In years 3 and 4 the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies requires students to learn about algorithms as sequences of steps which can be followed in order to solve problems, and to write programs with algorithms involving branching (decisions) and user input using a visual programming language.
Grok’s Monster Maker courses have been designed to introduce these concepts to young students, as they write code to create their own monster characters!
In this course, students use Blockly, a visual programming language with drag-and-drop blocks, to write their own programs and learn about sequence and ordering. Students learn:
The Web.Comp 2018 Design Tournament has recently wrapped up and, once again, we were really impressed by the quality and creativity of student designs.
In the Beginners stream, students designed a web page for a plant store, The Plant Warehouse. You can see the winning designs, chosen by popular vote, on the Beginners Leaderboard.
In the Intermediate stream students created designs for an online marketplace, gBay. Check out the Intermediate Leaderboard to see the top-voted submissions.
A huge congratulations to those students who made it onto the Leaderboards! Unfortunately places were limited, and there were plenty of fantastic submissions which…
Grade level: Years 5 to 8
Language: Blockly or Python Turtle
This coding task assumes knowledge of the below concepts. These concepts are covered in our Introduction to Programming in Python or Blockly courses, and many of the concepts are addressed in our free short activities as well!
This lesson plan accompanies our Monster Maker! short course. Students write their first programs and draw fun monster characters. Along the way, they are introduced to the concept of algorithms as a sequence of instructions to be followed in a specific order.
Blockly — a visual programming language using drag-and-drop blocks
By the end of the lesson students will be able to:
Questions of how, when and why to introduce coding and digital technology in schools have become part of a national conversation on how best to equip young people for their futures. With the Australian Curriculum now introducing Digital Technologies from the very first year of school, more Australian students will be required to have some programming experience at school.
While the prospect of more STEM may not be appealing to all students and teachers, there are multiple avenues through which to explore digital technologies.
This article looks at the history of the study of interactions between computers and natural (human)…
Previously, I’ve discussed introducing young coders to the concept of sequencing — defining a set of steps for a computer to follow in order. Our Monster Maker course teaches students to write their first programs as a specific sequence of steps that run the same way every time.
Programs like this are quite limited. Typically, we want our programs to be able to do different things depending on what we need. …
Learning to program is more than simply learning to write code. This is why many school computing curriculums focus on computational thinking; developing skills such as logical reasoning, decomposition, algorithmic thinking, pattern recognition and abstract reasoning.
To communicate with computers instructions need to be unambiguous and in the right order. For many students this is an unfamiliar way of thinking that can take some adapting to.
This video of the famous “make a sandwich” algorithm (which makes a great unplugged activity for the classroom!) …