Big Ideas: The focus of the first quarter is getting students used to the routines and procedures of the computer lab, understanding the parts of the computer, how to open and close programs, how to save a document to a local folder and follow naming conventions, and practicing using the keyboard and mouse.
4th and 5th Grade
Big Ideas: Since most of the students in 4th and 5th grade are new to me: Welcome to TCS! We will spend the first two classes getting to know each other and the expected norms and procedures of my class, as well as learning how to access our Google accounts. We’ll then complete a blended learning unit on Financial Literacy, using the VAULT curriculum from EverFi (you can learn more at https://everfi.com/k12/vault-understanding-money/). This will include learning how to use the Google tools that come with our CPS account, including Google Classroom, Google Docs, and Google Sheets.
6th Grade and 5th Grade Gifted
Big Ideas: We will spend the first two classes getting to know each other and the expected norms and procedures of my class, as well as learning how to access our Google accounts. We’ll then launch into the Scratch programming unit, with a series of activities to introduce not only Scratch interface but also the computational thinking and practices involved in computer science, such as iterative development, sequence, debugging code, and the solving of problems that do not have one “right” answer.
Big Ideas: In the first quarter we will start with an orientation to the expected norms and procedures of class, as well as getting to know each other better. We’ll spend a day learning about the current impact of computers and computer science’s role in a variety of fields (check out https://techprep.fb.com/why/ for a nice overview). We’ll spend the rest of the quarter learning how to use computer science to run scientific simulations, using a program called StarLogo Nova. In SLNova, “turtles” are programed to move, interact with other turtles, and react to different types of situations. We’ll spend about 4 weeks just getting to know the program, and in the final day of the quarter we’ll be creating a simulation of a virus outbreak, which during the start of the second quarter we will study and try to contain!
Big Ideas: In the first quarter we will start with an orientation to the expected norms and procedures of class, as well as getting to know each other better. There will be a two-week unit on financial and career literacy to provide an opportunity to practice class norms and procedures as well as align our focus to thinking about the future, in which computer science (CS) plays such a large role. We’ll then learn about the current impact of CS and some potential CS career paths (check out https://techprep.fb.com/why/ for a nice overview). Third, we will begin our first CS unit of the year, exploring and getting some practice using the Processing language, a text based language built on Java that is used primarily by visual artists. Processing is a great introduction to text-based code because of the immediate visual feedback. You can learn more at processing.org or at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Processing_(programming_language).
TCS, or 21st Century Solutions, is a class focused on exploring computer science and using technology in a creative way.
About Mrs. Kostecki:
I've been teaching at Disney since 2004. I've always loved technology, especially using it creatively, such as in graphic design, video editing, and coding. Prior to teaching I worked in IT, including 3 years at Disney. I have a Masters Degree in Sociology from Northwestern University, and also recently earned my MA in Educational Technology. I am married and have two kids, and I love traveling, which I often do to visit my mom, three brothers and sister, who all live if different cities!