Over the course of the school year, first-grade students in SFUSD engage in four units of computer science (~15-20 lessons). Lessons are designed to be implemented in 30-45 minute periods approximately once per week. The SFUSD Creative Computing curriculum introduces computer science as a creative, collaborative, and engaging discipline where students learn about algorithms and programming, computing systems, the Internet, and the impacts of computing on our world - all while developing strong practices and dispositions.
Through computer science, students learn about and apply many crosscutting concepts including problem-solving, collaboration, sequencing, organizing, and computational thinking. Engagement with computer science provides first graders with the tools they need to engage with confidence and agency in our quickly evolving digital world.
What students will know, what students will do, and what thinking skills students will develop to apply and transfer computer science understandings that endure within the discipline, leverage deeper understandings, and/or support readiness for success at the next grade level.
In first grade focus on these critical areas:
- Explaining the functions of common hardware and software components of computing systems.
- Describing basic hardware and software problems using accurate terminology.
Network & The Internet
- Creating patterns to communicate a message.
Data & Analysis
- Collecting and presenting data in various visual formats.
Algorithms & Programming
- Creating programs with sequences of commands and simple loops, to express ideas or address a problem.
- Decomposing the steps needed to solve a problem into a sequence of instructions.
- Developing plans that describe a program’s sequence of events, goals, and expected outcomes.
- Debuging errors in an algorithm or program that includes sequences and simple loops.
Impacts of Computing
- Comparing how people lived and worked before and after the adoption of new computing technologies.
- Working respectfully and responsibly with others when communicating electronically.
Instruction: Signature Elements
Below are signature elements of SFUSD Computer Science instruction that students should experience regularly throughout first grade as they develop as computer scientists.
At times, students and teachers may approach computer science with some trepidation. They may think that this subject is not for them or that it may be too difficult. We’ve established these norms to help students and teachers feel welcomed and valued as whole people in their CS classroom. By doing this, we are attempting to mitigate pre-existing stereotypes students and teachers may have about Computer Science or themselves as they begin their CS journey.
Establishing efficient classroom routines at the beginning of the year or at the beginning of computer science class is essential to maximizing instructional minutes and student interaction. Click on "Learn More" to see the routines we recommend for computer science.
Each student becomes someone who acts safely, responsibly, and respectfully online
Pair programming is an essential component of computer science. Students will learn and use social skills to help themselves become better computer scientists, critical thinkers, and problem solvers.
Resilience & Determination
By making and correcting errors in their planning/programming, students build on their determination to problem-solve.
Computer Science students will develop critical thinking skills that will carry over into other academic areas. These skills are decomposition, abstraction, pattern recognition, and developing algorithms.
Below are items you should have to support your students' computer science instruction. If you are missing anything from the list, please first contact your site administrator or designated support. If they are unable to resolve the issue promptly, please contact ESCS@sfusd.edu.
Manipulatives have been provided to each site and should remain in one central location with a checkout system in place for non-CS teachers. Here is a linked list of manipulatives for each grade from Kindergarten through Grade 5.
Please refer to the planning guide when launching SFUSD’s Creative Computing K-2 Curriculum.
To accommodate different school schedules, we offer the following accordion-style model for expanding or contracting the number of lessons in each unit so that students can experience the content in all 4 units in a 12-, 16-, or 20-session Computer Science class.
Lessons should ideally happen once a week for 30 minutes.
When launching Elementary Computer Science at your school site, please refer to the flow chart:
Sample Schedule for Classroom Teachers:
Lessons can be completed within a 30-minute block. A best practice we recommend is for the classroom teacher to review the day’s lesson beforehand to make sure they understand the major concepts of the lesson to better help their students when they ask for help. A few lessons may be needed in order for the students to feel comfortable with the lesson’s technology.
Once students feel comfortable with the technology they will be using, the classroom teacher can then embed core content into CS lessons to reinforce previously learned core content.
Sample Schedule for CS-only Teachers:
K-2 classes should be at least 30 to 45 minutes maximum. Please allow at least 5 minutes between classrooms to allow for teacher transitions. Please coordinate with your site administrators to create your site’s CS schedule.
- How are students' developmental needs, communities, and experiences being reflected and honored, or how could they be?
- What opportunities do you see for developing equitable access & demand, inquiry, collaboration, and assessment for learning?
- What are the implications for your own practice? What strengths can you build upon? What will you do first?
This page was last updated on May 17, 2023