Wondering what new curriculum and tools updates are available in the 2020-2021 version of CS Fundamentals? With an emphasis on standards tagging, monitoring student progress, and communicating learning with parents and administration, we are pleased to highlight additions to the newest version of our elementary curriculum.
High Level Curriculum Updates
This section explains the high-level changes for the CS Fundamentals 2020 - 2021 curriculum. You can find a detailed list of every change to the curriculum in the section following.
Continued Partnership with Common Sense Education's Digital Citizenship Curriculum
Each course in CS Fundamentals features 1-2 lessons about digital citizenship. Most of these lessons were created by Common Sense Education and have been updated with new resources. Detailed changes and specifics are available here.
New Cross-Curricular Standards
Coding helps students with problem solving, logic, cause and effect, and computational thinking. CS Fundamentals also includes opportunities for teachers to reinforce concepts related to English language arts and mathematics while students are learning computer science. You can help students practice these standards just by following our lesson plans or by making slight adaptations, as outlined in our cross-curricular standards guidance guidance below. See the new cross-curricular standards here.
Open-ended student projects are found as standalone lessons in Courses C-F. New to courses D, E, and F this year is a menu that allows students to choose from any of the open-ended programming environments they used previously in the courses. (Example of project choices for Course D are shown below.)
Checking Student Progress
See when a student last worked on the currently selected course
Teachers can now see when individual students last worked on a course from the Progress tab of the Teacher Dashboard. To do this:
- Go to the Teacher Dashboard for the section you want to check progress for and make sure the Progress tab is selected.
2. Choose the course or unit you want to check progress on in the dropdown.
3. Hover your mouse over the name of a student in the progress table. A tooltip will appear that will show you when that student last worked on any lesson in that assigned course.
Easily toggle between Lesson Progress View and Level Progress View
Teachers can still view student progress for an entire Lesson or for individual Levels from the Progress Tab of the Teacher Dashboard, but we’ve made the button they use to switch between the Lesson Progress View and the Level Progress View more explicit.
We’ve replaced the magnifying glass icons with buttons explicitly labeled “Lessons” and “Levels.” Tapping these buttons will allow teachers to switch between the Lesson View and Level View of student progress:
Quickly switch between each student’s code on a Level
When teachers are evaluating student work on a single Level, we’ve added arrows to the blue Teacher Panel that they can use to quickly move to the next (or previous) student in the class list. To find this feature:
1. Go to the Level you want to look at student work on
2. If the blue Teacher Panel isn’t already open on the right-hand side of the screen, open it by tapping the blue and white arrow on the right hand side of the screen
3. As the teacher, your work (“Me” in the teacher panel) will be selected by default.
4. To move between students, you can tap the black arrow on the right-hand side of the panel to move to the next student in the list, or you can easily move to the previous student in the list by tapping the arrow on the left-hand side of the panel.
- The Teacher Panel also shows you the last time a student worked on a level and has example solutions for a level (if they exist).
- You can always jump to a specific student’s work by clicking on that student’s name in the class list in the blue teacher panel.
- On many CS Discoveries and CS Principles programming levels, you can leave feedback for students.
- Some CS Discoveries levels have mini-rubrics that show the key concept a Level practices and make it easier to evaluate student work.
Assigning Courses and Units to Students
We’ve made it easier to see what course or unit you’ve assigned to your students. We’ve also modified how and where you can update course or unit assignment so it’s easier to do quickly.
Easily see what course or unit you’ve assigned to your students
- From the Teacher Dashboard: When you’re viewing a specific section on the Teacher Dashboard, you can now see what course or unit they are assigned to, underneath the section name:
- From the Course or Unit Overview pages: When you are viewing a course on the Course Overview page or a unit on the Unit Overview page, you can see whether or not the currently selected section is assigned to that course or unit.
- If you tap to open the dropdown menu to view your other sections, you can see whether or not they are also assigned to the current course or unit (look for the green checkmark)
New and improved ways to assign a course or unit to your section
- Teacher Dashboard [new!]: When you’re looking at a section in the Teacher Dashboard, you can now update the course or unit that section is assigned to without having to go back to your home page. Just tap the “Edit Section Details” button in the upper-right hand corner of the page. This will bring up a dialog where you can change what materials the current section is assigned to.
