Lesson 11: Introduction to Online Puzzles

Sequencing | Debugging | Loop | Angry Bird | Maze | Artist

Overview

In this progression, students will begin with an introduction (or review depending on the experience of your class) of Code.org's online workspace. Students will learn the basic functionality of the interface including the Run, Reset, and Step buttons. Dragging, deleting, and connecting Blockly blocks is also introduced in the beginning video. In the puzzles, students will practice their sequencing and debugging skills in Maze and Artist.

Purpose

We recognize that every classroom has a spectrum of understanding for every subject. Some students in your class may be computer wizards, while others haven't had much experience at all. In order to create an equal playing (and learning) field, we have developed this "Ramp-Up Stage" for Course E. This can be used as either an introduction or a review to the Code.org interface and basic computer science concepts. This stage, along with the three that follow, cover all prerequisites needed to start Course E.

Agenda

Warm Up (15 min)

Bridging Activity (15 min)

Main Activity (30 min)

Wrap Up (15 min)

Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Order movement commands as sequential steps in a program.
  • Modify an existing program to solve errors.
  • Break down a long sequence of instructions into the largest repeatable sequence.

Preparation

Links

Heads Up! Please make a copy of any documents you plan to share with students.

For the Teacher

Vocabulary

  • Bug - Part of a program that does not work correctly.
  • Debugging - Finding and fixing problems in an algorithm or program.
  • Loop - The action of doing something over and over again.
  • Program - An algorithm that has been coded into something that can be run by a machine.
  • Programming - The art of creating a program.

Support

Report a Bug

Teaching Guide

Warm Up (15 min)

Introduction

Today will be largely spent on getting students introduced to Code.org or providing a review. Briefly survey your class on their experience with Code.org. If there is a wide range, pair experienced students with non-experienced students for their first lesson or two. If there isn't a wide range of experience, offer up a discussion on what Code.org is and why it is being taught.

Bridging Activity (15 min)

This activity will help bring the unplugged concepts from "Dice Race" into the online world that the students are moving into. We recommend doing the following activity with your class:

Preview of Online Puzzles

Pull up a puzzle from Course E Online Puzzles - Website. We recommend puzzle 9. Tell the class that the red bird, Red, needs to get to the pig. To get the bird to its goal, the class needs to come up with a program. Make sure to show the class how to use the hints and the step button while completing this puzzle.

Main Activity (30 min)

Course E Online Puzzles - Website

Teacher Tip

Show the students the right way to help classmates:

  • Don’t sit in the classmate’s chair
  • Don’t use the classmate’s keyboard
  • Don’t touch the classmate’s mouse
  • Make sure the classmate can describe the solution to you out loud before you walk away

Teachers play a vital role in computer science education and supporting a collaborative and vibrant classroom environment. During online activities, the role of the teacher is primarily one of encouragement and support. Online lessons are meant to be student-centered, so teachers should avoid stepping in when students get stuck. Some ideas on how to do this are:

  • Utilize pair programming whenever possible during the activity.
  • Encourage students with questions/challenges to start by asking their partner.
  • Unanswered questions can be escalated to a nearby group, who might already know the solution.
  • Remind students to use the debugging process before you approach.
  • Have students describe the problem that they’re seeing. What is it supposed to do? What does it do? What does that tell you?
  • Remind frustrated students that frustration is a step on the path to learning, and that persistence will pay off.
  • If a student is still stuck after all of this, ask leading questions to get the student to spot an error on their own.

Wrap Up (15 min)

Journaling

Having students write about what they learned, why it’s useful, and how they feel about it can help solidify any knowledge they obtained today and build a review sheet for them to look to in the future.

Journal Prompts:

  • What was today's lesson about?
  • How do you feel about today's lesson?
  • What does it mean to "program"?
  • Why is programming important?
  • What's something about computers that you would like learn more about?

Standards Alignment

View full course alignment

CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards

AP - Algorithms & Programming
  • 1B-AP-11 - Decompose (break down) problems into smaller, manageable subproblems to facilitate the program development process.