Timing For Lesson 3.9?

Hey Folks - I was looking over the lesson plan for this lesson on Loops & Random Numbers and I noticed that the curriculum page has the activity in this lesson taking 30 minutes (https://curriculum.code.org/csp/unit3/9/).

I remember teaching this last year and I don’t think it took my students 30 minutes to complete all the bubbles - it took them/us much longer. I think I even stretched this lesson into 2 days to make sure students understood loops and random numbers and had freedom to play around.

I guess I’m curious - were other teachers able to go through the Code Studio activities in 30 minutes? Am I an outlier?

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My recollection is that some students were able to work through this lesson independently without the Free play part in a 45 minute class. At this point in the unit, my students new to programming and my less independent learners were really struggling with the underlying programming concepts in lessons 7 - 9. Since I knew loops would be done again in Unit 5, I didn’t push too much. This year, I will probably slow these lessons down and give them smaller chunks to digest. I may even introduce the project earlier to give students more time to process and see a need for the content.

Happy computing,

Hey @anmrobnott - your note about how this lesson challenges less independent students and new programmer students really resonates with my memories from last year. Maybe that’s why I remember it taking at least 2 days - this lesson really surfaces any misconceptions or unfamiliarity with the previous lessons, which made my students take longer with this lesson. I’m glad the free-play is at the end as an extension for students who can understand the concepts the first-time through.

I’ll probably break this lesson into chunks as well. Maybe I’ll do puzzles 1-7 in day 1 (the ones that just focus on loops and random numbers), then have students go back to their “free play” drawing from the last lesson (where they can draw I <3 CS or whatever they want) and add loops or randomness to that. I like that as a way to focus on how to use these new tools without getting distracted with the Under the Sea scene. Then I can do puzzles 7-15 on Day 2 where they’re building the Under the Sea project. Actually, as I write this paragraph, I think I convinced myself that that’s what I’ll try with this lesson.


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I too had to break this lesson into two days.

My periods are 45 minutes. Some were able to complete the task in one day, and they were able to play around with the underwater scene with the extra time.

For each day I set a Check In Point. Students should get to this level by the end of the period in order to be on track.

For each day I added a new Do Now activity for review. This ensured that we all started the lesson together.

Day #1 Warm Up – Do Now Quiz – Functions with Parameters Review

  • Using Loops – video
  • Introduction to Loops – Level #3
    • Level #3
    • Level #4
    • Level #5
    • Level #6
    • Level #7 – (Check In Point – Cover the Screen in Dots, Erase the Dots)

Day #2 Warm Up – Kahoot! – Code.org’s Unit 3: Lesson 9 Review

  • Using Loops to Add Detail to Your Drawing – Level #8
    • Level #8
    • Level #9
    • Level #10
    • Level #11
    • Level #12
    • Level #13
    • Level #14
    • Level #15 – (Check In Point – Make the Sea Scene Your Own)
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Yeah… this was also a 2-day lesson for me. I also added some extensions for students who finished early. Here is the document that I created for those challenges. I find it helpful for my “anti-play” kids who would otherwise work on other homework when they were done.

I also have mixed feelings about talking about for loops without talking about the actual way they work. I get into this a bit for students who want something to “fade” in their digital scenes. I figure that if they ASK how to do it, then it makes sense to show them…


I extended this lesson too, but for more reasons than just the timing described above. For what its worth, here’s my set of additional problems I gave students: AppLab Portfolio - Turtle Programming. Feel free to steal & reuse =)


I LOVE these!!! I need to get better at creating projects and having students fix them. It is a great way to learn!

Thanks for sharing!


These are fantastic. I’m guessing the last one is quite a challenge for students (relative to previous algorithm work in the unit)… a great exercise in coming up with their own algorithms.

Really amazing work here! What a great extension activity. Perfect for extending 3.9 into a two day lesson.

Hi jhal9! Could you please share your Functions with Parameters Review? My email adddress is bhatnagars@esuhsd.org. Thanks.