I love that we have a fancy word (algorithm) that means a simple set of directions. The hardest part for kids is to break directions down to the simplest of steps AND keeping them in order.
I also enjoy the peanut butter sandwich. What I have done though is similar to “Happy Maps” I get a “Jam Sandwich” map, which has all the jam sandwich making stages all over the map and what the learners have to do is cut them out and place them in the correct order. I give them colour cards where they paste the jam sandwich pictures on and number label them so that I can see if they got it correct. This activity really is the best to teach learners to follow a simple set of instructions.
I think showing an algorithm in it’s simplest form using the happy maps is an excellent way to present a complex function. Learning to express the list of steps to perform a task and the proper sequence of events is essential to understanding the new vocabulary to young learners.
This is my first time teaching coding to 6th grade. I am going to use the peanut butter and jelly recipe, using almond butter instead of peanut butter. I’m going to have my students draw pictures of the sequence for the kindergarten class. I’ll explain that the recipe is the algorithm and it has to be followed in sequence. Both sequence and algorithm are the program.
I really like the idea of the “recipe” concept to teach the kids about algorithms and how they work. Something that most children could relate to!
When I started teaching CT as a primary school teacher I never really differentiated between an algorithm and a program. Now working as an educational technology coach and my goal to support the teachers I’m happy to see the difference. It’s important especially for the kindergarten and pre-primary students.
Recently I started reading “Hello Ruby” by Linda Liukas with grade 2 students which also makes the difference between an algorithm and a program very clear.
I teach Kindergarten. I’ve used Bee Bots for the past 2 years and I always like beginning with our ABC carpet. We talk about how to get to a specific letter if i’m standing on the letter A and can only move 1 space at a time.
I like the “making a peanut butter sandwich” idea suggested by other teachers as well as legos.
I teach 4-6 graders in an EBD special education classroom. Every week, 4 times a week I teach Social skills lessons in the afternoon. I would use an activity that I used in my social skills lesson on ," Explain What You Want" . The students take turns to tell me how to make an ice cream sundae that I will give to them. I do not talk or tell them how to make changes but, by the time the last student gets their sundae, they make the specific changes so that I make the sundae using the correct steps. During the reflection section, students reflect quietly in their journal and then we share what we liked, what we would do differently and should we do this lesson again next year. This lesson would be a great way to talk with students about sequencing and how specific instructions need to be given in order to make a sundae. I would then have the students create their own sequencing instructions to frost a cupcake. Then give their written instructions to a partner to complete.
I would introduce basic vocabulary words such as Algorithm and sequencing so the students will understand the terms that we will be using. Building a foundation is critical when introducing a new concept or skill. Using real world examples such recipes and number order are a good way to have the students relate.
I love the alphabet carpet idea. I also teach Kindergarten and it is SO important to begin with concrete examples!
I have used the alphabet carpet idea with younger kids. I have a student stand somewhere on the carpet and have a “goal” for them to get to. The rest of the class sits around the carpet and we go around the carpet and each student gives directions for the next move. As they learn this way, I begin to add in chairs onto the carpet to block pathways. They love it. Another one I use is the humanbot for 2nd-4th graders. If they say “turn left,” I keep turning left until they give me another direction. I start out having them tell ME directions to get from one place to another. They have to be specific. Sometimes they would turn it back on me! If I tell them to walk down the hallway to the post by the front doors, they will keep right on walking in place and bumping into the post because I did not tell them STOP at the post. Then I know they understand that concept!
They also love the peanut butter sandwich one.
So I am just getting started with my learning about CS, I will be using this with my special education students in the fall (K-5) and perhaps starting an after school club for other students that are interested. The first thing I thought of when I read sequencing was our daily routine. We always do things in a certain order to start our day and the students know that when we change things up it can sometimes disrupt our “flow” in the classroom. I thought using that idea to talk about sequencing would be helpful because it builds on their prior knowledge. I also thought of talking about recipes, that if students are familiar with cooking or watch their parents cook at home they could understand how a recipe guides the process.
We use the term “standard algorithm” in math daily, so I feel that this will be an easy to understand concept for our students. Most of them prefer to use a standard algorithm in math, because it follows rules and they like that.
I am really excited to get started with teaching my students, I will keep you posted on how things go when we start school in August.
Teaching Sequencing in First Grade
I have a procedure for the kids to get ready for their morning each day. We model and practice from day one so that everyone is independently getting themselves ready for the day. I would use this list and discuss ways this list helps us every morning. Asking questions such:
What are our morning procedures? List them on board together in the order kids respond.
Asking questions that would lead to whether sequence matters when we are getting ready?
Discussing which ones and why?
Could we use the word algorithym for Procedures, sequences for steps?
Connecting back the Morning Procedure list is an algorithym that works in a special sequence to help them be ready physically and mentally for the morning.
I would explain an algorithm in simple terms that they can relate to such as the stepsin their morning routine, getting dressed, making a sandwich or other food
How would you explain the concept of programming (including sequencing and algorithms) to your students?
I have never taught sequencing and algorithms in this manner. I would explain sequencing and algorithms as ways we put things in order and a specific set of steps to complete a task. I am looking forward to reading more lessons to understand the concept of programming.
We teach a lot of sequencing in reading, how to sequence the plot in a story is a big idea that kids start learning in Kindergarden, and in 3rd grade with me we start doing plot diagrams that build on that idea of sequencing a story. The idea seems pretty similar to teaching it in coding, where first you have to do one thing before the next thing happens. I haven’t taught this idea related to computers, but we have also done sequencing in science with life cycles.
I teach 9th grade math - Algebra 1. I like the idea of comparing sequencing to following the order of operations. High school math students are very familiar with the idea of order of operations - in order to get the correct answer, mathematical operations must be followed in a specific order. The same concept can be applied to sequencing. When coding something, the order matters. I would introduce sequencing and algorithms to students after we have reviewed order of operations so that students see the natural progression and connection between the two concepts. It is always helpful to be able to show a real world scenario to connect to our math lessons, and this is a perfect way to integrate technology into my math class.
I often ask students to direct me in their thinking of how they solved a problem. I have the ability to be a very literal person, so I do exactly what I am told. The kids quickly see how important order and specific directions can be to communicate more clearly. I also like to read student writing as they write it, usually with mistakes. I don’t make fun, but I do use the teachable moment to point out that thinking about actions and looking over things before claiming completion are vital to the process of completing tasks.
many of my students are really into Roblox, which is a form of coding from what I understand. I just ordered a Star Wars kit with Roblox that I can turn into a coding center using my circulation computers for students to use when they are finished checking out books. I cannot wait to see their reaction next school year!
I like the idea of introducing it like giving direction and having them act it out.