Students struggling with functions



My students are struggling to figure out functions. They aren’t understanding the concepts. The unplugged activities confused them further. Any teaching ideas or unplugged ideas to help them?


With this lesson, I found students struggled with the planning that required them to analyze first Then, plan, Then, code. Although the steps to create the diamond are broken down, I found them resistant to doing it that way.

Two things I tried:

  1. let them solve it the long way and develop the need for functions at their own pace.
  2. I made a rule of 10 - you couldn’t have any runs of code longer than 10 lines. After a bit, they seemed to plan ahead more instead of revising afterward. There was no magic about 10 lines. I would change the number for different situations or even to individual students as a challenge.

It would be great to hear what others have experienced and the strategies used.

Happy computing,