Grade 3 Coding and Robotics Lesson Plan: Coding

Lesson Plan Title:
Grade 3 Coding and Robotics Lesson Plan: Developing and Executing Algorithms

Materials Needed:
– Computer or tablets
– Interactive whiteboard or projector
– Coding app or software (such as Scratch Jr.)
– Printed worksheets
– Internet access
– Colourful paper and markers
– Robot toys or programmable kits (e.g. Bee-Bots) if available

Learning Objectives:
By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
1. Understand the concept of algorithms as sequences of steps for solving problems.
2. Develop and execute simple algorithms to perform specific tasks.
3. Use coding software to visually create algorithms.
4. Debug simple errors in their algorithms.

Vocabulary:
1. Algorithm – A set of steps to solve a problem or perform a task.
2. Code – Instructions written in a programming language.
3. Debugging – Finding and fixing errors in code.
4. Sequence – The specific order in which instructions are followed.
5. Execute – To run a set of instructions in a program.

Previous Learning:
Students have previously been introduced to patterns and sequences in mathematics and have engaged in basic coding exercises, such as dragging and dropping commands in simple coding games.

Anticipated Challenges and Solutions:
Challenge: Students may have difficulty grasping the abstract concept of algorithms.
Solution: Use tangible examples and analogies, like following a recipe or steps in a game, to illustrate the concept.
Challenge: Students might struggle with debugging their algorithms.
Solution: Teach a systematic approach to debugging by breaking down the problem and checking one step at a time.

Beginning Activities (4 minutes):
1. Introduction (2 minutes): Briefly explain the learning objectives and the importance of algorithms in everyday tasks.
2. Warm-up Activity (2 minutes): Ask students to describe the steps they take to get ready for school (e.g., wake up, brush teeth, get dressed). Write these on the board to highlight the concept of a sequence of steps.

Middle Activities (32 minutes):
1. Direct Instruction (8 minutes):
– Introduce the concept of algorithms using a simple example, like making a sandwich.
– Demonstrate creating a simple algorithm using coding software on the interactive whiteboard.

  1. Guided Practice (12 minutes):
  2. Hand out worksheets with a simple maze or path. Ask students to write down step-by-step instructions (an algorithm) to navigate the maze.
  3. Discuss the steps as a class and demonstrate them using the robot toy if available.

  4. Independent Practice (12 minutes):

  5. In pairs, students use tablets/computers to create a simple animation or sequence in the coding app. The task could involve moving a character from one side of the screen to the other.
  6. Encourage students to test and debug their code to ensure it works as expected.

End Activities (4 minutes):
1. Exit Ticket (4 minutes):
– Hand out index cards and ask students to write down one thing they enjoyed and one thing they found challenging about creating their algorithm.
– Collect the cards as students leave, or have them place the cards in a designated box.

Assessment and Checks for Understanding:
– Observation during guided and independent practice.
– Review of students’ written maze algorithms.
– Exit ticket responses to gauge understanding and identify areas needing reinforcement.

Differentiation Strategies for Diverse Learners:
For advanced learners: Provide more complex tasks in the coding app, such as creating loops or conditional statements.
For struggling learners: Offer additional support with step-by-step guidance and use of simpler tasks or pre-made code snippets.
For visual learners: Use colour-coded steps and visual aids to illustrate algorithms.
For kinesthetic learners: Utilize robot toys to physically demonstrate algorithms.

Teaching Notes:
– Emphasize the practicality and fun of coding to increase engagement.
– Reinforce the idea that making mistakes (and debugging) is an important part of learning to code.
– Ensure that technology is accessible to all students, including those with disabilities. For example, ensure software has options for text-to-speech or adjustable font sizes.

This lesson plan aims to build foundational skills in coding and problem-solving, preparing students for more complex computational thinking tasks in future lessons.

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