Pilot - U1L08 - Apps and Problem Solving



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6th grade/suburban/mostly minority and low income

I scaffolded this lesson with the alternative lesson for Lesson 7: Inputs and Outputs. I decided to do this because I wasn’t sure my students understood inputs and outputs as well as they should and I knew that Lesson 8 would be a struggle if they didn’t. We did the alternative lesson as a whole class in an open discussion format and it turns out that they understood the idea behind the concepts very well. This lesson just gave them a way to frame that understanding.

Lesson 8 was fun for them. We did the example, Halloween, the Ring Silencer, and the What to wear app together. I did that because after talking them through Halloween, I could tell that even though they all use apps and know what they are, they have NEVER thought about the how and why they work. When they went to do the Movie Recommendations app on their own it was easy for them to list the information. A long discussion came out of the Ring Silencer app challenge. They had to really think outside of their own experiences in order to suggest improvements. For example, one of the possible inputs is “Locations of schools in the area.” They didn’t think that was relevant and to them, it isn’t. However, 6th graders wouldn’t be the only people using the app and for high school students or even teachers who might travel to different locations during the day to take classes (students who go to another campus for a class for teachers who teach in different buildings), they might need that feature. We also really want someone to actually make this app a reality. We could really use it.


@renee_coley Thanks for sharing! Cool to hear that the lesson spurred some good conversation and maybe got students interested in app creation!


My students (7/8th, elective class) struggled with getting input sources on the activity guide. Under Input Type they would list what kind of information and under Information they would list specific information. IE: for the What to Wear App, they would list “clothes” and then “blue pants”. I flipped the order of the 2 columns so that “Information” was on the left and then “Input Type” was on the right. This helped them think it through better since they could come up with the information and then think how the app would acquire it. Made for much better results on the activity guide. I also created a work sheet to give them a bit more practice. I am including it here. Input Type and Source U1L8.doc (31 KB)


Hi Raymond!

Thanks for the extra resource. It makes sense that it’s easier for kids to think first of the information that they need before thinking about where that information should come from. This sort of feedback is really useful for us as we review the lessons.



12 students, 9-12th Grades with little experience in CS.

U1L08 - Processing with Apps
This lesson was also straightforward. When we started talking about input and output, I could see the students body language change to “we got this” but once the Code Studio pages were up, they realized there was a lot more to think about and after the first one asked if they could add additional needed inputs. Overall a good prompt to get students thinking about all the different inputs they have. With our 80 minute blocks, we started on Lesson 9 (the Final Project) and the students were better prepared for the Input and Output section, only one group got to the part and really thought about processing, which was then brought up in a Group Call.


That’s great that the lesson get the kids thinking more deeply about the apps. We’ve heard from a few people that kids are familiar with apps but haven’t really thought a lot about how they actually work. It sounds like you got your students to have some of those discussions.


Classes are mixed grades 7/8. Predominately low income, Hispanic students. 60% qualify for free lunch program. Block schedule - Mon & Wed, 90 minutes, Fridays, 45 minutes. Diverse academic ability levels.

This lesson went very well as designed. The lesson was delivered using Google Slides (click on link to view) and Google Classroom. Students were engaged and enthusiastic. Lots of great ideas on how to improve the apps coming from the students. I assigned the activity guide through Google Classroom. Students created their own documents (sample) for note-taking. I try to include opportunities for students to explore how to use Google Apps alongside their assignments. In the document they created, I had them type in the objectives using bullet points. Copy the picture from Challenge 1 and paste it into their notes document. They also copied the questions about Challenge 1 and recorded their answers in the document.


Thanks Debbie. Knowing that you use the activity guides online rather than printing it out is really useful information for us in designing the resources.

And thank you again for the slide resource!


I teach at a high school in SLC, Utah. My class is very diverse in that we have multiple languages in the class, English is not the native language of 95% of my students, I have pretty close to 50/50 boy, girl ratio and the class is a good representation of students from the entire school ranging from grades 9-12. Our class period is 90 minutes every other day.

This activity did a good job connecting apps to input types and what kind of information one could get from the input, as well as, possible output the app would give.

We did Challenge 1 as a class, Challenge 2 as a row group, Challenge 3 as partners and Challenge 4 as partners. This worked out pretty well, because not all of the students understood the input types, but between the two, they did alright.

I think students were surprised as to what kind of input apps could pull information from, and it led to some great discussions on privacy rights when downloading apps.


The activity was very lively and there was a lot of conversation between the students.
It was interesting to see them quantify and qualify the reasons they had to make decisions.

No modifications made. Very successful lesson as presented


@pedro_uribe and @nicole glad to hear this lesson went well in both of your classes. Thanks for the helpful feedback!