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  1. This paper considers how a curricular design that integrated computer programming and creative movement shaped students’ engagement with computing. We draw on data from a camp for middle schoolers, focusing on an activity in which students used the programming environment NetLogo to re-represent their physical choreography. We analyze the extent to which students noticed incompatibilities (mismatches between possibilities in dance and NetLogo), and how encountering them shaped their coding. Our findings suggest that as students attended to incompatibilities, they experienced struggle, but persisted and engaged in iterative cycles of design. Our work suggests that tensions between arts and programming may promote student engagement.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 27, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  3. Previous research has established that embodied modeling (role-playing agents in a system) can support learning about complexity. Separately, research has demonstrated that increasing the multimodal resources available to students can support sensemaking, particularly for students classified as English Learners. This study bridges these two bodies of research to consider how embodied models can strengthen an interconnected system of multimodal models created by a classroom. We explore how iteratively refining embodied modeling activities strengthened connections to other models, real-world phenomena, and multimodal representations. Through design-based research in a sixth grade classroom studying ecosystems, we refined embodied modeling activities initially conceived as supports for computational thinking and modeling. Across three iterative cycles, we illustrate how the conceptual and epistemic relationship between the computational and embodied model shifted, and we analyze how these shifts shaped opportunities for learning and participation by: (1) recognizing each student’s perspectives as critical for making sense of the model, (2) encouraging students to question and modify the “code” for the model, and (3) leveraging multimodal resources, including graphs, gestures, and student-generated language, for meaning-making. Through these shifts, the embodied model became a full-fledged component of the classroom’s model system and created more equitable opportunities for learning and participation.
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  5. Gresalfi, M. and (Ed.)
    Debugging has been identified as a significant practice of programming in particular, and computational thinking more broadly. However, there is still much to learn about how debugging is learned, how it is connected to particular activities, and what seems to influence students’ strategy use and ultimate solution paths. This paper considers students’ activity on their first formal debugging task using a platform called NetLogo. Our analysis focuses on the ways that students appeared to frame the task, and how that framing influenced their overall approach to the task. Our findings suggest that it is compelling for new coders to approach debugging first by focusing on single elements of code without thinking broadly about their interactions. Implications for design and future studies are discussed.