Sorting, Matching, Counting


Currently (January 17, 2019), both of the activity guides for this lesson ask students to “Choose the type of processing you will use, and explain how it will help you get your output” and refer to “Sorting / Matching / Counting.” I don’t see any reference to processing as “Matching” or “Counting” elsewhere in the curriculum - just Sorting in 1.6 with the number cards. Someone else mentioned this issue in a September 2018 post, and I’m still confused now. Can someone from please clarify and/or update the activity guide so it makes more sense? Thank you!




Hi, we’re in the process of making our revisions to Unit 1, and more practice with identifying what sort of processing might be needed are in there. For now, you could let your students know that “matching” and “counting” just mean the same things that they mean in everyday life. The computer might count how many of something there are, or the computer might see if it can find a match.




There is a really good documentary “The Secret Rules of Modern Living Algorithms” that does a good job of explaining this. You can find it on Youtube. Hope this helps.

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This has been on my Netflix watchlist forever. I’ll have to finally set aside the time to watch it!

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Just wondering when these revisions for Unit 1 will be available to view?



Hi @nrafferty!

We prefer not to revise things like this mid-year, so there will not be any changes to this lesson before the year is up. We’re also looking at keeping the course as similar as possible for the 19-20 school year, outside of better support for assessment.

We’re trying to balance our desire to improve the course year over year with the desire to keep things stable so that teachers are not constantly needing to re-prepare lessons. We also want to make sure that we have a chance to really understand the needs that teachers are expressing and how our solutions fit those needs.

We will be doing major revisions to the Problem Solving and Computing unit for the 20-21 school year, with a pilot running during the 19-20 school year. The curriculum/lessons we are testing in the pilot will be open for anyone to use and give feedback on, even though they will not be the recommended version of the course for 19-20. This new, draft version of CS Discoveries will include the revised processing lesson that will better align with our goals for the unit and for the project.

Please keep an eye on the forum this spring and summer. We’ll be posting more information about the pilot this spring, and we’ll likely share links to the pilot version of the new 20-21 version of the unit in late summer.


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Something my students benefited from when discussing ‘Sorting, Matching, and Counting’ was comparing it to Netflix’s app. This is familiar to most kids.
Counting = how many movies match your interests
Sorting = prioritizing movies by how close they are to your interests
Matching = identifying movies connected to your interests; showing a percentage of relatedness to your interests

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