The Illuminations tool, Product Game, is an excellent resource for students to gain a deeper understanding of factors and multiples. This tool challenges students to make offensive and defensive moves to obtain four products in a row by selecting factors ranging from one to nine. The challenge comes when one of the factors must be from your opponent’s last move. Students can either play against the computer or with a partner in their class.
GCF Venn Diagrams
Product Game Reflection
In this activity, students will compute real-world problems involving the volume of rectangular prisms. Students are provided models of rectangular prisms with fractional edge lengths and asked to compute how many smaller prims with a given measure are needed to pack the model. They will compute volume measurements using two different methods. Students are provided a link to an online rectangular prism calculator to check their calculations. An answer key with detailed explanations is provided for this activity.
How Much Does It Take? Student Response Page
Have you ever had a complex problem that you needed to solve? This could be a math problem, science experiment, an essay you need to write, and coding and game design. It could even be as simple as planning the best route to school or baking your favorite cookies!
Computational thinking can be used to take a complex problem, understand what the problem is and develop possible solutions to solve or explain it.
Students will complete Quests to learn about the four stages of computational thinking:
When you have completed this activity you will:
be able to solve complex problems using computational thinking. [Computational Thinker]
be able to break down a problem into smaller more manageable parts. [Computational Thinker]
know how to look for patterns and sequences. [Computational Thinker]
be able to focus on important information only. [Computational Thinker]
be able to develop a step-by-step solution to the problem. [Computational Thinker]
know how to use coding to automate a task [Computational Thinker]
understand computational design by applying technology to a problem [Innovative Designer]
understand programming as you complete hands-on activities, solving problems encountered [Computational Thinker]
understand the coding your program creates [Empowered Learner]
Computer programs often need to process a sequence of symbols such as letters or words in a document, or even the text of another computer program. Computer scientists often use a finite-state automaton to do this. A finite-state automaton (FSA) follows a set of instructions to see if the computer will recognize the word or string of symbols. We will be working with something equivalent to a FSA—treasure maps!
The goal of the students is to find Treasure Island. Friendly pirate ships sail along a fixed set of routes between the islands in this part of the world, offering rides to travelers. Each island has two departing ships, A and B, which you can choose to travel on. You need to find the best route to Treasure Island. At each island you arrive at you may ask for either ship A or B (not both). The person at the island will tell you where your ship will take you to next, but the pirates don’t have a map of all the islands available. Use your map to keep track of where you are going and which ship you have traveled on.
Students take what they've learned through Unit 6 Chapter 1 and develop an app of their own design that uses the circuit board to output information.
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After a brief review of how the counter pattern is used to move sprites, the class is introduced to the properties that set velocity and rotation speed directly. As they use these new properties in different ways, they build up the skills they need to create a basic side scroller game.
In order to create more interesting and detailed images, the class is introduced to the sprite object. Every sprite can be assigned an image to show, and sprites also keep track of multiple values about themselves, which will prove useful when making animations. At the end of the lesson, everyone creates a scene using sprites.
This lesson introduces the draw loop, one of the core programming paradigms in the Game Lab. The class combines the draw loop with random numbers to manipulate some simple animations with dots and then with sprites. Afterward, everyone uses what they learned to update the sprite scene from the previous lesson.
In this lesson, the class applies the problem-solving process to three different problems: a word search, a seating arrangement for a birthday party, and planning a trip. The problems grow increasingly complex and poorly defined to highlight how the problem-solving process is particularly helpful when tackling these types of problems.
In the last few days of the unit, the class finalizes their personal websites, working with peers to get feedback. Then, the students will review the rubric and put the finishing touches on the site. To cap off the unit, everyone shares their projects and how they were developed.
This lesson explores the challenges of communicating how to draw with shapes and uses a tool that introduces how this problem is approached in the Game Lab. The class uses a Game Lab tool to interactively place shapes on Game Lab's 400 by 400 grid. Partners then take turns instructing each other how to draw a hidden image using this tool, accounting for many of the challenges of programming in Game Lab.
The class is introduced to the Game Lab, the programming environment for this unit, and begins to use it to position shapes on the screen. The lesson covers the basics of sequencing and debugging, as well as a few simple commands. At the end of the lesson, the class creates an online version of the image they designed in the previous lesson.
This lesson extends the drawing skills to include width and height and introduces the concept of random number generation. The class learns to draw with versions of the ellipse() and rect() that include width and height parameters and to use the background() block to fill the screen with color. At the end of the progression, the class is introduced to the randomNumber() block and uses the new blocks to draw a randomized rainbow snake.
This lesson introduces websites as a means of personal expression. The class first discusses different ways that people express and share their interests and ideas, then looks at a few exemplary websites made by students from a previous course. Finally, everyone brainstorms and shares a list of topics and interests to include, creating a resource for developing a personal website in the rest of the unit.
This lesson continues the introduction to HTML tags, this time with headers. The class practices using header tags to create page and section titles and learns how the different header elements are displayed by default. Next, the class plans how to organize their content on the personal web pages that will be built across the unit and begins the first page of the project.
This lesson takes a step back from creating the personal website to talk about personal information people choose to share digitally. The class begins by discussing what types of information are good to share with other people, then looks at several sample social media pages to see what types of personal information could be shared intentionally or unintentionally. Finally, the class comes up with a set of guidelines to follow when putting information online.
The class works in groups to design aluminum foil boats that will support as many pennies as possible. At the end of the lesson, groups reflect on their experiences with the activity and make connections to the types of problem-solving they will be doing for the rest of the course.
This lesson introduces the formal problem-solving process that the class will use over the course of the year: Define - Prepare - Try - Reflect. The class relates these steps to the aluminum boat problem from the previous lesson, then a problem they are good at solving, then a problem they want to improve at solving. At the end of the lesson, the class collects a list of generally useful strategies for each step of the process to put on posters that will be used throughout the unit and year.