1 Hook—Help Someone!
Students will learn what algorithms are by realizing that they are present in many parts of their day. Ask them how people help others understand how to do something using a set of instructions. What kind of instructions have they followed or have they been given in their lives? Things like feeding the dog, or brushing your teeth are typical instructions they have learned how to do. You want the students to understand that the term: algorithm, is really a synonym for instructions.
Have you ever given anyone instructions in how to do something? Play a game? Solve a math problem? Make a sandwich? Think about a time you've given someone directions (for example, make their bed) and list the steps on the index card. Share your instructions with your neighbor/partner or team. Can you follow their directions?
2 Direct Instruction
Students will define the two terms: algorithm (a list of steps to follow to finish a task) and program (an algorithm that has been coded so that it can be run by a machine)
Using a simple four by four grid. Students will learn to program an A.R.M. (Automatic Response Machine) whichi is esstentially their own arms. The worksheet is here: http://code.org/curriculum/course2/1/Teacher#Activity1
If students are still in need of practice programming, there are additional activites included on this worksheet (steps for creating an airplane, cleaning a cat's teeth) but if they understand the concept, you may want to consider skipping the additional activities.
If an algorithm is a set of steps, a program is an algorithm that a machine can run. We'll be using an A.R.M. machine for the next activity. You all have one attached to your bodies. Using the worksheet, we'll write a program to move the arm in the proper position.
Once you write the program with your partner, we'll see if we can follow the algorithms with our ARMS to create the correct puzzles.
3 Guided Practice on Code.org
Prior to students logging into the Code.org website, create an account for yourself and a set of student logins. This will allow you to track how your students are moving through the program and allowing them to progress at their own pace.
I used Course 2 for grades 2 and 3 students, but you may find Course 1 might be a more practical place to begin. While the coding doesn't use a great deal of reading, there are helpful hints that students can use for assistance. Try out both courses yourself and find which one suits your population best.
The direct link to the first video is here: http://studio.code.org/s/course2/stage/3/puzzle/1
Watch the video and answer any questions the students may have. Then log them into their accounts and begin the first module together.
Today we'll be logging into our Code.org accounts to begin learning how to program algorithms that apps and games you play online use.
To begin, we'll watch a video about how the coding program works and how to begin.
4 Independent Practice on Code.org
Once students are familiar with how to manipulate the Blocky coding blocks, (you may want to go through the first few modules together, or pull a few students who may need extra direct instruction) independent practice can begin.
The students progress through each module at their own pace and when all modules are completed can move on to the next stage.
At this point, you will become a facilitator, helping if needed but mainly monitoring their activity and ensuring they are on-task. From experience, most students will be engaged and motivated by the puzzles they are solving.
Keep an eye out for frustration levels, as the students progress through the stages. All levels can be repeated for reviewing and may be helpful to remind students if they have not been using the program daily.
Once you feel comfortable using the Blocky program, you can progress at your own pace. You are each other's best tutors and if classmates are having difficulty passing through a module, I encourage you to ask your classmates for assistance.
I will be moving around the room to help if you need assistance from me. You can also repeat any modules if you want extra practice at some point.
5 Daily Wrap Up
As each student will be a a different stage or module, assessing will be best done as an independent assessment.
You may want to ask for a response such as, "Show me by putting up one, two or three fingers what you experienced today (1 finger for understanding most of it, 2 for a little but not all, 3 for really confused for most of it.) This will give you a good gauge of how much the students are grasping of the concepts they are learning. You can compare their rating with how far they are progressing in the course using your online tools at the website.
As you finish up on your module for today, think about what you experienced as you worked today. I'll be asking for your assessment in a few moments.
After students have logged out and you have their attention, ask, show me by holding out 1, 2 or 3 fingers your experience today. If you really understood most of what you worked on, hold out 1 finger, hold out 2 fingers if you learned some things, but some things were tricky, and hold out 3 if you found that most of what you worked on today was difficult.
6 Project Wrap Up
As a final closure to the unit (after the students have completed the course and/or moved onto the next course,) revisit the idea of what an algorithm is (a set of directions to complete a task) and what the students have learned about programming from completing the stages in the course.
For students who show further interest in learning coding, allow them to continue on in the website (either independently, or as part of a group.)
It is recommended to have a final exit ticket (a Google form would be a good choice) asking the students about their reaction and input to the program.
