My students are having difficulty understanding conditions, conditionals, and Boolean Expressions and connecting them to keyboard input. I would hate to have my student move on to mouse input (lesson 17). Are there any suggestions for teaching these concepts differently?
I understand not wanting to move on before they master conditionals a bit further. Here are some suggestions I have. Maybe they will work for your kids:
- If you haven’t already, use an unplugged activity. Sometimes I find a hands-on lesson away from the computer helps them apply the concept when on the computer. Here is an unplugged conditional lesson from Code dot org and one from Microsoft.
- We really emphasize that the code in the conditional (in the curly braces) can only be run if the condition in the parenthesis is true. If it is not true, the code skips the curly braces and goes to the next line of code. Maybe print out an exemplar from one of the lessons or a few of the lessons and have them write out what makes the condition true and what makes it false. Here is an example of what I was thinking as a formative assessment.
With practice, I think your kids will master this idea. Perhaps others will have additional ideas.