Pilot - U3L04 - Shapes and Randomness


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

U3L04 - Parameters and Randomization - New Curriculum Map

This is the point in which students got confused, mostly because they aren’t great at reading directions. MOST questions that students had on this lesson could’ve been answered if they read the directions on top and even stopped the class twice to redirect them. This is where my competitive class becomes a curse to slow down and not just try to finish puzzles.

With that said, the Maps are key - I instructed my entire class to “Command Click” and open each of the maps in a separate tab so they could refer back to it often (same with the previous lesson, but I found that helpful to students after the fact, this time I prompted from the beginning).

For the most part student could follow along in puzzles 1-8 before the Random Numbers were introduced. This doesn’t seem connected to the simple shapes they were creating before and I would suggest (as I will probably try next time I teach this) is working with the variables lesson first to have more control and a better understand of the x, y, w, h before calling random numbers. Overall didn’t feel like my students understood the ability to manipulate x, y, w, h before calling random numbers, and when they finished the code and completed the level - a few couldn’t explain to me why it was correct.


Excited to hear that you found the maps useful. Aside from having students open them in tabs for reference, did you do any instruction around them? Did students spend any time reading the maps first, or did they just dive in and refer to the map as necessary?



We don’t formally read them aloud, but I emphasize them enough that students understand they should be using/reviewing them. It’s odd, my students like a textbook and this gives them something to grab onto.



22 students, 6th grade, no background in CS prior to this course

I’ve done a few things differently in Unit 3 than Unit 2 in terms of pedagogy. I’ve been doing more switching of partners. Even with the switching of partners, though, I still have students at different stages between lesson 4 and lesson 6. This seems to be a positive thing for the students and builds the expectation that they will be working with anyone and everyone in the class. With lesson 4, for some reason, some of the students actually preferred using the text rather than typing in the blocks. There is definitely a range in my class of students who intentionally manipulate the x,y,w,h values and those who do guess and check before settling on their response. No major glitches. Overall students are really enjoying the unit.


Hey @mak glad to hear that you’ve been able to maintain that positive class culture even as students are working in different lessons. We’ll definitely be interested to hear if and how use of text/blocks changes throughout the unit too.