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Teaching Made Fun Again | How Reading Comprehension Strategies Align with Computational Thinking

  • 09/07/2022
  • 8:00 PM
  • Zoom

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Session Title: How Reading Comprehension Strategies Align with Computational Thinking

Session Description: Good readers use strategies when they read (monitoring comprehension, making connections, questioning, inferring, visualizing, determining importance, and synthesis). Not all students adopt such strategies naturally, so good reading instruction explicitly names, models, and teaches these strategies. Computational thinking (CT) learning is analogous. When students learn CT skills, they are developing strategies and language to explain their inner conversations while coding. As with reading, high-quality CT instruction explicitly names, models, and teaches these skills. Teachers can leverage the parallels between CT and reading comprehension strategies to infuse CT into their English language arts (ELA) instruction and vice versa.  

Presenter Bio : Ms. Benson has a cross-section of experience.  She was a database software developer for 15 years, then she was an elementary school computer lab teacher for 17 years. Presently, she is combining what she learned in teaching, and with her expertise in software development.  She advises, volunteers, advocates and provides training for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.  She facilitates professional development for Code.org and MCCE. She also leads the Maryland Elementary School Computer Science Coaches program to nurture a cadre of computer science coaches in elementary schools. Furthermore, she is the lead designer, and content curator for 
ECSNet, a K-5 computer science lesson repository.

She spent 17 years teaching in three Baltimore County Public Schools (Hawthorne Elementary, Vincent Farm Elementary, and Relay Elementary).  Initially, she served as a Technology Integration Teacher then as a STEM Integration Teacher. Her teaching certification is in Secondary Computer Science, but she taught in the elementary grades to spark early interest in Computer Science, especially among female and minority populations long before high school. Her students learned computational thinking through visual computer programming tools such as Code.org, and Scratch. They learned a set of diverse problem-solving skills, including the ability to think logically, algorithmically, and strategically. She taught robotics (in school and after-school) using LEGO Wedo, LEGO Mindstorms, and Sphero robots.  She coached a FIRST Lego League (FLL) robotics team and taught the Engineering Design Process through various engineering challenges. 

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