Our third and fourth graders engaged in two fun and unplugged activities (no computers!) to learn about loops and functions in technology class this week.
In third grade, students learned that computers are really good at repeating a task over and over again without ever needing to stop for a snack, use the bathroom, or to take a nap! The “Repeat ____ times” block (i.e., loop) was introduced in Blockly to enable our young programmers to take advantage of the power of loops as they program their computers to create shapes that repeat in beautiful patterns.
We began the class looking at how loops are seen in everyday life (e.g., the rotation of the planets, dances, songs, etc) and how the creator of Iluminate, a dance troupe that uses special effects created with lights and computers, codes with loops to make her dancers light up on stage. We then examined a dance to see if we could also figure out how we can use loops to minimize the number of lines of code in the dance algorithm. Finally, the students danced away using the new and more efficient algorithm. The students had so much fun clapping, moving to the beat, and ending the dance with a big belly laugh!