A Friend of Mine
Experience: 1st year, 1st quarter
Practice: Creating computational artifacts, Testing and refining computational artifacts, and Communicating about computing
Concept: Algorithms and Control
Overview and Purpose
Coders learn how to remix a project that introduces a friend, historical figure, or imaginary person. The purpose of this project is to introduce coders to remixing projects and to build on the understandings from previous projects.
Objectives and Standards
- I will learn how to create a new project by remixing someone else’s project.
- How can we remix someone else’s project to create something new?
- I will remix someone else’s project to introduce a sprite.
- How can we remix someone else’s project to introduce a sprite?
1B-AP-10 Create programs that include sequences, events, loops, and conditionals
- Control structures specify the order (sequence) in which instructions are executed within a program and can be combined to support the creation of more complex programs. Events allow portions of a program to run based on a specific action. For example, students could write a program to explain the water cycle and when a specific component is clicked (event), the program would show information about that part of the water cycle. Conditionals allow for the execution of a portion of code in a program when a certain condition is true. For example, students could write a math game that asks multiplication fact questions and then uses a conditional to check whether or not the answer that was entered is correct. Loops allow for the repetition of a sequence of code multiple times. For example, in a program that produces an animation about a famous historical character, students could use a loop to have the character walk across the screen as they introduce themselves. (source)
1B-AP-12 Modify, remix, or incorporate portions of an existing program into one's own work, to develop something new or add more advanced features.
- Programs can be broken down into smaller parts, which can be incorporated into new or existing programs. For example, students could modify prewritten code from a single-player game to create a two-player game with slightly different rules, remix and add another scene to an animated story, use code to make a ball bounce from another program in a new basketball game, or modify an image created by another student. (source)
1B-AP-15 Test and debug (identify and fix errors) a program or algorithm to ensure it runs as intended.
- As students develop programs they should continuously test those programs to see that they do what was expected and fix (debug), any errors. Students should also be able to successfully debug simple errors in programs created by others. (source)
1B-AP-17 Describe choices made during program development using code comments, presentations, and demonstrations.
- People communicate about their code to help others understand and use their programs. Another purpose of communicating one's design choices is to show an understanding of one's work. These explanations could manifest themselves as in-line code comments for collaborators and assessors, or as part of a summative presentation, such as a code walk-through or coding journal. (source)
Practices and Concepts
Practice 5: Creating computational artifacts
- "The process of developing computational artifacts embraces both creative expression and the exploration of ideas to create prototypes and solve computational problems. Students create artifacts that are personally relevant or beneficial to their community and beyond. Computational artifacts can be created by combining and modifying existing artifacts or by developing new artifacts. Examples of computational artifacts include programs, simulations, visualizations, digital animations, robotic systems, and apps." (p.80)
- P5.2. Create a computational artifact for practical intent, personal expression, or to address a societal issue. (p.80)
- P5.3. Modify an existing artifact to improve or customize it. (p.80)
Practice 6: Testing and refining computational artifacts
- "Testing and refinement is the deliberate and iterative process of improving a computational artifact. This process includes debugging (identifying and fixing errors) and comparing actual outcomes to intended outcomes. Students also respond to the changing needs and expectations of end users and improve the performance, reliability, usability, and accessibility of artifacts." (p.81)
- P6.1. Systematically test computational artifacts by considering all scenarios and using test cases." (p.81)
- P6.2. Identify and fix errors using a systematic process. (p.81)
Practice 7: Communicating about computing
- "Communication involves personal expression and exchanging ideas with others. In computer science, students communicate with diverse audiences about the use and effects of computation and the appropriateness of computational choices. Students write clear comments, document their work, and communicate their ideas through multiple forms of media. Clear communication includes using precise language and carefully considering possible audiences." (p.82)
- P7.2. Describe, justify, and document computational processes and solutions using appropriate terminology consistent with the intended audience and purpose. (p.82)
- "Algorithms are designed to be carried out by both humans and computers. In early grades, students learn about age-appropriate algorithms from the real world. As they progress, students learn about the development, combination, and decomposition of algorithms, as well as the evaluation of competing algorithms." (p.91)
- Grade 5 - "Different algorithms can achieve the same result. Some algorithms are more appropriate for a specific context than others." (p.103)
- "Control structures specify the order in which instructions are executed within an algorithm or program. In early grades, students learn about sequential execution and simple control structures. As they progress, students expand their understanding to combinations of structures that support complex execution." (p.91)
- Grade 5 - "Control structures, including loops, event handlers, and conditionals, are used to specify the flow of execution. Conditionals selectively execute or skip instructions under different conditions." (p.103)
- A step-by-step process to complete a task. (source)
- A formula or set of steps for solving a particular problem. To be an algorithm, a set of rules must be unambiguous and have a clear stopping point. (source)
- A feature of a programming language that performs different computations or actions depending on whether a programmer-specified Boolean condition evaluates to true or false. (A conditional could refer to a conditional statement, conditional expression, or conditional construct.) (source)
- Referring to an action that takes place only if a specific condition is met. Conditional expressions are one of the most important components of programming languages because they enable a program to act differently each time it is executed, depending on the input. Most programming languages use the word if for conditional expressions. For example, the conditional statement: “if x equals 1 exit” directs the program to exit if the variable x is equal to 1. (source)
- The computational concept of making decisions based on conditions (e.g., current variable values). (source)
- One out of possibly many “frames” or alternate appearances of a sprite. A sprite can change its look to any of its costumes. (source)
- The process of finding and correcting errors (bugs) in programs. (source)
- To find and remove errors (bugs) from a software program. Bugs occur in programs when a line of code or an instruction conflicts with other elements of the code. (source)
- An action or occurrence detected by a program. Events can be user actions, such as clicking a mouse button or pressing a key, or system occurrences, such as running out of memory. Most modern applications, particularly those that run in Macintosh and Windows environments, are said to be event-driven,because they are designed to respond to events. (source)
- The computational concept of one thing causing another thing to happen. (source)
- Any identifiable occurrence that has significance for system hardware or software. User-generated events include keystrokes and mouse clicks; system-generated events include program loading and errors. (source)
- The process of creating something new from something old. Originally a process that involved music, remixing involves creating a new version of a program by recombining and modifying parts of existing programs, and often adding new pieces, to form new solutions. (source)
- A creative work that is derived from an original work (or from another remix). A remix typically introduces new content or stylistic elements, while retaining a degree of similarity to the original work. (source)
- One or more Scratch blocks connected together to form a sequence. Scripts begin with an event block that responds to input (e.g., mouse click, broadcast). When triggered, additional blocks connected to the event block are executed one at a time. (source)
More vocabulary words from CSTA
- Potential subjects: History, language arts, media arts, social studies
- Example(s): This project could connect with history, language arts, or social studies standards if coders created a project about a historical, contemporary, or fictional person. Click here to see other examples and share your own ideas on our subforum dedicated to integrating projects or click here for a studio with similar projects.
- Historians and authors often construct historical or fictional figures through narratives. Click here to visit a website dedicated to exploring potential careers through coding.