Sunday, 4 December 2016

Elementary Coding: Number Sense and Numeration with Racing Cars!

"Racing Cars - Number Sense" is a project that has the more difficult coding parts completed so that students can adjust the values to create harder, or easier questions in the game. They don't have to know how to code the entire program, they are just "tweaking" the code to give them a desired result. They can change how fast the competitor's car travels across the race track, and how far their car will travel each time they answer a question correctly. In this way, they are practicing their math skills, and then adjusting the game to increase the challenge as their skill level increases. 

This project can work for a Grade 1 through Grade 6 class depending on how hard the students code the math questions. It is a simple game where one sprite moves at a constant rate, while the other sprite needs to first answer an addition (or subtraction, multiplication and division) question to move forward. 

My Grade 3 class will first play this game, then code it for a Grade 1 class and a Grade 6 class. They will have to consider the range of numbers selected in the "operators" blocks of code when doing subtraction, and division.

If they select a smaller number for the first number in the question for subtraction, or division, then their program won't work, not for an Elementary class at any rate.

Here is the video tutorial to get you and your class started:

Here is the project page:

Good Luck!

Elementary Coding: Measurement (Telling Time) & Number Sense (Ratio)

Here are a few Measurement and Number Sense projects that program a working clock in Scratch. It starts with Primary and works up to Junior.

There is an advanced project as well. Students are asked to adjust the ratios between the two hands already on the clock, band to add a third (hour) hand to the clock as well.

If you want to learn along with your class, try the Primary or Junior video tutorials.

Primary Clock Project:

Here is the starter project your students will use:

If your students are in Grade 4-6, or found the above project easy, here is a video tutorial and project for them to try.

Junior Clock Project:
Here is the starter project your students will use:

Scaffolded Project: 
Students can try this project where one of the "hand" sprites is already coded, and they have to code the other hand to be in the correct ratio as they travel around the clock face:

Represent Ratios found in Real Life Contexts:

The "hand" sprites need to turn (rotate) around the clock. Can you code the hands to go around the clock at the proper ratio?

Extension: Can you add an "Hour" hand sprite to turn and represent each hour at a ratio that matches the Minute and Hour hand sprites?

How did you figure out the solution? Explain the math you used to make the program work properly.

Easier Project:
Number Sense and Numeracy/Measurement:

Clock: Switch the Stage Once an Hour

This clock switches its backdrop, but it is not switching it once an hour as its programmer intended. Can you change the program so it changes the backdrop once an hour?

Measurement and Addition skills are needed to succeed at this task. How did you solve the problem? Explain your thinking!

Friday, 2 December 2016

Elementary Coding: Probability Experiment and Building a Graph!

This is a quick way to do the Hour of Code in your class and still meet specific Math expectations in your classroom. There are a ton of terrific coding activities online, this is just my contribution.

My daughter wanted to code a game in Scratch, and we built this little game together for fun:

Snowman Dash!

After we coded the game I saw how it would relate to Probability in my Elementary classroom. 

1. How long can your Snowman survive the game? 

2. How could you change the code in the game to make it easier, or harder to survive. 

3. Write down how you changed the game and share with your classmates.

Next I thought about how we could graph the results, so I built this simple Pictograph in Scratch:

Building a Pictograph

Now students could add to the code to graph the data they gather collected when we played the "Snowman Dash!" game.

You can change the sprites that move up the graph to match any data you collect in your class as you work on Data Management.

Happy coding!