Pre-RESPECT Conference Workshops
Tuesday, March 10, 2020 | Portland State University | Portland OR

RPPforCS is looking to facilitate cross-project research by logistically and financially supporting topical working groups the afternoon/evening before RESPECT. 

These workshops will only run if they get enough interest from community members. RPPforCS members are being offered an additional $150 to help cover costs associated with attending these workshops (this is in addition to the financial support we are offering to attend our in-person community meetup co-located with RESPECT). Below are the abstracts, which you can also read in the registration form itself.


We want to give a special shoutout and thanks to Jim Hook, Tania Hoode, Don Mueller, and Jonathan Finke of Portland State University for their diligent work in securing space for our pre-RESPECT workshops. Thank you all so much!

Finding the Right “Look”: Charting the Capacity of “Look For” Documents to Discern CT Integration in Elementary and Middle School Classrooms 
Kelly Mills, Pati Ruiz, & Quinn Burke

According to the national non-profit, to date, a total of thirty-five states have enacted computer science (CS) standards for their K-12 public schools. Meanwhile, nine more states are in the process of developing statewide CS and digital literacy (DL) standards (, 2019). Yet while the national push for computing in all U.S. schools is an admirable goal (and has seen gains nearly unimaginable ten years ago), there is still serious debate to what extent classrooms are enacting substantial computing on the elementary and middle school levels. The call for computational thinking (CT) has galvanized educators and researchers to increasingly integrate computing into existing subjects, but the sheer range of activities and subject matter has made it fundamentally difficult to understand what computing looks like and how it builds upon itself across the grade bands. Based on a three-year NSF CSforAll grant entitled “CT Pathways”, this proposed session presents the use of “Look For” documents to assess CT integration and as a self-reflective measure that teachers can use to gauge their own understanding on key CT competencies and their capacity to enact these with their middle school students. Come join your colleagues at this session as we discuss the impetus for developing 6-8 “Look For” documents among three unique school districts (one urban, one rural, and one suburban), as well as discuss the wider challenges and opportunities around assessing CT in K-8 classrooms.

ECS: Shared Research, Shared Data
Monica McGill, Alan Peterfreund

The workshop will allow those projects that have been using the ECS curriculum to share lessons learned associated with teacher professional training, experience and support; student learning, and school/district implementation. The specific focus will be instruments and processes of data collection, data utilization as part of the RPP, and findings. The overarching objective is to use this discussion to identify next steps for potentially collecting data through common instruments or constructs in order to support the sharing of data. This in turn can facilitate the participating projects to identify generalized learning about implementing ECS and contextualize local circumstances. This workshop will also be linked to efforts by CSEdResearch to serve as a common platform for data sharing moving forward.

Achieving CSforAll: Starting early by developing elementary teacher competencies in computing education
Aman Yadav

The expanding push to achieve CSforAll starts at the elementary level to introduce computer science tools and ideas to younger learners. The approaches to integrating computing at the elementary level are varied randing from unplugged computational thinking as an on-ramp to computationally rich activities (such as, CT4EDU) to starting with Scratch (such as, Scratch Encore). A significant aspect across these projects involves developing elementary teachers’ knowledge through professional development. What are effective models of professional development that develop teacher competencies to bring unplugged and plugged CT at the elementary

level? What kinds of scaffolds do elementary teachers need to integrate computationally rich activities in their classrooms? This workshop will bring together RPPforCS projects focused on CT integration at the elementary level to discuss and share lessons on how to support teacher knowledge and develop their confidence to integrate computing to teach disciplinary ideas.

Problems of Practice: Keeping the Focus on Equity in your RPP
Florence Sullivan, Jill Denner, Jean Ryoo, Sneha Veeragoudar

The goal for this working group is to learn from one another through identifying and discussing multi-level problems of practice concerning equity across RPPs. Over the course of the first hour, the assembled group will work to converge on a deeper understanding of the equity challenges faced by RPPs in order to shape a broader discussion that encompasses the complexity of equity work from a number of perspectives. In the second hour, the discussion will move towards the articulation of strategies to continually center equity in our projects. The research-practitioner brief produced will assist both ongoing and new RPPs in reflecting on and committing themselves to the long-term nature of working towards equity in CS education. This brief will offer key recommendations for ways to center equity in both partnership relationships and partnership efforts, rooted in real examples and lessons learned from across this working group.

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