I try to get them excited by showing them the characters they recognize and ask them, “Who wants to code today by using Angry Birds?” This usually does the trick and I have their undivided attention.
The list of instructions written in Text Programming Language or some form of Visual Blocks of Codes in ascending order are called sequencing or just Algorithm or a list of instructions written to get some specific task is called Algorithms and translated into computer programming language codes is called Computer Program.
I don’t teach computer science, but I do teach language to elementary school students. We have to use a lot of TPR = Total Physical Response (using movement and gestures - using the body to create muscle memory and the connection to emotional learning by having fun through kinesthetic activities) to help students learn. I think, I would teach sequencing and algorithms by pretending to give the students a very important assignment, make it fairly complicated, but on purpose leave out a pertinent step. This would frustrate them and they wouldn’t be able to complete it. Of course, being young students, they will begin to whine and complain. Then I will tell them that obviously my algorithm and sequencing is flawed…that is exactly what happens to your computer when your algorithm isn’t logical or perfectly sequential to your computer.
Connect it to their life. How would you tell someone … It could be anything relevant to students. At the beginning of the year it could be how to get to certain classrooms or PE.
To teach sequencing, I used “getting ready for school” as an example. The children immediately understood all the steps involved and the importance of the order to achieve the task.
Maybe asking them how did they get here from home? so step by step they can show the procces to get here to the school.
I am an elementary librarian - I began using the hour of code briefly this past year with 4th grade, but plan to use it with grades k - 5 this next school year. I love the way it encourages higher-order thinking, completing tasks in the smallest number of steps possible, etc. I can’t wait to see how excited the kids will be to use this program!
I haven’t taught this material yet but I love to cook so I would describe sequencing like cooking aor following a recipe.
It is like following instructions to anything they like to do. If it is building something on a makey makey or Lego building, K’nex or whatever it might be. You could also compare it to minecraft and how they get places or build things in levels.
I ask year 3/4 students to think of something in their day that involves 3-4 steps, then draw a flow-chart (introduce start/stop ‘flow’ shape as an oval and rectangle as a ‘function/operation’) on individual whiteboards. Share - iron out any misunderstanding Then they extend by adding in a decision and branch out Y/N (Diamond shape). They ‘run’ each other’s’s sequences out aloud or physically and give feedback. We hit sequence, flow, flowcharts, decisions, branching. Can do in 45 minutes. From there we couls go on to a looped activity in their day (such as eating a bowl of cereal).
This is all new to me but I’m really enjoying the learning curve.
My name is Michelle Fauchon, I am a casual teacher. Will have a block next term on Yr 2. Looking forward to learning more so I can use this in the classroom.
I enjoy teaching sequencing with the toothbrush lesson.
I pretend to be a robot and my students guide me on my first teethbrushing experience. Everyone has fun and understands that as humans we do many things without even thinking which goes first, but as a robot (computer) every single instruction and the order in which is given is crucial.
Guess who has the sparkling smile at the end of the day!!
I work in a K-9 School. In order to free up time for teacher collaboration, we run a 45 minute “Reading Buddies” period. Older students are paired with younger students and they read to each other. We found that students started getting restless after the first 15- 20 minutes. In my search to provide meaningful learning experiences for my group (Kindergarteners paired with Grade 6) during the other 25 minutes, I decided to teach Code. The mapping “Move It, Move It” was a great activity to introduce sequencing. Each Grade 6 Student was paired with 1 or 2 K students. This provided a less stressful environment for the older student to try out sequencing skills. The K students were thrilled with the game.
Effective hand washing is an important skill to have in early childhood classroom. At the beginning of every year our school nurse visits our classroom and teaches to student how to effectively wash their hands. This is the perfect sequencing activity that reinforces good hygiene.
Thanks for all the great ideas from the different teachers with different backgrounds. I think any concrete task that you can look at breaking down into ordered steps will work nicely, depending on the age and interests of your class. We used making cinnamon toast as our sequencing example when we taught our 2/3s to write “How To” books and I think it would work nicely here as well(similar to the PB & J idea). I also liked the directing other students and building block towers ideas, they are both a nice kinesthetic activity.
I haven’t begun to teach sequencing with my class yet but I would teach the concept to them in terms of following a recipe. If they don’t follow the recipe in the correct steps, then it won’t come out right.
We assign different small groups the task of moving our class to a certain destination in the school. Since the tiles on all the floors are 1 foot squares, we can make our instructions include how many feet to move forward. When the groups have edited and completed their sequence of commands that will take us to their designated location - library, cafeteria, gym, etc. - we follow that algorithm exactly and discover what their destination was. If we are guided into a wall or left turning in a circle, the group reworks the commands until they have the correct steps to get us to the correct place.
I teach CS to 5-8 and am planning to offer an afterschool program to K-4 students. Like others have mentioned, I ask students to provide instructions for a particular activity - making PBJ, taking a bubble bath, etc. I then follow their directions exactly as written. Students love (and learn from) the “mistakes”!
ps - I don’t actually take the bath. I use a plastic toy and clear plastic container.
Teaching 5th-I would access prior knowledge using the word sequence. Where have they heard the word? What does it mean? Why is sequence important? Is it important? Prior to the lesson, I would have different sequencing activities from across the curricula on sticky notes–how to send a text message, how to make a pb sandwich, how do you get to the restroom from our classroom, how would you add the numbers 753 and 296, etc. Then I would buddy them up and have each pair draw a sticky and work together to complete activity. Students will read their work to class and classmates will guess what assignment the pair had on their sticky.
When watching the video about making a glass bowl, I was reminded of our procedural writing unit. Students had to break down something that they knew how to do into organized, sequential steps. This reminds me a lot of how the glass maker described an algorithm.