Unit 3 Lesson 15: Online PD Discussion


Use this space to discuss the challenge activity for online pd. If you completed this lesson as part of your PD, be sure to share the following:

  • The programming artifact you created in doing the lesson (specific level is specified in code studio).
  • The assessment question or extending learning activity that you produce for this lesson.
  • Notes for others who are going to teach this lesson. This should include:
    • Advice for someone who is going to teach this lesson (consider what was challenging about doing the activity, what you think students will struggle with, etc).
    • What ideas do you have about how to structure and teach this lesson? what modifications do you plan to make to the lesson?
    • What additional resources (if any) might be helpful in teaching this lesson


Created new enhanced Division calculator program

Created new clicker game

Created extension Activities
Best way to teach this lesson is to show the flowchart of a basic program and what are the requirements for each step


The programming for this lesson is up to Lesson 16-

I am trying to create a travel mad lips. Still work in progress.

Questions for students:

What went wrong and how did you fix it?


  • Clear project goal in advance
    -Rename project as you go incase you need to get back to previous version
    -Copy and paste code into Paint or Word and save just in case.

Extension activity is add music to match purpose.
Have students think of ideas to add… a selfie picture on their Travel Card


Program completed:

Assessment Question: Compare and contrast a global and local variable. Provide an example with explanation when you should use a global variable. Provide an example with explanation when you should use a local variable.

Advice: When teaching this lesson, students may struggle with following the value of the variable in the function. This is an abstract concept and because the variables are consistently changing, a flowchart may be helpful to organize students thinking while creating their codes and working with variables. Also, a lecture is in the middle of the lessons. A short discussion or reflection (using the assessment question) will help students process what they are reading in that lessons.

I really liked the structure of the lesson and the focus on argument (debugging). This will enable students to learn how the variable works with JavaScript by examining other work and debugging.

For a warm up, I may use code on the lcd projector and have students predict on white boards the final value for the variable. Then have students turn and talk to justify their solutions and then share out the actual solution. I think this short collaboration and dialogue will be helpful when trying to help students understand the changing state of the variable.

As far as additional resources, a graphic organizer may be a helpful or teacher can prompt students to create a graphic organizer of their program and the variable state. This will be a visual scaffold for some learners if needed.


Hi Marcos, your digital calculator is awesome. I also believe graphic organizers will be helpful for students during the lessons on variables. How will you introduce the flowchart? Will you allow students to create their own or offer them versions of your choice?


Hi JMPAuley, I ran the program and received a “No”. Not sure because we cant see the code. Did you find the error?


I created a chaser program called Ruby slippers. Dorothy needs them to get home. here’s the link https://studio.code.org/projects/applab/wpZW3bv5XCz9W0FYt1NlyQ

To assist my students who had problems. I believe a run through of how the design screen (and how the variables are created) works is a big help. Also required is a mini lesson on initializing variables so there score starts at zero (and lives starts at 3) every time.

For example, some of my students ran into issues with getting the score to change. I pointed out within design mode that there are two fields for both the score and lives; the description and the number (ie: score_description and total_score). Then as a point of reference I showed them my program code and explained how to handle their problem. The students quickly understood their error and were able to go back to their own code and make the necessary corrections.

For my assessment, I followed the lesson plan and had my students play each others games using the rubric to evaluate them.


Hi Caryn, I captured Dorothy’s shoes with no coding errors :smile: Where do you think(if at all) students will struggle when completing these stages?


I made a Where’s Waldo game: https://studio.code.org/projects/applab/cs1Fqd4FFVjqfdxMIqy7Pg

I’m considering writing the Cumulative Assessment as either a Google Form or using LinkIt, rather than a paper version. Has anyone done this yet and is willing to share?


I have not taught lesson 15 on variables yet. But sooon! I found this PDF from AQA Education, it seemed like a great exercise on variables and constants, AQA-GCSE-COMPSCI-W-TRB-LP2.PDF (929.6 KB) so I am attaching it.


Hello Marcos, your digital calculator is great. I enjoyed it. The orange was interesting, how would introduce a flowchart.


Hi Dawn,

Thanks. I have always loved Dorothy’s Ruby slippers.

Some of my students ran into issues getting the score and lives to change. I worked through it with them.


Hi Dawn,

Caught the shiny star no problem. Loved the sounds. Felt like I was on the Starship Enterprise with Spock! :smile:

Enjoyed reading your ideas.


Lesson 18: Using Variables in Apps

Here’s my “Clicker Game”, Find Waldo.

Click here for QR code to load onto phone: http://apcs4lyfe.com/misc/qrcode.34144098.png

Extending Learning Activity
Notice how in Level 1 (when you tried the example apple clicker game), the apple reappears with a random size? Modify your clicker game to do the same! Your object must be randomly resized while keeping the same proportions (not appear squished)!

This lesson is pretty well laid out, including addressing misconceptions and common mistakes students might make. There’s not really any new concepts at first, as it’s mostly combining two previous concepts (UI and variables), then it introduces the new concept of if-statements.

A part I had trouble explaining to a few students was why the order of the blocks matter when updating a variable and updating the display of the variable on the screen. This topic is specifically addressed in at least one level, but I found it difficult to verbally describe to a student what’s happening, so I found it helpful to draw/write out the contents of the variables as we stepped through the code. When a variable is updated, I cross out the old value and write in the new value. This might be a standard thing people do when tracing code. Anyway, it’s easier for students (and anyone) to refer to something on paper and be able to point to it and see the current value of specific variables rather than try to explain everything into a student’s head.



That being said, I think a Where’s Waldo game is an absolutely delightful and entertaining concept.

In terms of online assessment, I think an online version does have certain advantages. I myself winced a bit at having to print out the multiple pages of the paper version. It seems like a significant amount of work to make a Google Form version (especially with the heavy use of pictures). A compromise might be to print out just one class set and have students enter their answers into Google Forms. The form could be just a bunch of numbered text boxes, each corresponding to a question on the paper test. If you don’t want to print anything at all, students can jump back and forth between the digital test and the form.


frank_w_lee –

No worries! If you’re asked to make a game about finding something, Waldo should be at the front of everyone’s mind.

I ended up re-creating the test in LinkIt (https://www.linkit.com/), although I don’t know how many districts are using that. If anyone else out there is, I’d be willing to share – we’d just have to get their tech team to tell me how to share between districts!


Asking them to compare and contrast local/global variables is a good idea. Many students tend to place their variable declarations anywhere they want without knowing the consequences.


I also think this will be helpful. As we have progressed through Unit 3, they are learning the importance of understanding local/global variables.


I chose lessons 14 and 15 and created a new clicker game. It can be found here: https://studio.code.org/projects/applab/tQCV2X1OOHCHFP3ATmOmWA
My extension was to research how you can hide an object after it had been clicked, but I haven’t been able to find out how to do that yet. I looked up various tutorials on JavaScript, but no luck yet.
My assessment question is: Evaluate the following code. What will the console.log print for lives if the donut has been clicked twice?
var lives = 5;
onEvent(“donutImg”, “click”, function() {
lives = lives - 1;
setText(“number_lives”, lives);
if (lives === 0) {

My advice is at certain times during the class, have students go to a certain stage and cover the “correct” answers together. You can do this whole class or with elbow partners. I am finding students say they are done, but when I go to check the code, it isn’t accurate and the program doesn’t run as expected.


I like this idea – a pit stop every few levels where we all get together and make sure all of the code is correct. I’m finding with a few of my students that they think they’re “done”, when in fact they didn’t completely read what was being asked of them!