Computational Thinking Flow Chart: Tales of a Third Grade Teacher Sadly Based on a True Story

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Computational Thinking Flow Chart: Tales of a Third Grade Teacher Sadly Based on a True Story by Mind Map: Computational Thinking Flow Chart:  Tales of a Third Grade Teacher Sadly Based on a True Story

1. Problem: Mrs. R spends the first inservice day for the new school year creating the perfect schedule. She has allotted the right amount of time during her literacy block to teach reading workshop, including enough time for 2 guided reading groups and 5 individual reading conferences, and writing workshop with time to pull groups for guided writing and individual conferences. In addition, she adds 30 minutes to her schedule for a read aloud or shared reading block. She feels great about her schedule until the resource teacher comes to share her recently developed schedule for those receiving extra support for reading and math. A few minutes later the GATAS (gifted and talented) teacher appears and needs to pull students at a specific time two days per week. Next, she receives an email from the speech teacher that she needs to pull three of her students during her shared reading block on Wednesdays and Fridays. Last, or prayerfully last, her dear friend taps on her door and says she will be pulling her group for Response to Intervention (RTI) every morning at 8:00.

2. 5-Evaluation: Mrs. R types her new schedule into a Google Doc and plays it out in her mind. She makes sure that the time she has scheduled for each subject gives her ample time. The first day of school begins. She follows the schedule as closely as she can. Of course, there is no guided reading yet because she has to assess every child using DRA, but she uses her scheduled guided reading group time for the assessments so the rest of her day's structure is intact. At the end of the day she smiles. It was rough around the edges because it was the first day of school, but the schedule worked quite well. All students received the instructional time they needed to learn new concepts and be successful students.

2.1. Rationale: Curzon, Dorling, Ng, Selby, and Woollard (2014) state that you must evaluate the algorithm to see if it is efficient. If it is not, you need to go back and edit the algorithm. At the end of the day, Mrs. R seemed confident with her schedule for this school year. She knows it was not perfect because it was the first day of school, but overall the student received the instruction needed. This shows the steps she created to solve the problem were effective.

3. References: Curzon, P., Dorling, M., Ng, T., Selby, C., & Woollard, J. (2014, June). Developing computational thinking in the classroom: a framework. Retrieved from BBC. (2018). Introduction to computational thinking. BBC News. Retrieved from Computational thinking. (2014). Barefoot Computing. Retrieved from

4. 3-Abstraction: Mrs. R. looks at the schedule in front of her. She decides to keep the sections for lunch, recess, math, and units of study where they are so she can focus on how to arrange her literacy block so students do not miss their core teaching and will receive proper group times. She does look at extending her exploration ten minutes and beginning one guided reading group there and another during the reading block before conferences. Eliminating the other information helped her see this block of time as a possibility.

4.1. Rationale: Abstraction is when you take away unnecessary information to help you focus on the important information. It helps you solve the problem quickly because you do not have excessive information in the way (Curzon, Dorling, Ng, Selby, & Woollard, 2014). Mrs. R did this when she removed the other subjects and only focused on reading and writing workshops. Knowing lunch and recess were scheduled by administration, she couldn't alter those times anyway. She also had to teach math at the same time the resource teacher did for her grade level, and this was fortunately scheduled at the same time already. Since her greatest scheduling needs were reading and writing, eliminating the other subjects was needed to help her focus on strategically placing the components of her reading and writing workshops.

5. 4-Algorithm Design: For the first step in solving this problem, Mrs. R decides the best way to accomplish this task is to create a time schedule with 20 minute blocks of time, beginning when the students walk in the room: 7:40, 8:00, 8:20, 8:40, 9:00, and so on. Second, she places the already scheduled pieces back into the chart (lunch, recess, math) so she doesn't view these as open blocks. Third, she adds the red stickies for pull out times and looks and what is left. Fourth, Mrs. R sees when guided reading group one is in the room at the same time and places them in a 20 minute open block. She does the same for guided reading group 2. Fifth, she places her reading workshop when resource students are pulled for reading since they are receiving instruction based on their accommodations there and she will address skills she will teach when they are gone to them during guided reading. Fifth, she finds the next best time when all students will be in the room and places the writing workshop sticky there. Finally, she fills the last block of time for her read aloud, knowing that a couple of days a week, some students may miss it. She would rather them miss this time than core instruction, so she feels it is a sacrifice worth taking.

5.1. Rationale: This section models algorithmic design because it clearly states the sequential procedures for solving Mrs. R's problem (BBC, 2018). The steps are clear about placing the nonnegotiable times in the chart she created first, then add the others based on the necessity and requirements.

6. 1-Decomposition: After making a second, much needed cup of coffee, Mrs. R decides to break apart her schedule into all curricular structures and times needed to teach them effectively so they are able to be shuffled around. She breaks down the literacy block into these parts: guided reading-40 min for 2 groups, reading workshop including conference times 45 min, writing workshop 45 min, read aloud/shared reading 30 minutes. Next, She writes the resource, GATAS, RTI and speech teachers' times on red sticky notes and puts them on the table.

6.1. Rationale: According BBC's online article on computational thinking, decomposition is when you take a problem and break it into smaller, more manageable parts (2018). This is what Mrs. R is doing with the schedule in order to create one where students get the maximum instruction to be successful readers and writers. She takes everyone's schedule and her own and writes them on sticky notes so it is easier to visualize and create a new schedule to accommodate others.

7. 2-Pattern Recognition: Mrs. R refers back to the accommodations pages of her students IEPs. She realizes that they are required to be in the resource teacher's room for 50 minutes every day, the speech teacher's room for 30 minutes two days a week, and the GATAS teacher's room 60 minutes two days a week. When writing the names of students who receive services, she notices a pattern in the data. Student K receives both resource and speech. Student E receives both GATAS and speech. Students G and JS receive resource in math and reading. She also notes that MAP trends show students K, G, JS, N (who also receives speech), JU, and E will be required to have guided reading each day due to their overall percentage. She pulls up her schedule from last year and notices she moved her guided reading to separate times of the day so these students would receive the required services and she scheduled word study, independent reading, creative writing, and handwriting learning stations to extend the learning for others in the classroom. Since Mrs. R loops, she has her same students this year, so this same idea might just work this year, too.

7.1. Rationale: This reveals the process of pattern recognition in computational thinking because Mrs. R first identified the patterns of students needing to leave the classroom more than once per day. Recognizing these patterns will help her create a schedule where these students are not missing core instructional times. In addition, since she loops each year, she referred back to her previous schedule where all but one student received the same services. By doing so, she uses the smaller parts to consider how she solved her problem with the pull out times last year to help her with her scheduling conflicts this year (BBC, 2018).