U4 Day 18: PD Discussion Topic
We have a very common lizard here in the ‘High Desert’ of the Mojave… Upon researching the game of RPS I discovered that this lizard called the “common side-blotched lizard (Uta stansburiana) exhibits a rock-paper-scissors pattern in its mating strategies. Of its three color types of males, “orange beats blue, blue beats yellow, and yellow beats orange” in competition for females, which is similar to the rules of rock-paper-scissors.” Thanks Wikipedia!
After creating my own version of RPS, I’d sure like some input on how the heck one is to teach that lesson… This is what I’m thinking…
Step 1: have students set up their own graphics, sprites and background(s)… after giving them a short ‘laundry list’ of what is needed.
Step 2: Break down the programming into ‘chunks’
‘Book ends’ The start and finish parts.
Connect keyboard inputs to graphics
Conditional statement ‘nests’ and ‘nesting’
Step 3: Putting it all together with broadcasting messages…
Anyone else have any ideas? This may be a tough lesson if conducted any other way than just giving them the ‘starter’ rps.sb file…
This is a difficult lesson that a lot of people struggle with (including me!) I went back to pseudocode and had the students play RPS against each other and then write down the instructions and steps (much like they did in Peanut Butter and Jelly in Unit 2) then trade with partners to “debug” code. We also made flowcharts to show what would happen with each conditional.
Then I’d share with them the rps starter file and have them “code walk” through it to find what is missing from their pseudocode. What I think is great about this lesson is it’s the first where my students saw how coding can take something in real life and make it easier/more efficient - although they do like playing rock, paper, scissors…
You can also do Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock from Big Bang Theory as a challenge to students who figure it out right away!
I agree that this is a great lesson to reinforce the importance of clear directions. Students may be so familiar with the game that they do not realize all the processing they do to determine the winner. Or, they may not be familiar with the game at all. Either way there is great benefits gained from doing the planning unplugged, modeling the process and getting the algorithm in pseudocode before coding.
I also had students play and write pseudo-code. I did have some students do the rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock extension.
I have not done this lesson yet although upon reading others posts I think I will also have the students play and write pseudo-code.
I have the kids do a quick binary converter before jumping in to the RPS game. The goal was to get them practicing a little more with variable, conditionals, and operators before trying the RPS on their own.