'16-'17 General Discussion for Lesson 2.6


Use this thread to discuss your questions and comments about how to run the lesson.



Has anyone done the Unit 2 Lesson 6 practice PT? Are there other examples besides the birthday party that anyone has developed? I’m struggling a little, and I imagine my students will struggle a LOT if I don’t try to give them a more clear idea of what will make an encodable example. Thanks in advance for any advice!


Actually, for anyone else having this problem, I just went back to the '15-16 list and found many examples and tips. Hope it helps you too!


My students last chose different topics to encode.
Group Camping trip
Playing an interactive game
Going to the Philippines
Attending a Wedding

Encode a Trip.pdf (350.2 KB)

I uploaded an example. My student chose multiple sections to detail instead of just one. I hope this helps.



That’s a nice looking chart. What program/app did your student use to create it?



@wbarnum My student used Adobe Illustrator CS6 for that Assignment.


I remember last year we did a lesson on overflow… although I don’t remember seeing that this year. There was the optional “Numbers in the Real World” lesson, but I thought there was another one that had even more examples of overflow messing up systems/equipment. Does that sound familiar to anyone else? @caroline ?

I think talking about overflow before this activity might make the reason for paying attention to the number of bits more relevant to students.


Well… I am answering my own question here, but I found this article that I had students read about overflow. I think it really exemplified the idea that choosing how to encode data does make a difference and can limit the math operations you can perform with them. It might be a good intro to the PT so they get the “why do I care how many bits to use” piece of the task.


Many students are struggling with the concept of parts and wholes and breaking down their experience into components. Instead of distinct components, they are giving me many specific instances of the same component, which ends up turning into a chart of listing the names of instances and coding those specific names in ASCII, which is not our intent.
For example, I had a student encode a trip to the airport. She chose to break down airport locations and her sub-components for her chart were: terminal, check-in, baggage, food service, etc. The encoding descriptions were simply the literal names of these sub-components encoded in ASCII, nothing more.

I think students are struggling with abstractions on many levels. It might be helpful to introduce just a bit of concreteness to this project to get students thinking in the right direction. Here’s what I propose: Tweak the directions slightly to state that students are going to develop an online form which collects information from the user to help them encode their experience. This gets students thinking about these components as “containers” for storing specific instances of the component, rather than storing simply the name of the component itself. This is also a nice preview to chapter 2 of the unit where students start thinking about data collection and analysis.


I like this riff on how to frame the problem and agree it’s a nice lead in to spreadsheet stuff. I think I’ll add it as a teaching tip in the lesson. Oh, I just did. Check out the “Tip From the Field” next to Day 1 of the poject breakdown.


Thanks, Jared!

CSP Team


Here is a slideshow that I created to introduce the project. I discussed how NBA 2K17 is an encoded version of the real life NBA games. The programming team made decisions as to what parts of the real life game they wanted to simulate (crowd, announcers, players, etc.) I briefly touched on the evolution of watching movies at home (blockbuster, netflix DVDs then streaming.) Following that I went over the Birthday party example and the students dove right in. Their diagrams are awesome! Today we will begin working on their data tables and then the writing portion.



Thank you for sharing!


Great job on the presentation


For the airport experience, what if she included the distance to get to each location and the time spent at each location before she needed to be at the gate.


Omg I ran into this big time last year and posted here about it and it seemed like nobody had that issue. I ran into again this year and actually ended up explaining it the way you did… analogizing it with filling out a form. I think it helped some students “do it right” but after a while I felt like we were losing sight of the forest for the trees. Perhaps I’ll have to focus more next time on how this all connects. Otherwise, it really seems like some arbitrary set of instructions… my students must not be seeing the bigger picture and the connections if to them there’s these arbitrary rules that their experience has to be broken in a way that’s like fields on a form. I’m pretty sure my students running into that issue (if not more) aren’t getting the concept of generalization. They try to encode a specific instance of any experience.


Just wondering if anyone has used this as a project grade and how you graded it? I will use the rubric, but not sure how to assign points. Any suggestions?


I did and I just assigned points 1, 2, and 3.U2L06PracticePT-Rubric.pdf (80.2 KB)


Sounds like a good plan.


Does anyone have what they would consider an exemplar response to the essay part of this project. Not really confident I have a good idea of what to be looking for