Unit 1 - Lesson 6

I think this Lesson is not at all effective. My students were really confused! Skipping to sending text, Lesson 7. Next year will skip this one. Out of 85 students, 2 were able to attempt spelling out a protocol. BTW - I am not a math teacher, but should be able to teach this without the math degree.

Can you explain a bit more about what you and your students were struggling with with this lesson? Maybe we can help.

Honestly, they did not have a clue how to write a protocol for a star.

Though using the different lesson plan I found on the forum, they understood what a protocol was. I read some feedback from others, not a good lesson plan in my opinion and other teachers too.


I would really like it if I could see an example of a protocol to send information through the internet simulator to convey the information to draw a star however.


Sorry to hear that this is such a frustrating lesson for you. Its really useful to know where students are getting hung up and how we can continue to make information clear for them.

There is another thread (here) on the forum right now in which a teacher posted a pre-assignment that might help with protocol design. (This might be the thread you mentioned above. If not, perhaps this is something that you could use with your students this year or in the future?)


Hi George,

Battleship today! (paper version first)

Students arguing with me that they should have been in teams of 4?

I had them in teams of 3 - that is what code.org suggested.



And if 3 (as code.org suggests) why is the example on the hand-out 4 players?
(forgot that)!


Hi @mschlager,

You are correct in grouping students in 3, as recommended by the curriculum. I can see how students might think they should be grouped in 4 based on the handout.

3 is optimal, but we understand teachers might not have a number of students that day that perfectly is a multiple of 3 - as an alternative, the “leftover” student(s) should form groups of 4. For example, with 25 students, you might have 7 groups of 3, 1 group of 4. The handout is made to accommodate those occasional groups of 4 - but intended to be used with groups of 3.

(We don’t do groups of 2 since that doesn’t generate the ambiguity needed later on, and does not create the need for a protocol as a game of 3+ does. My guess is students may have also argued for a game of 4 since it’s easier to “pair up” and circumvent the chaos we want them to solve for.)

Edit: Upon looking closer at your question, you asked why the example features 4 players. I don’t know why this is. :man_shrugging:


Thanks for responding Frank. Do not like the form! Argued with students about - you are wrong, should be 4!! :frowning:
So, being a graphic artist, I fixed it!

Feedback would be appreciated! Feel free to share it with the pros at code.org.

Battleship form
Had a typo!

Thanks for sharing, @mschlager!

Love how you’ve adapted something for your class’ needs.

I suppose in the case a class doesn’t divide nicely into groups of 3, you can have some students partner up to be a single player?

Also, you might not want to describe the battleship as “2x2” since that would take up a square consisting of 4 boxes. :slight_smile:

I look forward to seeing how this next iteration goes. :grinning:


Battleship form
Yes, Frank! I see the problem with 2 x 2 - reworded.
Also, I thought if it is a team of 4 - I just give them an extra form and they can draw an X through one of the 2 and use that.![new%20battleship%20form|647x500]

I did go with that lesson - totally worked well. My kids liked it a lot and finally understood what a protocol is :+1:

Sounds like that will work :grin::ok_hand:

For the lesson 6 assessment, I don’t understand how this answer is “14” rather than “7”. I see there is a note to teachers, but I still don’t understand.

"You have a coordinate grid that is 96 x 96. Assuming that you encode the x and y coordinate as separate numbers, what is the minimum number of bits that you will need to encode a coordinate in that space?

14 bits because you need 7 bits each for the x and y coordinates. 7 bits lets you encode 128 different numbers (0-127) so that is enough to span a 96 cell grid. 6 bits each would only let you encode 64 different numbers."

So why are we combining the x and y coordinates?

The question is how many bits to send a coordinate. It’s not a chunk size question and I agree that’s a bit confusing. Yes the chunk size would just be 7 bits but to send the coordinate you send 2 seven bit numbers so you need 14 bits. Hope that helps.