Teacher-to-Teacher: Amplifying Student Voice

by Michelle Lee

Dear #CSEdWeek Community,

Amplify voices! Position student equity first! These are two of San Francisco Unified School District’s Computer Science Team norms. In this letter, I choose to elevate my students’ voices; I want my diverse K–5 students to speak to you about how you can amplify student voice, and put equity first, while teaching creative computing beyond #CSEdWeek!

Reflection: Listening to Our Own Voice

“Computer science is for learning and sharing, so other people can do it, too.”
 — 2nd grade student

In creative computing journals, students reflect on their learning process and give their teachers feedback on how the lesson went.

Collaboration: Our Voice in the Classroom

“That’s so cool! How did you do that?” — 1st grade student

Student voice dominates during lessons. Peers teach peers, discuss their challenges during debriefs, and give and receive compliments from one another in real-time and online gallery walks. Students can run their own groups and add their voices to crowdsourced content charts!

Community: Extending Our Voice Beyond the Classroom

Put student voices out into the world — community and industry events, TV, and Twitter! Amplify students’ voices beyond the classroom, especially voices from your community’s most underrepresented demographics. Also, encourage students to share their voices on their own!

“The best part of tonight was talking about my thinking. Meeting Steph Curry was second.” — 5th grade student

Three fifth grade girls from Francis Scott Key Elementary School coached dozens of industry professionals and donors to play Flappy Bird and Minecraft puzzles at Code.org’s Back to School Banquet.

You’ve heard San Francisco’s kids speak: in reflections, in the classroom, and in our community.

How do you amplify your students’ voices?

Best wishes,
Michelle G. Lee

Michelle G. Lee is a Computer Science Content Specialist with San Francisco Unified School District in California. She amplifies her students’ voices on Twitter @michellegleeCS.


In celebration of #TeacherLearning this #CSEdWeek, ScratchEd is sharing a letter from a teacher to the #CSEdWeek educator community each day, on the theme of “Creative Computing: What? Why? How?” Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, using #CSEdWeek and #TeacherLearning!

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