Programming is like taking simple steps and putting the steps into a language The algorithm is a series of step by step directions that leads to a planned event that must be followed in order.
I like to relate (as a K-5 librarian) sequencing to the sequence a story takes. Every story has a beginning, middle and end, or a problem, attempts, and resolution. The more students are exposed to stories, the more they will recognize this progression and it is nice to relate reading to computer science, something most students will not think about on their own.
I like the ‘Make a Sandwhich’ example as an introduction to coding. It would be great to tie this in to English learning around writing instructions.
I teach computer applications to grades 3-10 & I plan to implement code.org’s curriculum for my elementary students this year. We began with the unplugged activity work sheet discussing how an algorithm is a set of instructions & learned about the symbols to make writing the algorithm easier. I had teams write up instructions to make a peanut butter & jelly sandwich and we acted out the instructions showing that you need to be specific when writing an algorithm! We then completed the plugged activity.
Sequencing and algorithms go hand in hand. Your algorithm are the steps. The order you placed those steps are the sequence, which becomes the program.
There are so many great ideas here! It just shows you how important knowing sequences is in every day things!!!
The first thing that came to my mind was the game Twister. Students could use the Twister mat to create a code for their classmates to follow! I will be going to the local thrift stores in search of Twister maps this weekend!
I am very new to coding, trying to stay one step ahead of students.
Algorithm - a list of steps to complete a task such as a recipe. Sequencing - The order of the steps. 1st, Pour 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of sugar in a bowl. 2nd - Mix together till blended.
For my transitional kindergarten class we start by talking and completing the steps to planting a seed. First we figure out as a class how to plant a seed, then we actually plant seeds. The next class we do the offline activity where students cut and paste the steps to planting a seed. I emphasize the term sequencing and that it is an order of events. I need to be more purposeful in teaching this concept with the kindergarten and first grade classes. Though last year I had students describe the process of walking to demonstrate sequence. That was fun because they really had to break it down to its individual components (pick up your foot, swing it forward, put your foot down, pick up the other foot, swing it forward, put your foot down).
I have explained about sequence to my students with our daily activity at morning, before we are going to school. Another example is how to make a instant noodle, (which smells good and also taste good) They are really interesting about it
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!