Experience: 1st year, 3rd quarter
Practice: Creating computational artifacts, Testing and refining computational artifacts, and Communicating about computing
Concept: Algorithms, Control, Modularity, and Program Development
Overview and Purpose
Coders select from a variety of starter questions, storyboard their superhero(ine) project, then code a story or game. The purpose of this synthesis project is to storyboard a project and then apply their understandings into a project of interest.
Objectives and Standards
- I will learn how to develop a project storyboard to plan out a project.
- How can we plan out a project before using code?
- I will storyboard and create a project with a superhero(ine).
- How can we storyboard and create a project with a superhero(ine)?
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-13 Use an iterative process to plan the development of a program by including others' perspectives and considering user preferences.
- Planning is an important part of the iterative process of program development. Students outline key features, time and resource constraints, and user expectations. Students should document the plan as, for example, a storyboard, flowchart, pseudocode, or story map. (source)
1B-AP-11 Decompose (break down) problems into smaller, manageable subproblems to facilitate the program development process.
- Decomposition is the act of breaking down tasks into simpler tasks. For example, students could create an animation by separating a story into different scenes. For each scene, they would select a background, place characters, and program actions. (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-14 Observe intellectual property rights and give appropriate attribution when creating or remixing programs.
- Intellectual property rights can vary by country but copyright laws give the creator of a work a set of rights that prevents others from copying the work and using it in ways that they may not like. Students should identify instances of remixing, when ideas are borrowed and iterated upon, and credit the original creator. Students should also consider common licenses that place limitations or restrictions on the use of computational artifacts, such as images and music downloaded from the Internet. At this stage, attribution should be written in the format required by the teacher and should always be included on any programs shared online. (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)
- "Programs are developed through a design process that is often repeated until the programmer is satisfied with the solution. In early grades, students learn how and why people develop programs. As they progress, students learn about the tradeoffs in program design associated with complex decisions involving user constraints, efficiency, ethics, and testing." (p. 91)
- Grade 5 - "People develop programs using an iterative process involving design, implementation, and review. Design often involves reusing existing code or remixing other programs within a community. People continuously review whether programs work as expected, and they fix, or debug, parts that do not. Repeating these steps enables people to refine and improve programs." (p. 104)
- "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)
- "Modularity involves breaking down tasks into simpler tasks and combining simple tasks to create something more complex. In early grades, students learn that algorithms and programs can be designed by breaking tasks into smaller parts and recombining existing solutions. As they progress, students learn about recognizing patterns to make use of general, reusable solutions for commonly occurring scenarios and clearly describing tasks in ways that are widely usable." (p. 91)
- Grade 5 - "Programs can be broken down into smaller parts to facilitate their design, implementation, and review. Programs can also be created by incorporating smaller portions of programs that have already been created." (p. 104)
- A step-by-step process to complete a task. (source)
- An algorithm is 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)
- One out of possibly many frames, or backgrounds, of the Stage. (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)
- Refers to processes that occur simultaneously. Printers and other devices are said to be either parallel or serial. Parallel means the device is capable of receiving more than one bit at a time (that is, it receives several bits in parallel). Most modern printers are parallel. (source)
- The computational concept of making things happen at the same time. (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)
- A media object that performs actions on the stage in a Scratch project. (source)
- Like comic strips for a program, storyboards tell a story of what a coding project will do and can be used to plan a project before coding.
More vocabulary words from CSTA
- Potential subjects: History, language arts, media arts, physical education, social studies
- Example(s): Instead of creating a project about a superhero(ine), this project could recreate or imagine how a sprite helps others or engages in a heroic act. For example, retelling a story of community members working together to rebuild a community after a natural disaster. 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.
- Authors, marketers, and media artists are often asked to create a story to sell a product or create a narrative. Click here to visit a website dedicated to exploring potential careers through coding.
- Example project
- Remix project
- Story resource: Starter guide made by Scratch
- Game resource: Starter guide made by Scratch
- Project files