- From the Course or Unit Overview page [improved!]: at the top of this page, select the section you want to assign. The button to the right of the drop-down will update to show whether or not the course is already assigned to that section. You can click ‘assign to section’ to assign that section to the course or unit:
- If the course or unit is already assigned to that section, you can click ‘assigned’ to unassign that course or unit from the section:
Tips to remember about assigning units or courses to your section:
- You can only have one unit or course assigned to a section at a time, but students can always access any other course from the Course Catalog.
- Assigning a course or unit to your students dictates:
- Where students will start on that course or unit when they sign in to Code.org
- What course will show up as the default course when you check student progress in the Progress Tab of the Teacher Dashboard
View Classroom Progress on CSTA Standards
Teachers can now easily see their class’s progress on lessons that accrue to the Computer Science Teachers’ Association’s (CSTA) K-5 Standards. The Standards Progress View can be found on the Progress Tab of the Teacher Dashboard and it allows teachers to easily:
- See which CSTA Standards a given CSF course meets, and which lessons in that course should be completed to teach a specific standard.
- See which lessons the class has completed that map to a given CSTA Standard. The Standards Progress View will automatically report completion status on “plugged” or online lessons, and teachers can self-report progress on “unplugged” or offline lessons.
- Create a PDF or printed version of the Standards view that can be shared with administrators, teachers, or parents
The Standards View is only available for CS Fundamentals courses, years 2019 and later.
Getting to the Standards Progress View
You can view the CSTA Standards Report by doing the following:
- Go to the Progress Tab of the Teacher Dashboard and make sure you’ve selected the appropriate course in the dropdown. Remember: the report is only available for CS Fundamentals courses, years 2019 and later.
- Click the Standards View button next to the Lessons and Level view buttons. This will open the Standards Progress view.
- The Standards Progress View will show each CSTA standard that is mapped to a given course in a table, along with the current section’s progress on lessons that accrue to that standard.
What does the Standards Progress View show?
The view shows the following:
- Each CSTA standard that is covered in the selected Course, that standard’s concept and identifier, and a description of the standard:
- The lessons in the Course that map to a given Standard and whether or not the class has completed those lessons. Lessons can be in one of three states:
- Teachers can update progress for an Unplugged Lesson using the “Update unplugged progress” button in the upper, right-hand corner of the view.
NOTE: Currently, the self-reported unplugged lesson progress will only be reflected in the Standards View, and not the Lessons or Levels Views.
A key point to remember: Completing all lessons for a standard does not automatically indicate that the class or individual students have mastered that standard - please use your best judgement as a teacher to determine how well the class or individual students have learned the course material.
Saving or printing a PDF of the Standards view
You can generate a PDF of the Standards View by tapping the “Generate PDF report” button. The PDF report will contain everything you can see in the Standards View. Before the report is generated, you’ll also be given the option to add a “Teacher’s Note” and make sure that you’ve updated your unplugged lesson status.
Here is part of an example of a report for a class working on Course A 2019:
Section Setup Improvements
We’ve made some improvements to how you can set-up a new section of students.
Send home a parent letter
Once you’ve got a section all setup, we recommend sending home a copy of our parent letter to your students’ parents. The letter includes information about:
- Code.org and why learning computer science is important
- How parents can support students while they are at home
- How students can sign in to Code.org while at home
To get a PDF of the letter or print a copy, tap the “Download Parent Letters” button at the top of the Manage Students tab.
Print login cards for individual students (secret word and picture password sections)
Now you can print a login card for a single student instead of having to print cards for the entire section. On the Manage Students tab, find the student you want to print a login card for, then tap the dropdown arrow to the far right of the student’s name, and then tap “Print login card” from the menu that appears. This will generate just that student’s login card as a pdf that can be printed or saved.
You can also generate a version of the Parent Letter that has this student’s login credentials using the “View parent letter” option in the same menu.