Personalized Computational Thinking for Grades 3-8

Lead Staff:
Jodi Asbell-Clarke
Elizabeth Rowe
Project Staff:
Teon Edwards
Erin Bardar
Kelly Paulson
Tara Robillard
Ibrahim Dahlstrom-Hakki


The Computer Science for All movement focuses on providing all students, including those with special needs, with computational thinking (CT) and computer science learning opportunities. This project is a Researcher Practitioner Partnership (RPP) between Braintree Public Schools (BPS) and EdGE at TERC. The shared purpose of this RPP is to build a strong foundation for the teaching and learning of CT in upper elementary and middle schools throughout BPS, and in doing so, to inform a scalable and generalizable model of personalized CT education for a broad audience of diverse learners in grades 3-8 with cognitive differences.

The RPP is implementing and observing CT practices in select current classrooms, as part of designing and developing CodePlay—a suite of teacher resources, activities, digital tools, assessments, and professional development experiences that can ultimately infuse CT into existing curriculum in grades 3-8 across the district.

The CodePlay activities and materials are immersed within science, math, language, and other existing disciplinary content, including but not limited to project-based learning using coding tools such as Scratch and BlocksCAD (for 3D printing).

CodePlay also includes the development of Number Factory, a game that brings together math, especially place value concepts, and CT and that is extensively designed for differentiation to best meet a wide variety of learners’ needs and strengths.

Research Activity

The project is conducting a multi-year longitudinal study of all BPS students in grades 3-8 to examine changes over time in their tool usage, CT self-efficacy, CT practices and its application in STEM and English Language Learning classes. This study is also surveying all BPS teachers about their CT instructional practices with survey questions aligned with the MA Digital Literacy and Computer Science standards. This information will be combined with teacher participation in the CodePlay RPP and student demographics to examine the impact of the CodePlay project on teacher instructional practices and student outcomes.