Computational Thinking for Preschoolers: Modularity Activities

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Producers from WGBH and Kentucky Educational Television and researchers from EDC have been collaborating on the research and development of brand-new computational thinking activities for preschoolers! These fun hands-on activities and apps (not yet published) were all created as part of a research project funded by the National Science Foundation called Integrating Computational Thinking into Mathematics Instruction in Rural and Urban Preschools.

 

Preschoolers can learn modularity and math through these fun activities:

Picnic Packer
Children work together to pack a (pretend) picnic lunch.

Animal Song
Children work together create a song with different animal sounds.

Make a Counting Book
Children create a counting book by breaking down the big job of making a book into smaller jobs.

Plan a Party
Children organize a (pretend) party with cake, balloons, and decorations.

Break It Down
Children put small dances together to make a bigger dance. Get a glimpse of the modularity app in development.


See how these activities are part of a larger computational thinking preschool curriculum in this Teacher Guide.

CT Teacher Guide

CT Standards

 

© 2019 WGBH Educational Foundation. All rights reserved. Funding provided by the National Science Foundation. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1640135. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Computational Thinking for Preschoolers: Debugging Activities

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Producers from WGBH and Kentucky Educational Television and researchers from EDC have been collaborating on the research and development of brand-new computational thinking activities for preschoolers! These fun hands-on activities and apps (not yet published) were all created as part of a research project funded by the National Science Foundation called Integrating Computational Thinking into Mathematics Instruction in Rural and Urban Preschools.

 

Preschoolers can learn debugging and math through these fun activities:

Sound Shakers

Children fix sound shakers that don’t make sounds.

Monkey Dance
Children practice a two-step dance and identify mistakes in the teacher’s dance steps.

Monkey Bridge
Children fix a bridge that won’t stand up.

Colorful Caterpillars
Children debug clay caterpillars with colorful patterns.

Road Repair
Children use geometric shapes to fix holes in a road so a car can get across. Get a glimpse of the debugging app in development.

 

See how these activities are part of a larger computational thinking preschool curriculum in this Teacher Guide.

CT Teacher Guide

CT Standards

 

 

© 2019 WGBH Educational Foundation. All rights reserved. Funding provided by the National Science Foundation. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1640135. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Preschool Computational Thinking

Producers from WGBH and Kentucky Educational Television and researchers from EDC have been collaborating on the research and development of brand-new computational thinking activities for preschoolers! These fun hands-on activities and apps (not yet published) were all created as part of a research project funded by the National Science Foundation called Integrating Computational Thinking into Mathematics Instruction in Rural and Urban Preschools.

Not sure what computational thinking means? Computational thinking (CT) is a creative way of thinking that empowers children to use systematic strategies while solving problems or reaching a goal. CT allows children to identify problems/goals and then brainstorm and generate solutions that can be communicated and followed by computers or humans.

CT can be learned at a young age, and it can be practiced in non-programming contexts (in other words, without a computer). CT is not the same thing as coding or computer programming—instead, it’s a stepping stone that can help children learn these important skills when they get older. Practicing CT skills can also benefit children by strengthening their early math skills.

As children do these activities and play these apps, they will be practicing basic math skills, including: counting, one-to-one correspondence, ordinals, sequencing, and identifying geometric shapes. At the same time, they will be learning three core CT skills: sequencing, debugging, and modularity.

Check out the project in this video.

 

© 2019 WGBH Educational Foundation. All rights reserved. Funding provided by the National Science Foundation. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1640135. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Research Position!

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WGBH Education seeks a Research Analyst to dive into all aspects of research, analysis, and evaluation within the Education group.

This position requires experience with research methods, data collection and analysis, excellent communication skills, attention to detail, and an eagerness to learn more about educational research processes.

More details about the post – and how to apply for it – here.

Mission: Water – our new VR experience

Dan, Kennedy, Jeff, Sophie, and Lizzy attended the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference in Philadelphia from June 23-25.

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They presented their virtual reality game, “Mission: Water,” under the umbrella of Microsoft’s presence at the conference.

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The ISTE Conference was very successful: close to 100 people demoed the game or chatted with the team about the project. Many educators and technologists expressed their excitement for the game and for the lesson plan, which will be published on PBS LearningMedia this fall. The team is very excited for the positive response and is looking forward to the official launch of all of the resources later this year.

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The VR game is available already here for free.

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The WGBH team, led by Bill Shribman, has been collaborating with Microsoft for the last year developing this game for a middle school classroom. The game consists of two networked apps: one VR game and one HTML5 game, both connected and communicating to each other.

In the experience, two players need to work together to travel through the solar system and collect samples of water at three destinations. The water samples provide data for the students to analyze and compare, and then the students can discuss which location provides the most abundant and accessible forms of water.

One high school teacher reacted to playing this as follows, talking about the children she teaches:

 

More Hiring! Director of Strategic Development

 

Screen Shot 2018-09-10 at 10.59.54 AM.pngWGBH Education — a leader in educational media for young people, educators, and caregivers — seeks an experienced education professional to lead funding and strategic development for our work.

Reporting to the Executive Director of Education and working with team members, the Director of Strategic Development will be responsible for conceptualizing and researching new projects, identifying appropriate partners, and developing financial and other support for Education Department projects.

The Director will also help chart departmental strategy driving toward educational impact among underserved populations.

We’re looking for entrepreneurial candidates with strong grant-writing and fundraising experience, deep understanding of local and national education landscapes and government agencies, as well as familiarity with strategic project development and innovative business models for revenue generation. Also essential are communication, collaboration, analytic, and organizational skills.

Experience with STEM and/or social studies education is a plus.

WGBH is Boston’s PBS. 

See full job description and apply here.

Map Adventures – Our Latest App

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Thanks to the generous funding support from the Heising-Simons Foundation, EDC, SRI, and WGBH team up once again to explore family engagement around preschool mathematics! This time around we’ve focused on the math concepts of spatial thinking and navigation.

Introducing: Gracie & Friends Map Adventures!

In Gracie & Friends Map Adventures, two players navigate maps and visit landmarks together! Take your pictures and explore the excitement of the farm and city. Dress up with cows, put together dinosaur bones, dig in the sandbox, and dance with disco chickens. Try not to scare the goats in the Goat Challenge!

This app is full of games and activities that support parents and their preschoolers playing together. The app also contains a Family Fun Guide that shares a bunch of activity ideas for at-home and on-the-go fun and learning. You can find more information at First8Studios.org.

Many thanks to the families and preschool classrooms that partnered with us to bring to life the new spatial thinking and navigation resources and the Gracie & Friends Map Adventures app!