Key Standards Supported
|L.1: Conventions of Standard English|
|L.1.1||Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.|
|L.1.1a||Print all upper- and lowercase letters.|
|L.1.1b||Use common, proper, and possessive nouns.|
|L.1.1c||Use singular and plural nouns with matching verbs in basic sentences (e.g., He hops; We hop).|
|L.1.1d||Use personal, possessive, and indefinite pronouns (e.g., I, me, my; they, them, their, anyone, everything).|
|L.1.1e||Use verbs to convey a sense of past, present, and future (e.g., Yesterday I walked home; Today I walk home; Tomorrow I will walk home).|
|L.1.1f||Use frequently occurring adjectives.|
|L.1.1g||Use frequently occurring conjunctions (e.g., and, but, or, so, because).|
|L.1.1h||Use determiners (e.g., articles, demonstratives).|
|L.1.1i||Use frequently occurring prepositions (e.g., during, beyond, toward).|
|L.1.1j||Produce and expand complete simple and compound declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences in response to prompts.|
|L.1.2||Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.|
|L.1.2a||Capitalize dates and names of people.|
|L.1.2b||Use end punctuation for sentences.|
|L.1.2c||Use commas in dates and to separate single words in a series.|
|L.1.2d||Use conventional spelling for words with common spelling patterns and for frequently occurring irregular words.|
|L.1.2e||Spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions.|
|Vocabulary Acquisition and Use|
|L.1.6||Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using frequently occurring conjunctions to signal simple relationships (e.g., because).|
|L.2: Conventions of Standard English|
|L.2.1||Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.|
|L.2.1a||Use collective nouns (e.g., group).|
|L.2.1b||Form and use frequently occurring irregular plural nouns (e.g., feet, children, teeth, mice, fish).|
|L.2.1c||Use reflexive pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves).|
|L.2.1d||Form and use the past tense of frequently occurring irregular verbs (e.g., sat, hid, told).|
|L.2.1e||Use adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.|
|L.2.1f||Produce, expand, and rearrange complete simple and compound sentences (e.g., The boy watched the movie; The little boy watched the movie; The action movie was watched by the little boy).|
|L.2.2||Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.|
|L.2.2a||Capitalize holidays, product names, and geographic names.|
|L.2.2b||Use commas in greetings and closings of letters.|
|L.2.2c||Use an apostrophe to form contractions and frequently occurring possessives.|
|L.2.2d||Generalize learned spelling patterns when writing words (e.g., cage → badge; boy → boil).|
|L.2.2e||Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.|
|Knowledge of Language|
|L.2.3||Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.|
|L.2.3a||Compare formal and informal uses of English.|
|Vocabulary Acquisition and Use|
|L.2.4||Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 2 reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies.|
|L.2.4a||Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.|
|L.2.4b||Determine the meaning of the new word formed when a known prefix is added to a known word (e.g., happy/unhappy, tell/retell).|
|L.2.4c||Use a known root word as a clue to the meaning of an unknown word with the same root (e.g., addition, additional).|
|L.2.4d||Use knowledge of the meaning of individual words to predict the meaning of compound words (e.g., birdhouse, lighthouse, housefly; bookshelf, notebook, bookmark).|
|L.2.4e||Use glossaries and beginning dictionaries, both print and digital, to determine or clarify the meaning of words and phrases.|
|L.2.5||Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships and nuances in word meanings.|
|L.2.5b||Distinguish shades of meaning among closely related verbs (e.g., toss, throw, hurl) and closely related adjectives (e.g., thin, slender, skinny, scrawny).|
|L.2.6||Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using adjectives and adverbs to describe (e.g., When other kids are happy that makes me happy).|
|L2.5a||Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., describe foods that are spicy or juicy).|
|L.3: Conventions of Standard English|
|L.3.1||Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.|
|L.3.1a||Explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in general and their functions in particular sentences.|
|L.3.1b||Form and use regular and irregular plural nouns.|
|L.3.1c||Use abstract nouns (e.g., childhood).|
|L.3.1d||Form and use regular and irregular verbs.|
|L.3.1e||Form and use the simple (e.g., I walked; I walk; I will walk) verb tenses.|
|L.3.1f||Ensure subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement.*|
|L.3.1g||Form and use comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.|
|L.3.1h||Use coordinating and subordinating conjunctions.|
|L.3.1i||Produce simple, compound, and complex sentences.|
|Knowledge of Language|
|L.3.3||Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.|
|L.3.3a||Choose words and phrases for effect.*|
|L.3.3b||Recognize and observe differences between the conventions of spoken and written standard English.|
|Vocabulary Acquisition and Use|
|L.3.4||Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning word and phrases based on grade 3 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.|
|L.3.4a||Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.|
|L.3.4b||Determine the meaning of the new word formed when a known affix is added to a known word (e.g., agreeable/disagreeable, comfortable/uncomfortable, care/careless, heat/preheat).|
|L.3.4c||Use a known root word as a clue to the meaning of an unknown word with the same root (e.g., company, companion).|
|L.3.4d||Use glossaries or beginning dictionaries, both print and digital, to determine or clarify the precise meaning of key words and phrases.|
|L.3.5||Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships and nuances in word meanings.|
|L.3.5a||Distinguish the literal and nonliteral meanings of words and phrases in context (e.g., take steps).|
|L.3.5b||Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., describe people who are friendly or helpful).|
|L.3.5c||Distinguish shades of meaning among related words that describe states of mind or degrees of certainty (e.g., knew, believed, suspected, heard, wondered).|
|L.3.6||Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate conversational, general academic, and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal spatial and temporal relationships (e.g., After dinner that night we went looking for them).|
|1.G: Reason With Shapes And Their Attributes.|
|1.G.1||Distinguish between defining attributes (e.g., triangles are closed and three-sided) versus non-defining attributes (e.g., color, orientation, overall size); build and draw shapes to possess defining attributes.|
|1.G.2||Compose two-dimensional shapes (rectangles, squares, trapezoids, triangles, half-circles, and quarter-circles) or three-dimensional shapes (cubes, right rectangular prisms, right circular cones, and right circular cylinders) to create a composite shape, and compose new shapes from the composite shape.4|
|2.G: Reason With Shapes And Their Attributes.|
|2.G.2||Partition a rectangle into rows and columns of same-size squares and count to find the total number of them.|