Students complete two unplugged card sorting activities to explore the meaning of processing and its relationship to problem-solving. The first has few constraints and is used to introduce a high-level definition of processing. The next introduces more constraints that forces students to develop an algorithm that will always successfully process the cards. Students iteratively develop, test, and share their algorithms with classmates. A wrap-up discussion has students reflect on the different types of problem-solving they used in these activities and the value of producing an algorithm to solve a problem.
The assignment below is due Thursday 10/18.
In this lesson students consider a number of computing devices to determine what types of inputs and outputs they use. Groups are assigned to a computing device and based on a teacher-provided definition of input and output, list the inputs and outputs of their device. Earlier in the activity, students are prompted to focus on more obvious physical inputs and outputs (e.g. a keyboard as an input or a screen as an output) but later discussions lead students to consider less obvious examples (e.g. that a touch screen is both an input and output, or the fact that the Internet can serve as both input and output). Throughout the lesson the teacher records inputs and outputs that are identified on a T-Chart at the front of the room.
Students used the information that the class produced on the desktop and the tablet to fill out the information on their third object.
The handout is due on 10/4.
In this lesson students developed a preliminary definition of a computer. Students worked in groups to sort pictures into “is a computer” or “is not a computer” on poster paper. The teacher then introduced a definition of the computer and allowed students to revise their posters according to the new definition.
In this lesson students apply the problem solving process to two different problems in order to better understand the value of each step. They solved a word search and arranged seating for a birthday party. The problems grew increasingly complex and less defined to highlight how the problem solving process is particularly helpful when tackling these types of problems.
This lesson introduces the formal problem solving process that students will use over the course of the year, Define - Prepare - Try - Reflect. The lesson begins by asking students to brainstorm all the different types of problems that they encounter in everyday life. Students are then shown the four steps of the problem solving process and work together to relate these abstract steps to their actual experiences solving problems. First students relate these steps to the aluminum boats problem from the previous lesson, then a problem they are good at solving, then a problem they want to improve at solving. At the end of the lesson the class collects a list of generally useful strategies for each step of the process to put on posters that will be used throughout the unit and year.
In this lesson, students worked in groups to design card towers as tall as they could build them. Groups had two rounds to work on their towers, with the goal of trying to build a tower higher than they did in round 1. The structure of the activity foreshadows different steps of the problem solving process that students will be introduced to in more detail in the following lesson. At the end of the lesson students reflected on their experiences with the activity and made connections to the types of problem solving they will be doing for the rest of the course.
This is where you can find out what we worked on every Friday.