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Crazy Algorithms

This unplugged computing activity from the Barefoot Computing project teaches basic algorithms . An algorithm is a precise sequence of instructions or a set of rules for performing a specific task. By teaching this short, unplugged activity, pupils will create a set of instructions on how to draw a...

Abstraction Unplugged

This short activity for primary school computing uses art to introduce the concept of abstraction. During a ‘guess what’ game the children are asked to represent a word on a card using drawing or modelling – in doing so they unconsciously concentrate on just the most important aspects of the idea they are...

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,...

Logical Reasoning Activity

This activity combines computing and maths to look at algorithms. Children are challenged to solve missing number problems in number sequences, using logical reasoning. Additional challenges are then presented, and children are asked to share not just the answer, but the approach they took to solving the problem...

Kodu Tinkering

This activity introduces children to the Kodu games programming environment through tinkering. They are asked to experiment with an existing game code, and also to start from a blank screen.

Guided questioning is used to ensure the tinkering is purposeful. The children are asked to share what they...

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...

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