Unplugged magic in unit 5!



One of my favorite pieces of this curriculum is all the unplugged lessons. I was with a facilitator who called it the “secret sauce” of the curriculum, which I love!

When we get deep into unit 5, I sometimes overlook the unplugged lessons un-intentionally. Today I did this lesson with the class and it went pretty well. Here were some changes I made to the lesson:

  • I taped a 5x5 grid on the floor and BEFORE giving students the the packets I put the code for the first example up on the board and had one student act as the “robot” and another student stand in the location of the “barrier”. Together we went line-by-line through the code. I think the visual of my hand “highlighting” the line we were on.

  • In my second hour, I only gave students ONE copy of the worksheet per elbow-buddy-pair. That increased collaboration in the class as well.

  • Finally, at the end I took a few students’ papers and put them under the document camera to show their hand written code. I then had two other students come to the front and act as the barriers/robots on the grid. From there we acted out the students’ code. We even had students try to “break” the algorithm by placing the barrier in different spots. It made for a nice whole-class-closure moment.

What else do people do to increase collaboration in unit 5?