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CS-FAST
Computer Science - Fundamental Approach to Standards Training

Mission: To improve computer science education in Colorado





Overview

CS-FAST is a curriculum developed specifically for Colorado elementary school teachers that offers a Fundamental Approach to Standards Training (FAST). This elementary school teacher training is being offered for free by Colorado School of Mines, thanks to a collaboration with the Colorado Department of Education (CDE). Participating teachers also have the opportunity to receive a stipend (up to $150) from CDE. The Mines CS-FAST workshop focuses on:

  1. Learning and applying Computational Thinking.
  2. Introducing the Computer Science Teaching Association standards for each grade level.
  3. Providing experience in coding.

Computational Thinking embodies the process of solving a computational problem: from breaking down the problem into a way that can be solved efficiently with a computational system, to creating an effective decision from the results. To apply Computational Thinking is to think like a computer scientist.

Previous Feedback

In 2019, 297 elementary school teachers in Colorado participated in the training and almost every teacher responded that they would use the lessons they learned in their classroom. A few comments from teachers who attended CS-FAST in 2019 include: (1) The Activities 1, 2, and 3, CS Unplugged, were fantastic!, (2) The materials were organized in a manner that I could use immediately in my classroom. Thank you!, (3) It is easier than I thought to take a lesson deeper with computer science content., and (4) Lesson worked well and the students enjoyed them!

Objectives

  • Learn how to incorporate engaging computer science activities into your classroom with and without a computer.
  • Prepare your students to better solve computational problems.
  • Understand the computer science standards suggested nationwide for your grade level.
  • Recognize ways to implement CSTA and math/science standards simultaneously.

At the end of the workshop, teachers will have 4+ activities (mapped to standards) that they can deploy directly in their classroom (with confidence) for 5+ hours of computational fun for their students. CS@Mines students are also available to support teachers as they deploy these activities in the classroom!

Registration

Anyone district awarded funding by the Colorado Department of Education for CS-FAST should have received a registration link. If you were awarded funding and do not have this link, contact Tracy Camp at tcamp@mines.edu.


Grade Level Details

Activities will be separated by grade level. Click the grade level below to see a sample lesson.

Each activity is targeted towards one of the grade levels above. Teachers will be grouped by grade level, giving participants a chance to connect to other teachers and work through lessons they can use in their classrooms.


Standards

The CS-FAST workshop introduces sevaral educational standards for teaching computer science. These are adapted from the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA). Each lesson has targeted standards that the students will learn via the activities.


CS Unplugged

CS Unplugged uses activities, games, magic tricks, and competitions to show children the kind of thinking expected of a computer scientist. CS Unplugged has been taken into multiple school districts around the world. Recent research has shown that teachers often feel more confident doing CS Unplugged activities with their students than coding activities.


Bitsbox

The CS-FAST workshop also includes an introductory programming segment using Bitsbox. Bitsbox is a fun and educational way for kids to learn programming; a brief introduction to Bitsbox will be provided.

  • K-2nd grade: hour of code that helps students understand the relationship between numbers and quantities.
  • 3rd-4th grade: hour of code allowing students to explore the diversity of life.
  • 5th-6th grade: hour of code that investigates fractions and multiplication.

CS-FAST 2020 for CDE Elementary Regional Training (Option No. 1)

The following is only for teachers in districts that received funded from Colorado Department of Education, Elementary Regional Training (Option No. 1). CS-FAST 2020 will be held virtually due to COVID-19. The training is VERY interactive though (i.e., you will not be staring at a computer screen for hours!) Participating teachers will (in this order):

  1. Complete the registration page (link provided to funded districts), SignUp for both Coffee Time and the Workshop, and submit a CDE/Mines recording release (to be sent to those who register via DocuSign)
    ALL: CS-FAST Registration: https://tinyurl.com/CS-FAST-2020
    ALL: CS-FAST Coffee Time: https://tinyurl.com/CS-FAST-Coffee2020
    K-2 training: https://tinyurl.com/CS-FAST-K-2-2020"
    3-4 training: https://tinyurl.com/CS-FAST-3-4-2020
    5-6 training: SignUp not needed. Training will occur June 13th, from 10am-noon and 1:30-4pm.
  2. Complete the CS-FAST pre-survey (~10 minutes) here: https://forms.gle/NRZmaCUPYqUNVS3z7
  3. Complete two assignments - Bingo (PDF, DOCX) and Computational Thinking (PDF, DOCX) - and submit to Google Drive via this form: https://tinyurl.com/CS-FAST-Assignments
  4. Watch videos (~40 minutes) on (1) Introduction and What is CS? and (2) Using Zoom (plus homework) (PDF, DOCX)
  5. Complete Guided Notes (PDF, DOCX) (~1 hour) for the What is CS? video and submit to Google Drive via this form: https://tinyurl.com/CS-FAST-Assignments
  6. Attend “CS-FAST Coffee Time” (~60 minutes) with a CS-FAST trainer and other CS-FAST teachers to discuss your assignments. A Zoom link will be sent to all participants signed up ~24 hours before the training
    SignUp for Coffee Time (if not already done in Step 1): https://tinyurl.com/CS-FAST-Coffee2020
    Add Coffee Time to your calendar. A Zoom link will be sent to all participants signed up ~24 hours before the training
    A Zoom link will be sent to all participants signed up ~24 hours before the training


    Steps below should ONLY be done after you’ve attended a CS-FAST Coffee Time (Step 6)


  7. Watch a video (~30 minutes) on the deployment of one of our CS-FAST Activities
    K-2 grade band: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1yEHP7iEAPoi0qvwN1kiPQDZvQget-FdI
     K-2 Worksheet: PDF, DOCX
    3-4 grade band: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1_ogqYloMvyxxqI281Fmf2w5wd0bnAOjg
     Demo1 (online) https://drive.google.com/open?id=1OF6F7lrE8m21wuUNTy9qC-E2uN55ShXZ
     Demo2 (F2F) https://drive.google.com/open?id=11Xhm-Ne1qhP8wdPZPt3Ve0QClRw-c2aZ
     3-4 Worksheet: PDF, DOCX
    5-6 grade band: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1JyBGqOqbWKLQFWTySCipM7IO3tJu_2Fr
     5-6 Worksheets: PDF, PPTX
  8. Watch a video (~15 minutes) on Intro to Bitsbox
    Video: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1GuWhpBFCLAkFX9R_uBohVNlV-AGFHvoX
     Complete at least one of the tutorials in Bitsbox
  9. Complete assignment (~1 hour) related to these two videos and submit to Google Drive via this form: https://tinyurl.com/CS-FAST-Assignments
     For Step 7, submit your completed worksheet
     For Step 8, submit a link to your Bitsbox application developed (see Bitsbox video to find link)
  10. Attend a grade-level band "CS-FAST Zoom Workshop" (K-2, 3-4, 5-6) with a CS-FAST trainer and other CS-FAST teachers (~4.5 hours) to gain experience in confidently integrating computational thinking and CSTA/ISTE into the classroom.
    SignUp for K-2 training: https://tinyurl.com/CS-FAST-K-2-2020
    SignUp for 3-4 training: https://tinyurl.com/CS-FAST-3-4-2020
    5-6 training: SignUp not needed. Training will occur June 13th, from 10am-noon and 1:30-4pm.
    A Zoom link will be sent to all participants signed up ~24 hours before the training
  11. Complete form to earn 1/2 graduate-level relicensure credit ($40), if desired. Deadline to register: June 30th, 2020.
  12. Complete the CS-FAST post-survey (~10 minutes)

Other Resources

Standards
Tips for teaching CS
Lessons