CSinSF CS Discoveries Training August 2017

CSinSF CS Discoveries Training


2017-18 will be the 3rd year of the CS in SF rollout, SFUSD’s initiative to provide all K-8 students with high quality computer science instruction. In support of this goal, the SFUSD CS Team held multiple trainings for our K-12 CS teachers this past August.  The training for SFUSD’s newest middle school class- CS discoveries, or Course 3- took place from July 31-August 4th, 2017.

SFUSD has made great strides in expanding access to CS course. Last year, CSinSF programming was found at every middle school, with significant expansion planned in 2017-2018:


New Location: Different from years past, this training took place at 20 Cook St. in the geographic heart of San Francisco.







New Partners: This year’s training included our colleagues from Oakland Unified.







New Curriculum: SFUSD’s Middle School Course 3 is an adaptation of Code.org’s fantastic new curriculum, Code Discoveries.  Different school sites are offering the course on varying lengths, so SFUSD created modified curriculum sequences to fit each school’s needs.




Training Agenda:


Day 1 Highlights: 

Corny Joke of the Day:

Activity: Unit 3 Lesson 2 Plotting Shapes

This lesson is an intro to Code.org’s “Game Lab”, and is an excellent opportunity for students to practice pair programming.


Activity: How to find images modified

This activity teaches students how to search for and use media that is labeled for noncommercial use.  It was originally written for Unit 2 Lesson 7, but was adapted to fit into Unit 3 Lesson 6.


Activity: Design Project Kickoff, modified

Design Processes at all levels contain elements of the same basic sequence: Brainstorm, Ideation, Prototyping, Sharing and Feedback.  SFUSD has pieces of the Design Process integrated into each level of the middle school CS curriculum.


Why is Design Process important?  It can be the lever which allows students to tak their CS knowledge, and turn it into something that can meaningfully help others:

Teacher Feedback from Day 1:



Day 2 Highlights:



Based on the feedback from Day 1, we had to give the people what they wanted:


Corny Joke of the Day:


Activity: Unit 1 Lesson 6 “Processing”

In Lesson 6, students introduced to the concept of “Processing”- meaning the work done (possibly by a computer) to turn an input into an output.  Students complete two unplugged card sorting activities to explore the meaning of processing and its relationship to problem-solving.  This lesson is set up by the activities in Lessons 4 and 5, where students are challenged to define what a computer is, and are introduced to the concepts of input and output.

In the collaborative Card Sorting Lesson, students pick roles to put up to 10 cards in ascending/descending order.  In reflecting on the exact steps they use, students are introduced to the concept of Algorithms- a sequence of instructions to solve a problem.

*Note from the lesson plan: The goal of this lesson is NOT for students to understand and compare different classic sorting algorithms

Possible Extensions:

  1. Algorithm robots

Have students write our their algorithm, and then have it tested by another group. Have groups reflect on trying each others algorithm- were there steps missing?  Bring out the idea that computers need precise instructions

2) Sorting algorithm activities from CS Unplugged:

1) Sorting algorithms

2) Sorting networks

Possible Close-out: *algorithms may seem boring for humans, not for computers.  What other processes can be done by computers that would be boring, tedious, long for humans?

Teacher Feedback from Day 2:

Day 3 Highlights:

Corny Joke of the Day:

Activity: Unit 2 Lesson 5 Digital Footprint (Unplugged)



Today was teachers learned a new programming platform, and built a prototype of the app.  To keep things light:

Unit 4 Reflection

Teacher Feedback on Day 3:


Day 4 Highlights:

Corny Joke of the Day:


Activity:  Unit 6 Lesson 4: Set it, and Forget it!



Intro to the Circuit Playground: Unit 6 Lesson 5

Activity: Differentiation

Teacher Feedback:


Day 5 Highlights:

Secret Skills- Revealed! (click through for video)

Corny Joke of the Day:


Activity: Unit 3 Lesson 10 Booleans Unplugged


Steph Curry’s Assessment of CSinSF CS Discoveries training:





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