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CWS 8th Grade Computer Math Block (May 4-14, 2015)

Each May I teach a 2-week block at the Cincinnati Waldorf School designed around concepts of technology, computing, and math (and the relation between them). In the class we use logic puzzles, electronic media, and an introduction to computer devices and programming. A major goal is to enable students to “tinker” with technology, and to give space to students to explore creative ideas through interaction with computing devices, electronic media, and experimental and interactive programming.

Week 1: Python programming; Representations of numbers, text, and images; Programmatic geometric constructions

Day 1: Introducing Binary numbers, counting with digits on hands; History of computing and computer devices; Encoding text with binary numbers; Encoding images with binary numbers.

Day 2: Introducing a programming language python; using python as calculator; variables; strings; lists; puzzles.

Day 3: Creating a Mad Libs program; encoding images; creating favicon; creating a canvas

Day 4: Geometric constructions using python turtles; conditional statements; looping constructs; more puzzles

Day 5: Finish Projects: Mad Libs, Favicons, and geometric constructions

Week 2: Scratch Programming and Game Design

Day 6: Introducing Scratch and the development environment.

Day 7: Basic components of Scratch programs, basic blocks and stacks; moving sprites.

Day 8: Elements of game design; sensing events, working with timers.

Day 9: Project Expo demonstrating group work on the design and implementation of a game or interactive story.  Oral presentations and demonstrations to the 6th Grade students.

Student Work

Here are some examples of student work collected all together in a  Class Project Page. There you will find Mother’s Day animated cards. Work focussed on three main projects and here are some links to that student work.

  1. Connor, Maddie, and Elijah’s Quest
  2. Cora, Suja, Julia’s Bimbo Maze Game
  3. Ethan, Grace, David and Matthais’s Pac-Man Game

Also, popular at the Expo was Ethan’s Joust Game.

Maddie’s Python MadLibs Story

originalStory = ”’

Once upon a time, a far away land there were %(number)s of
%(mythical_creature_plural)s. they were very sad because all of their
%(food)s had been stolen by a neighboring clan of
%(another_mythical_creature_plural)s.

One day two young %(mythical_creature_plural)s named %(name)s and
%(another_name)s decided that they had lived without their %(food)s for long
enough. they decided to %(kind_of_revolutionary_movement)s and get their
%(food)s back. They got their clan together and told them the plan of attack.

They would first bombard the %(another_mythical_creature_plural)s with
%(weapon_of_little_destruction)s then they would run into the enemy camp
yelling %(kind_of_pasta)s. The plan was a complete %(Failure_or_success)s.

The End
”’

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