Computer Literacy, and STEM Career Exploration.

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As our world transitioned online in the wake of Covid-19, it left no age group untouched. Everyone from your grandmother to your 8-year-old suddenly needed a Zoom account! Now more than ever, we are seeing the importance of teaching our children how to be safe and successful in the digital world.

That’s where Computer Science Essentials comes in.

This hybrid course blends unplugged learning with block-based programming so that kids learn computational thinking, core digital citizenship principles, and essential computer science foundations.

Our latest Real-World Readiness video gives you a breakdown of the course:  


”Hello there! I’m Olivia Dobbs. I’m a curriculum writer and STEM expert at Mastery Coding. I’m very excited to show you our Computer Science Explorations course, put together by a team of Teacher of the Year Award winners.

In today’s world, it’s become more and more necessary for everyone to be computer literate. There has never been a more critical time to teach the essentials of computer science to today’s young learners. Our curriculum ensures students have the proper foundation in place to be safe, secure, and well-prepared to succeed in a society that has been radically changed by technology. So, we’re providing research-backed units on cyber-safety, digital citizenship, and netiquette to ensure that students know how to be safe online.

We’ve designed this curriculum to be easy for students to understand, and more importantly, easy for teachers in a multidisciplinary classroom to teach. No prior computer science experience is necessary for either the student or the teacher. Our curriculum is structures by real educators who know what materials are useful for teachers in front of a classroom, without requiring hours of preparation.

With our course, you’ll get a standards-aligned STEM curriculum using the 5E lesson plan format that ensures that both teachers and students succeed. And we’ve designed our materials to work regardless of what your schedule is this semester. Our lessons are versatile, and each has both remote and live instructions. All of our lessons switch between activities, discussions, presentations, and a differentiated approach to instruction, so that the learning can be personalized to accommodate the needs of each learner.

Each lesson includes a lesson plan, a slide deck, and a variety of handouts. Let’s take a closer look. The proven 5E model has five parts that work together: engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate. At the very top of each lesson plan we have the title, a list of the materials needed, the unit it belongs to, the estimated time, and the ISTE Standards alignments. Below this section is more information about the lesson like critical topics for students to learn, the vocabulary introduced, and how this new knowledge can translate to career skills.

As we dive into the engage section, the first column on the left lets you know important information like how long the section should take. The middle section is instruction for the teacher and the final column on the right lets the teacher know what they should expect their students to be doing.

You might have noticed that the lesson plan says, “Slide 2” and “Slide 3”. These refer to the slide deck that acts as a visual guide for the students and the teacher. In this lesson, the students recall what they do to stay safe as they cross the street. Once students share their previous knowledge, the lesson makes a connection between being safe while crossing the street and staying safe online to drive home how important the rules are.

Back to the lesson plan, we review the materials and then a fun activity follows. The icons indicate how teachers should approach the lesson, depending on whether they’re remote or live. All of our lessons support both settings. No matter what schedule your school has this semester, you’ll be able to implement this course without interruption. Also, each lesson comes with printable handouts.

Our lesson ends with the evaluate section, which lets teachers check their students’ understanding of the material. In this section, we provide a variety of self-assessment, peer-assessment, writing assignments, and exams. At the very end of our lesson plans we provide additional activities for students to promote a cross-disciplinary classroom. Each lesson has English, math, and science connections, and an extra activity that elaborates on the material. There’s also a section for self-reflection, for taking notes and providing feedback.

If you want to take a more in-depth look at this lesson, you can download it for free. Just visit our Resources page. Go ahead, download the lesson and take it for a test drive! While you’re on our website, be sure to check out all of the neat resources we have available!”


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