I was working on Unit 3 Lesson 8 right around the time that google single sign-on changed to need school/district approval this year. We were a little behind getting that approval, ergo I needed an unplugged lesson. It doesn’t cover the first half of U3L8, but might be a helpful tool for anyone who would like more algorithm practice for students either as a review lesson or simply as individual worksheets for homework.
General Unplugged Lesson Outline:
10 mins - Give each student a page from this google doc of handouts. The first page is a table of contents, and the rest are “real world application” in the same style as the U3L8 handout that is in the lesson. Students spend the first 10 mins practicing writing preconditions, postconditions, and pseudocode (or java by hand) for their unique algorithm.
10 mins - Students group with others who have algorithms of the same style as them. Each student spends 2 minutes presenting the problem and how they solved it. The goal is to have them a. explain how they though about a problem, and b. notice similarities between how each person in their group solved the problem.
15 mins - Each group creates a poster about their algorithm. On the poster, they include:
- The “look fors” in the word problem that indicate that it is a specific type of problem (ie. keywords like ‘count’ indicate it is an aggregator or the output is going to be a list so the problem is a filter)
- Any unique properties of the algorithm (ie. search algorithms return early)
- Pseudocode or a flowchart for the algorithm itself that could successfully be used to plan ANY of the algorithms that the group started with.
20 mins - Each student gets a copy of the note catcher. (The last two pages of the document above). Each group presents their algorithm style and takes notes as their peers present.
After the lesson was over, I found it helpful to leave these as practice worksheets in the back of the room for students. Anyone who wants a little extra practice is welcome to try a new problem to practice list traversal algorithms!