Supporting CS Discoveries students during school closures

Are you a CS Discoveries teacher looking for ideas on how to best support your students during the extended school closures? You are not alone. Post your questions and suggestions here to connect with educators across the nation who are facing similar challenges.

Unplugged (mostly): Algorithm for Washing Hands:

Similar to the “Create an algorithm to tie your shoe”, students could create an algorithm for washing hands. To best match the frameworks covered in CSD Unit 3, I would/will outline the assignment something like this:


  • Our problem: we need to wash our hands. Find a reliable resource (like CDCs instructions) that states when and why we should wash our hands and outlines the basic process for washing hands correctly.


  • The need to wash hands must be initiated by user input (Ex: If user touched face)
  • Use if statements (conditionals) to change the flow of the hand washing based on user input
  • Use iteration or loops
  • Use arguments to better describe the actions of hand washing (getSoap(small) or scrubHands(under) scrubHands(top)
  • Can use random number or a function for more detail in hand washing instructions.


  • Students could post and test each others algorithm and give feedback.


  • Write a reflection based on feedback on how effective your algorithm is at cleaning your hands. Be sure to use evidence from your reliable resource.

Looking forward to ideas from others. We’ve got this!


Thanks for sharing Michelle! Would you mind if we possibly shared this idea with other teachers via email or social media?

PLEASE DO!!! :grinning:

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I usually have students create “a creative interpretation of the ISPO model”. They come up with the coolest ideas of illustrating the cycle. They include things like roller coasters, a play on the water cycle, a play on the digestive system (always hilarious), recipes for making food, I even had one that used doing laundry as a way to explain the ISPO model. I always require full color and ask them to use the whole piece of paper (8 1/2"x11" printer paper).


I am currently in Unit 5 Lesson 2. I created a Google Slide with the tiles on it for the students to use for this activity. We were having connectivity problems today, so I will see how this works tomorrow. I am using a Google Sheet for the students to sign-up to partner with another students. Then the first student shares their document with the other student. I have Zoom and will try Zoom Rooms tomorrow for the pairs. Then I need to figure out how to share the document with other pairs. I may just set up another google sheet and work off of that. Here is a link to my Google Slide


Thank you for sharing! How did this work in Zoom?

After working with it with my students. The issue was stacking the cards. Some of the cards went to the back so the students had to use “Control Shift UpArrow” to get the correct order. I did not want to spend that much time on this, so I think I will just have them write the first letters out in a line. That will be just as effective and will save time.


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                03/24/20, 10:47:22 AM
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This came up on a different thread, but I thought I’d link it here too since it could be used remotely. Word Puzzle and Birthday Guests in Google Drawing

HI all! I"m in the middle of CSD unit 3. My kids with internet are rocking it. However, about a quarter of my class does not have internet and we are to have comparable learning activities for those without internet. I’m usually pretty crafty, but am really struggling with this? Anyone else in this situation and can offer ideas? Thanks a million, Holly

Hi @hhook,

I might look at the outcomes or CSD Frameworks and finding unplugged activities that match some of those. Some suggestions I have:
Computing and Algorithms

Or any of the classic problem solving activities require problem solving thinking like the Destination Imagination A Four Square Deal (have to scroll down a bit).

  • Students could write out step by step how they build it (algorithm)
  • Did they have a series of steps they repeated like building tower walls (functions)
  • Did they have items with specific measurements of length or height or width (variables)

OR have them create a board game or outdoor game with rules and play pieces (like this lesson - I have not read completely through so keep that in mind)

In my mind, if students are creating something with a series of steps, identifying where commonalities can be grouped (like return to home), and keeping score (variable), then they are meeting the outcomes of Unit 3.

ADDED LATER: also posted these links for how to teach students with limited or no internet access when mid-course for CSDiscoveries:

Hope that sparks some ideas,

Great ideas! I think it may have been you, @melynn who posted this link earlier in another thread as well, but here’s a page on that has a lot of unplugged activities that could dovetail with the frameworks and concepts taught in lesson 3.


Hi all, due to Covid-19 the school closure has made problem
For teachers and students both … I am Otjmary teacher I have made classes of my year6 students on my studio. Code account I want to send them message collectively as a whole class … they have their class codes and secret codes… Is it possible to send message to this mint heir classes I have made ? Kindly help

Hi @tahniat.fatimah, I am not sure I understand your question. Are you trying to send them a message through their accounts? I am not aware of a way to send messages. Am I misunderstanding your question?


For Unit 5: On Discover Education they have a puzzle generator that can generate Substitution Cipher puzzles. Here is the link: