Posted by Diana Franklin and Kristan Beck on May 06, 2023


Want to know more about Dr. Diana Franklin and Kristan Beck’s upcoming CSTA 2023 keynote session? Get a taste for what’s to come on July 13, 2023. 

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Do you feel pulled in a million directions, wanting to do everything you can for your students, expected to do so much by administrators, parents, and students, yet without the time to do it as well as you’d like?

Do you wish you could create more culturally responsive projects but you wish it did not take so much time to do so?

If so, join us to learn how to more quickly and easily customize projects for 5th-8th grade students.

In a Use->Modify->Create curriculum, some projects are provided by the instructor to learn the concepts, and others are open-ended, creative activities to apply the concepts. The instructor-provided projects may be customized for the interests of their own learners – at the expense of time. A typical design path would be as follows:

Making a curriculum - flow chart before

We believe the key is to modify an existing curriculum rather than design one from scratch. We have tools and/or scaffolds for every step! We leverage the Scratch Encore curriculum to provide a starting point that can be modified and pair that with help in gathering and analyzing your students’ interests.

Flow chart for making a curriculum by using scratch encore

We hope you’ll join us to learn about this process!! And we’re always open to feedback!


About the Authors

Diana Franklin headshot

Diana Franklin is an Associate Professor in Computer Science at the University of Chicago. She leads the CANON (Computing for ANyONe) Lab, specializing in both 3rd-8th grade computer science interventions and quantum computing education for novices of any age with a particular focus towards moving towards more equitable learning experiences. Working closely with school districts and university collaborators, her group develops learning strategies, curriculum, development environments, and support for project customization. For quantum computing education, her group has created zines, hands-on activities, and video games (featured in Quantime).

Kristan Beck Headshot

Kristan is the Director of Computer Science at CPS and has been an educator and administrator in Chicago Public Schools for the last 14 years. Having started as a classroom algebra and middle school science teacher, she became an early adopter in Computer Science instruction in the elementary school classroom and taught K – 8 computer science. The work of the CS department supports over 481 CPS elementary schools to implement computer science instruction, and 100 high schools in expanding access to advanced CS coursework. She worked closely with The University of Chicago, Canon Lab as a teacher to pilot and develop a culturally responsive curriculum, Scratch Encore. She has continued to work with Diana Franklin and her team to bring this wonderful curriculum to teachers and students in CPS and beyond.

Kristan has also worked with Illinois State Board of Education developing computer science standards and teacher credentialing. She is a founding member of Crescendo, a network of computer science district leaders from around the U.S. She has been involved with our higher education institutions as an adjunct professor at Northeastern Illinois University teaching computer science to pre-service and in-service teachers to gain computer science endorsement.

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