K–12 introductory programming experiences are often highly scaffolded, and it can be challenging for teachers and learners to transition from these scaffolded experiences to learner-directed creative work, where learners are solving problems and fluently expressing ideas through code. In this project, we explore how to support teachers' and students' experiences with learner-directed projects through professional development and classroom curriculum.
As a professional learning experience, first hosted in 2018 and then again in 2020, Getting Unstuck emphasized three activities to support the development of conceptual and creative fluency with programming: creating, sharing, and reflecting. For creating, learners constructed a project in response to a programming prompt that emphasized a particular computational concept. For sharing, learners posted their projects online via the Scratch online community to receive feedback from others. For reflecting, learners responded to questions about their project-building process, with an emphasis on challenges and how they responded to those challenges. In collaboration with a wonderful group of classroom teachers, we have been exploring how to adapt the Getting Unstuck professional learning experience as an elementary classroom curriculum.
You can find the archive of daily prompts and participants' creations on the Getting Unstuck website. The Getting Unstuck classroom curriculum will be available in July 2021.
Additional Readings and Resources