U3 Day 8-10: PD Discussion Topic
I’ll have to revisit this topic after I have actually taught the topic. My ECS class isn’t until next semester.
I personally like to go straight to external style sheets. They are more commonly used in the real world & just mention that if There was any internal css code, that would trump the external css.
The connection between good paper airplane instructions and incomplete paper airplane instructions.
Reminding students of the PBJ lesson usually reminds them of the importance of detailed algorithmic instructions.
They can choose the content and provide the style in two separate stages. It’s like following a recipe - you choose your ingredients in phase 1 and then in phase 2, you combine the ingredients to complete the recipe. The instructions can be written for any “bread” and any kind of “peanut butter and jelly.” With this process the students can test the various style elements one at a time to verify correctness and make changes as necessary.
Merely reminded students of the PB&J activity and reemphasized the importance of following instructions.
I will have to wait till I teach this section based on the connections my students make.
CSS styles are like contracts, everything carried under that particular style implements everything stated in there. I link it back to algorithms by tying it to the idea that computers automate and simplify our lives. Once you set the algorithm, the computer should be able to carry out the process with minimal intervention by the user.
In web design, it means that once the styles are set, standardization of elements on the webpage is much easier. The user only has to call the particular style up instead of having to go back in and adding tags for every little formatting property for that element.
CSS was like a light bulb going off for many of my kids because the perfectionist kids were really struggling with tweaking the HTML to get their web pages to look exactly like they wanted. They had already had 3 or 4 webpages in various stages of completion, so once they learned they could apply one style sheet to ALL of their webpages, they grasped the utility of CSS very quickly.
Comparing css to an algorithm for making a pbj sandwich… Hmm. I believe making this comparison might work. When I have taught HTML and CSS in the past, students had no problem understanding the usefulness of CSS for uniformly formatting a whole website. Debugging was more challenging. Attention to detail is really important. It seems once you type something, it’s really difficult to imagine that you could have left off a character or put in one too many. This is where having a partner look at your work really pays off.
For this one I would start with the connections that are closest to them such as:
- How their preparedness has a direct impact on their learning and will continue to do so
- How saving (even a small amount) over time will always give you money
- There is a direct relationship between hard work, problem solving, and success
I love the analogy for contracts. CSS give students the concepts of making sure their pages are uniformed. I am looking for some best practices for this concepts, however.
The PBJ activity is great. Lots of laughter and they remember.
I would start by explaining how CSS sets up the theme of the web page, since many students use themes in Google Presentation or Microsoft PowerPoint, it will help them relate to the idea off CSS. I will ask them to describe the themes of their favorite website.
One connection that can be made in this lesson is the connect between the use of (css) styles and writing an algorithm that would work for any peanut butter and jelly sandwich where you could use the same set of instructions to work for any bread, any kind of peanut butter, and any
kind of jelly?
This is true, however, when they were working through their external css.html lists, they were focusing on just the bread, peanut butter and jelly that they would be using… some noticed that css code in some pages allowed the site in question to be viewed on any browser enabled internet device. That caught their attentions. That would be the time to have this discussion… while dissecting the CSS for such a page.
What other connections could you use here to help students grasp the need for having a good algorithm?
They learned by doing that a good algorithm minimized issues when employed or modified.
Both W3 schools and Khan Academy were useful here. Students enjoyed the wide range of color tags that could be applied to their projects.
I like the idea of referring back to the peanut butter and jelly algorithm here. Another suggestion would be directions to get somewhere, whether it’s driving directions or directions to get from the classroom to another place in the school. This would reiterate that a set of steps that are clear enough and specific are helpful in planning and helping others.
I would use the steps to boot up and log on to a computer and then open up a web browser to search for a CSS tutorial.
My students really liked the overall power of the CSS external style sheets. It was much easier for them to implement the changes that they wanted.