7th/8th Grade, 28-30 students, 14% free and reduced lunch
The students really enjoyed the lesson/activity. As Renee said above, the first sort wasn’t chaotic. I had students finish between 50 seconds and just shy of 5 minutes. We went through the reflection questions as teams and then as a whole group so everyone could hear each teams’ ideas and I added a question of “What was the order that your team used?”. This was interesting, but not sure it added to the purpose of the lesson. Most teams did A-K or 2-A, one team used random order, but I had them use a different order rather than just calling Done when I said go. Although, it made me smile when they came up with that as a “reasonable order”! My class became very competitive with their times and claimed other groups that used a simple order (red/black)to be cheating.
The second sort was faster 45 seconds to 3 minutes as they now had a strategy and/or a set of hand signals for some teams to communicate with each other…I know some ingenious little buggers.
For the final sort, we established a set order for all teams to use; A-K and alternating red and black. I justified that by saying a computer has to follow a set of instructions/code and linked it back to having a very specific solution in the Problem Solving process. A good lesson that helped them think about what is going on inside a computer.