Students will watch a Brain Pop movie about computer programming. Students will take notes and draw visual representations of at least 3 vocabulary terms presented in the movie. In small groups, students will compare notes, add additional terms, and include a real life example for each vocabulary term in their notes.
2 Direct Instruction
Teachers use the BrainPop computer programming activity sheet to show students various components of an algorithmic task, which include variables, conditions and outputs. Teachers will create a conditional statement for students and then have students generate their own. Teachers may also create a blank computer programming activity sheet, so students can create their own tasks, variables, conditions and outputs.
3 Guided Practice
I created two types of Guided Practice activities depending on the comfort level of the teacher. If you use the maze option, make sure students design a maze that allows them to include: functions, loops and conditional statements. I suggest going through the Code.org site in advance, so you have the background vocabulary and coding experience to connect this activity with the Independent Practice section.
Option 1: Students use Google Drive will create a algorithm for a common activity. Examples may include: tying your shoes, sharpening a pencil, finding a word in a dictionary, or following a classroom procedure. Students must write out every step in detail. Once the algorithm is complete, the student will share the document with a partner who tests the procedure for bugs by following the steps. The student must continue to iterate the process until the algorithm is accurate. Here is an example graphic organizer from the BrainPop Website. The original can be found by going to the BrainPop computer programming activity page and selecting the center tab "graphic organizer."
Option 2: Provide students with a printed maze and have them create an algorithm in Google Drive to navigate from one section to another. Teachers can also have students create their own maze on graph paper. Students will share the document and maze with a partner who tests the procedure for bugs by following the steps. The student must continue to iterate the process until the algorithm is accurate.
4 Independent Practice
Students will process through the hour of coding lesson available on Code.org. During the practice students will utilize instructional videos and process through creating algorithms, which include, functions, loops and conditional statements.
Use an Edmodo poll to gather feedback about the level of difficulty of the Independent Practice section. You may include statements such as: It was just right, and I went through the coding levels quickly. I found it challenging, but I still enjoyed the struggle. I would have preferred spending more time at the beginning levels before advancing so quickly.
Based on student feedback you can offer students follow up activities that is better suited for their instructional level. I created a board on creative design and coding options to offer students.