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2D Shape Drawings Activity: an Introduction to Debugging Algorithms

This Barefoot Computing activity for upper primary goes deeper into the concept of algorithms, using logical reasoning and debugging to find errors and to improve accuracy and efficiency. By following instructions, children create diagrams constructed from simple shapes. They are asked to identify errors in the...

Scratch Tinkering Activity

A learning activity guide, from Barefoot Computing, for teachers in primary schools. It provides structure for an introductory programming session using Scratch. The activity involves tinkering within the Scratch environment - initially using existing Scratch projects then moving on to the creation of new projects...

Solar System Simulation Activity

This activity introduces children to simulations - modelling or acting out real-world, or maybe imaginary, situations. Linking to the teaching of space, it asks what factors need to be considered when simulating the solar system. Out of these, the children then decide what the most important things to include in...

What is Simulation?

This guide sheet from the Barefoot project explains simulation for the benefit of teachers, including what it is and why it is used. The use of simulations in the primary computing curriculum is explained, with links to the National Curriculum in each primary school key stage. The guide links to, and supports, a...

What Are Search Engines?

This 'concept card' explains search engines - *How they work, *What they do *How they rank results *Why they are important It relates knowledge of search engines to the requirements of the National Curriculum, and highlights specific activities that can help children to learn about these omnipresent, but mystical,...

What is HTML?

This 'concept card' explains HTML in simple terms. It includes: *Why and when HTML was invented by Tim Berners-Lee *How mark-up works using tags *What HTML looks like *How HTML documents are structured. Specific learning activities are also highlighted.

Computational Thinking Approaches

Five guides for teachers that help them develop classroom practice to encourage computational thinking. The approaches covered include:

*Tinkering - trying things out

*Creating - planning, making and evaluating things

*Debugging - finding out why things don't happen exactly as you want...

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,...

Make a Game Project

In this multi-lesson project pupils design and code a computer game. It uses a rainforest theme but can be adapted to any topic, with learners of varying age or ability. The project includes: *Decomposition of the elements of a game *Designing the game *Creating assets for the game, such as background images and...

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