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Bug in the water cycle

A set of simple scratch ‘debugging’ activities that children can use to apply their understanding of programs and codes.  Children are shown a series of faulty programs which are based around the water cycle.  They are then supported to use logical reasoning to locate and fix the bugs within them.  Notes for...

Computational Thinking

This 'concept card' from the Barefoot collection explains 'computational thinking': *What it is *Why it is important *What it looks like in the primary curriculum *How to find out more It supports teacher understanding to improve their teaching of the Barefoot activities.

Bee-Bots 1,2,3 Programming Activity

This activity for younger children introduces algorithms and algorithmic thinking. After first planning how to draw numbers using the simple commands available, children then program a BeeBot to create the shapes (BeeBots are a type of simple programmable rover). By watching and feeding back on each other's efforts...

Shapes and Crystal Flowers Activity

A cross-curricular programming activity, using loops in Scratch to draw patterns. Learners first design an algorithm to draw a simple 2D shape, and then use the 'repeat' block to generate artwork. It is advised that children have some prior experience of programming in Scratch. Experimentation and debugging is...

Patterns Unplugged: Reusing Recipes Activity

This 'unplugged' activity introduces pattern recognition and the idea that algorithms can be repurposed. Cooking recipes are analysed to find parts that are common to more than one. Reusable parts are then borrowed to create new recipes which the children share with the class. Additional teacher guidance is given,...

Variables Unplugged

This activity away from the computer is from the Barefoot Computing project. It is intended to provide a theoretical understanding of why and how variables are used in computer programming, using the example of score-keeping in a classroom quiz. Involving several volunteers from the group, the activity uses...

Scratch Maths Quiz Variables

This Barefoot Computing resource builds on the ‘Maths quiz with selection’ learning activities which should be undertaken first.

It involves improving an existing Scratch maths quiz and adding score-keeping using variables – a quiz Scratch file is provided for students who do not have access to one they made...

Network Hunt

Using the school network as a learning resource, this Barefoot Computing resource for primary schools introduces networked devices and the hardware infrastructure used to connect them. Children carry out a ‘treasure hunt’, searching for common networked devices such as switches, servers and printers. After mapping...

Scratch Maths Quiz Selection

This Barefoot Computing resource for upper-primary computing lessons uses the creation of a Scratch maths quiz as a basis for learning about algorithms using selection.

Children are asked to create an algorithm that mirrors the quiz given orally by the teacher. Once they have developed the algorithm it is...

Decomposition Unplugged

This computing resource for primary schools introduces the concept of decomposition through dance. Using combinations of hand-jive, clapping or tutting, the lesson demonstrates how complex sequences of instructions (algorithms) can be broken down into smaller chunks. The children are challenged to look for patterns...

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