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# Module 3:

Algorithms
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## Teachers Can Code

● 16 Digital Technologies professional learning modules
○ mix of primary/secondary and coding/non-coding
● modules cover:
○ key concepts, e.g. data representation and algorithms
○ coding and data analysis skills
○ projects and assessment
● modules delivered statewide in a train the trainer model

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Agenda
● what is an algorithm?
● teachers use and teach algorithms every day
○ grammar, spelling, counting, arithmetic, ...
● defining algorithms simply and unambiguously
● unpacking the algorithms thread of content descriptions

## We will also demonstrate a range of practical classroom activities.

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WA Curriculum: scope and sequence 4

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WA Curriculum: scope and sequence 5

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WA Curriculum: scope and sequence 6

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WA Curriculum: scope and sequence 7

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A description of the steps and decisions required to solve a
problem. For example, to find the largest number in a list of
positive numbers:
● note the first number as the largest.
● look through the remaining numbers, in turn, and if a number is larger than
the number found in 1, note it as the largest.
● repeat this process until complete. The last noted number is the largest in
the list.
An algorithm may be described in many ways. Flowcharts are
often useful in visualising an algorithm.
WAC: Digital Technologies glossary (page 26)

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An algorithm is a precise description of the steps and
decisions needed to solve a problem. Algorithms will need to
be tested before the final solution can be implemented. Anyone
who has followed or given instructions, or navigated using
directions, has used an algorithm.
https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/technologies/digital-technologies/structure/

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Lego algorithmics Ac
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[redacted] [redacted]

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Lego algorithmics Ac
it
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Used with permission. Used with permission.

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Sequences

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Decisions (branching)

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## A real-world branching example

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Loops

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Bee-Bot activity Ac
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Used with permission.

Used with permission.

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Wom-bot activity Ac
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Used with permission.

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Ac
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Making a Vegemite
sandwich

## Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich:

Photo: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Algorithms https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File
:Vegemiteontoast_large.jpg
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## Making a Vegemite sandwich Ac

it
● How do you make a Vegemite sandwich?
!
● How much detail for each step?
● What order must the steps be done in?
● How does the algorithm generalise?
● What about making lots of sandwiches?

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Photo: CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/crazybobbles/343877524/

## Sorting as a general algorithm

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## Depending on what you

Die Kunst, aufzuräumen
Ursus Wehrli sort will change the
ISBN-13: 978-3036952970
sorting algorithm

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## I’m thinking of a number... Ac

it
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Searching a phone book 25

Ac
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Used with permission.

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## Bebras Australia Computational Thinking Challenge

https://www.bebras.edu.au/
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An unplugged activity Ac
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Blind pictures Ac
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[redacted]

Used with permission.

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Blind pictures Ac
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Used with permission.

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F-2
Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps
and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems

## 3-4 Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of

steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them

## 5-6 Design, modify and follow simple algorithms involving sequences

of steps, branching, and iteration

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7-8 Design algorithms represented diagrammatically and in English,
and trace algorithms to predict output for a given input and to
identify errors
9-10 Design algorithms represented diagrammatically and in
structured English and validate algorithms and programs through
tracing and test cases

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A sequence of steps and Follow, describe, represent Solve simple problems u
F-2 decisions (algorithms) m
a sequence of steps and Describe, follow (algorithms) needed to solve
3-4
decisions (algorithms) simple problems

## simple algorithms involving Design, modify, follow

5-6 sequences of steps, branching,
and iteration

## Design algorithms Design, represented Trace algorithms to predict

diagrammatically and in English output for a given input and to
7-8
identify errors

## Design, represented Validate algorithms and

9-10 diagrammatically and in programs through tracing and
structured English test cases
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Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps 33
F-2
and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple
problems

## PP Generate and record design ideas through describing, drawing,

modelling and/or a sequence of written or spoken steps

## 1 Develop and communicate design ideas through describing, drawing,

modelling and/or a sequence of written or spoken steps

## 2 Develop, communicate and discuss design ideas through describing,

drawing, modelling and/or a sequence of steps
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Define simple problems, and describe and follow 34
3-4
a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms)
needed to solve them
3 Create a sequence of steps to solve a given task

## 3 Use visually represented sequenced steps (algorithms), including steps

with decisions made by the user (branching)

## 4 Define a sequence of steps to design a solution for a given task

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5-6
Design, modify and follow simple algorithms involving
sequences of steps, branching, and iteration

## 5 Design, follow and represent diagrammatically, a simple sequence of

steps (algorithm), involving branching (decisions) and iteration
(repetition)

## 5 Define a problem, and set of sequenced steps, with users making a

decision to create a solution for a given task

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5-6
Design, modify and follow simple algorithms involving
sequences of steps, branching, and iteration

## 6 Design, modify, follow and represent both diagrammatically, and in

written text, simple algorithms (sequence of steps) involving branching
(decisions) and iteration (repetition)

## 6 Define a problem, and set of sequenced steps, with users making

decisions to create a solution for a given task

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Design algorithms represented diagrammatically
7-8
and in English, and trace algorithms to predict
output for a given input and to identify errors

## 7 Produce a simple plan designed to solve a problem, using a sequence of

steps
8 Design plans, using a sequence of steps, and represent them
diagrammatically and in English, to solve a problem and to predict
output for a given input to identify errors
8 Produce a simple plan designed to solve a problem, using a sequence of
steps
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Design algorithms represented diagrammatically 38
9-10 and in structured English and validate algorithms

## and programs through tracing and test cases

9 Design algorithms, represented diagrammatically and in structured
English, and validate plans and programs through tracing

## 10 Design algorithms represented diagrammatically and in structured

English, including iteration
10 Validate algorithms and programs using common acceptable methods

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Summary
● we follow, create and modify algorithms every day
○ including rules, recipes, instructions, directions, ...
● teachers teach algorithms all the time
○ e.g. maths, spelling, ...
● algorithms are hard to define succinctly and unambiguously
● Digital Technologies provides a deep understanding of algorithms
used across all learning areas

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© Department of Education Western Australia 2018
Except where noted, this presentation and support materials are copyright Department of Education Western Australia
2018 and made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 (CC BY NC) licence.
Cover image copyright Department of Education Western Australia 2016.
Copyright of the Western Australian Curriculum
Any Western Australian Curriculum content is copyright, and used with the permission of, the School Curriculum and
Standards Authority (SCSA). This permission does not constitute SCSA endorsement of the presentation.