Today with year 3 I decided to take advantage of the good weather and take the class out for some CSUnplugged. The idea of the lesson was simple, computers love patterns and they had to think like computers in a number of pattern challenges. I split this into 3 areas:
- Pattern creating to make a task simpler
- Pattern spotting/understanding
- Debugging a pattern
We started with using any objects they could find on the field to create different patterns with varying degrees of complexity. The kids needed a push at first to understand the could use ANYTHING they could find, but when they saw me working with group moving some pallets they got the idea! The idea was for them to be creative as possible, making patterns with varying degrees of steps and complexities.
When they’d had a go at this we then took turns to walk around the field looking for patterns left by other groups. The idea of computers spotting patterns and using them clicked with this activity. The groups walked round the field trying to find them, work out what the pattern was (decode) and add another step to it. We even had the opportunity to debug if the wind had blown some of their work away! This meant either finding the pieces, or trying to work out where the previous group had gone wrong.
The kids loved the activity and the weather was great for it. It’s one of the first times I’ve tried to teach computing outside of my room or without a robot. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it!