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Graph Paper Programming

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Information Technology Volunteer Activities
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Information Technology Volunteer Activities
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Students use computational thinking skills and global competencies to create a series of instructions describing how to draw a graph paper design.

Students use the following computational thinking skills and global competencies to create a series of instructions describing how to draw a graph paper design:

  • Decomposition: breaking down a problem into smaller parts or sub-problems.
  • Abstraction: reducing the complexity of a problem or task by focusing on what is important.
  • Pattern recognition: being able to recognize and use patterns to describe and represent sequences in data or processes.
  • Algorithmic thinking: creating a series of ordered, logical, and unambiguous rules or instructions necessary to solve a problem or achieve an objective. 
  • Debugging: finding and correcting bugs such as syntax errors (e.g., spelling mistakes), logic errors (e.g., incorrect logic), and other types of errors.
  • Critical thinking and problem solving.
  • Collaboration.
  • Communication.

What You Need

Materials Needed:

Per group of 2 students:

  • 1 grid design handout
  • 1 graph paper programming commands sheet
  • 1 sheet blank graph paper
  • 2 pencils

All relevant and necessary worksheets can be found in the following Google Drive folder: 
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/17vEGnaBTvDGt1pKlNNwEdqi_tW06S5J0

What To Do

Procedure:

  1. Choose a grid design from the grid design handout.
  2. Partner 1 gives instructions to draw the grid design using the graph paper programming commands provided. Record the instructions you give using the symbols provided. 
  3. Partner 2 follows the instructions to draw the grid design.
  4. Once your program is written, switch roles. Can Partner 1 draw the same grid design using the program you created? If not, what part of your program needs to be debugged?

To debrief, discuss the skills and competencies students used when completing this challenge:

  • Did you break the problem down into smaller steps? Decomposition
  • Did you reduce the complexity of the problem by focusing on what was important? Abstraction
  • Did you look for patterns and/or identify repeated instructions in your program? Pattern recognition
  • Did you create a list of ordered, logical steps to solve the problem? Could you create a list of those steps for others to follow? Algorithmic thinking
  • Did you find and correct bugs in your program? Debugging
  • Did you use critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills?

Discovery

Investigate Further

Once students have completed their first challenge, you can choose to extend their learning by:

  • using larger grids
  • using more complex grid designs
  • encouraging students to trade programs with other groups
  • adding "functions" to make their program simpler
  • using different colours and adding a command to switch colour
  • creating a story to go along with their grid

Investigate Further

Once students have completed their first challenge, you can choose to extend their learning by:

  • using larger grids
  • using more complex grid designs
  • encouraging students to trade programs with other groups
  • adding "functions" to make their program simpler
  • using different colours and adding a command to switch colour
  • creating a story to go along with their grid

Resources

All relevant and necessary worksheets can be found here: 
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/17vEGnaBTvDGt1pKlNNwEdqi_tW06S5J0

Graph Paper Programming, from code.org:
https://code.org/curriculum/course2/1/Teacher

Resources

All relevant and necessary worksheets can be found here: 
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/17vEGnaBTvDGt1pKlNNwEdqi_tW06S5J0

Graph Paper Programming, from code.org:
https://code.org/curriculum/course2/1/Teacher