Teaching loops and efficiency


Loops! I was a music teacher prior to delving into the ed tech world. So, I think of a repeat sign when I think of a loop. Quite often, you would see a group of measure to be repeated. At times, it would tell you how many times to repeat the group of measures. Same thing here! Repeat this set of instructions this number of times to reach the end.


I haven’t taught coding yet. I’m still in the PD stage.


Since I teach 4th grade math, looping integrates well when discussing the relationship between repeated addition of the same value and multiplication expression of the value repeated a certain number of times. The final outcome of each activity arrives at the same value/or location on the screen.


I plan to use the lesson “Getting Looping” for 5-6 year old kids. Think they will like it.


A good idea to teach or reinforce the computer concept of loops would be to include this in a “problem of the day” routine. I love this idea and it helps kids engage in problem solving from the start of class.


I think loops could be explained through the students’ daily activities. Students could discuss and map out what are common things that they do day to day. For instance, Monday through Friday could be illustrated as a loop, because they wake up around the same time, get dressed, brush teeth, eat breakfast, go to school, attend classes, lunch, classes, go home, eat dinner, get ready for bed, sleep. Saturday and Sunday may not be on a loop, for maybe they get to sleep in or wake up at different times, stay up later, etc.


Since it’s summer break, I’m getting ready to teach these skills and strategies next year. Love the visual ideas shared–hula hoops, dance moves!


As seen on one of the unplugged lesson videos, as a whole class I would go through a sequence of many repetitive actions and have students write down the corresponding instructions (algorithms) on the board. It’s a tedious task and takes a lot of time to write the instructions. Then, we introduce the LOOP method to write the instructions. This will help students appreciate how useful it is.


In kindergarten teaching loops is pretty basic. I start by explaining that everyday is a new day but that most things are repeated, for instance waking up, getting ready for school and coming to school, and then we move through our school day and then we go home and do it all over again the next day. I also play the same videos every morning and show that as a loop. I have an activity where each student stands up pushes in their chair and put one finger on the back of the chair, we close our eyes, breathe in through our nose and out through our mouth. We do this with each hand twice. I did this when I taught high school as well. It helped the students focus better.


Being a math teacher, I would demonstrate loops using repeated addition and multiplication.


Loops are used in science to explain patterns and cycles.


I would relate looping to math class. An example of looping is repeated addition (which is also multiplication, and repeated subtraction is division).


I enjoyed teaching my 6th-grade students about loops through the Code.org Unplugged lesson that incorporates dancing. Most of the class enjoyed learning the moves and creating their own sequence of movements. It’s a great way to incorporate kinesthetic learning.


I use clapping and letting the kids repeat after me. I’d let them do different patterns of rhythm and have them repeat several times… For the upper grades, we use the garageband for a song project containing loops. Kids seem to get the concept really fast.


Clapping patterns would be a good way to introduce looping to my second graders. I also like the “Getting Loopy” dance. I think 2nd graders would be able to follow the dance moves and understand the concept of looping/repeating.


I like the idea of the dancing part of getting loopy to teach loops and patterns. I think middle school students will really get into this.


Looping is when you do a step repeatedly as opposed to listing it multiple times.


I would teach students looping by talking about making cookies. Once the batter is made, you do the same few steps for each cookie until the batter is gone. Scoop, drop, scoop, drop, scoop, drop…


One way that readily comes to mind is the Skipping exercise. You basically repeat the process of throwing the rope over your head and immediately jumping over it as many times as possible.

So we have something like this:
Skipping exercise = ((Rope over head) + (Jump over rope)) * 10

You can change the number 10 to as many times as you want to skip.


I definitely begin with the concrete. Have done with having a child act as the robot and the rest of the group act as computer programmers. The programmers get the robot from point A to point B (create a scenerio such as getting a dog to his bone while avoiding the flowers). Use simple verbal language that is attached to a symbol (i.e.: move forward is an arrow facing up). As we create the program, we display it visually. We look at how often a symbol is used in a row and that writing that all out isn’t efficient. That’s where loops are first introduced. After practice, we look for similar patterns to repeat in the program and create loops for the patterns.