Sunday, September 14, 2014

Loopy loops (programming lesson 4)

Who: Baan Pathomtham 5th grade class (all present)
Where: at school
When: 2 hours Monday morning


Again, starting with some code that the kids wrote:
One name in English

The first one done in Thai

Another one in Thai

This wasn't what I was expecting, but it works

What your child has learned

0. Reminder: You can see code that the students are writing through this directory. My own folder with a lot of examples is here: and the class folder is here

1. They each gave a surprise presentation (in English!) of their homework code.  Each explained a bit about how their program worked and then answered questions: which letter was most difficult, was there anything they would change/improve about their code?

2. More nested for loops. We played with their copies of this code (Nesting Catalog) to see (a) what happens if we move the fd 40 code between loops and (b) how to fix our code if we increase the second loop to run from 3 sides to 10 sides (or more).

3. We improved some code that Gan had shown to the class last time.  A friend had written this code (WoWCar) and it was just begging to be rewritten with a for loop.

Remember this reference:


This week, the challenge is to complete the car that the friend started.  Loops that draw the wheel will make it much easier to add another wheel (or maybe they are going to create a giant truck/lorry with 20 pairs of wheels?)

The following links will help with the geometric commands:

Please look through these with your children.

Some great things they did
As a reminder, this is just a couple of highlights from the class.  Overall, the four are really engaging well and taking advantage of the time to explore and test the programming system (including some little boy/non-traditional variable names).

Titus surprised me today when he was working on the problem of extending the shapes catalog to more sided shapes.  He found a way to shrink the shapes so that they would remain in a grid pattern (at the same time reducing the step between each shape.)  I always love it when someone has an approach that I didn't consider.

Boongie was fun to watch during the nested for loop exploration, particularly as he worked on the problem of getting all of his shapes to appear in the preview panel.

What I learned
The kids just need a little encouragement and a small hint to get going on an exploration.  With a light start, they can be off and running on their own steam.

I think they need a bit of encouragement to ask more questions.  Perhaps the language is an issue (English vs Thai)?

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