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Section Title Primary information Description and Notes Suggested resources
Lesson Length The expected lesson length will be approximately one hour

Some variation possible.

Assessment Level 1

Students The lesson is suitable for KS3 and KS4 students Since this is a new specification, the lesson is suitable for Year 7 to 9 students and differentiated by outcome  
Overall Focus The lesson focus will be to carry out practical exercises of algorithms to make sure students fully understand what they are and how to write them This lesson will build on other lessons on abstraction and instructions to help students begin to think about quality instructions and routines that are algorithms

Lesson Links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39

Key words algorithm, abstraction, programming language, instruction, open source, digital, file types, variable These words need to be reinforced throughout the series of lessons  
Assessment Write algorithms for everyday tasks Evidence here will be student's own algorithms on their blogs or portfolios as well as assessor observations  
Key Questions Some questions to get learners thinking about the topics   How are algorithms helpful?  Can they be applied to anything?  Can you think of examples where they are not helpful or could not be used?  What algorithms do you most use yourselves?
Learning Objectives
  • To apply their understanding of algorithms
  • To describe and explain, with examples, how their algorithms work
  • To understand how algorithms work and how they function, as well as possible problems with them

Students can now apply their understanding in a very practical way and show how clearly they understand what algorithms really are

Students need to start thinking about possible problems with algorithms

If you are using the Learning Machine learning system, students can add their comments and material to this site as evidence of their growing understanding.  The site, if used consistently, will show progression via charts of activity and outcomes.
Teaching and Learning Elements
  • Review the previous lesson and check understanding
  • A teacher led demonstration of your most used algorithms
  • Students can break into groups and work on their own algorithms
  • Class discussion and evaluation of the wider uses of good instructions
  • Summarize the key points and reinforce the importance of algorithms and routines

In this lesson we need to give students time and space to work on their own algorithms and check that they understand how and why they work, with some probing questions about possible limitations

Use some of the student's own work and share with the group and discuss the quality of the impressions chosen.  Question students about how and why they did what they did.  Check for understanding.

Lesson Structure Possible structure
  1. review previous lesson and key terms
  2. show students some more detailed examples of algorithms
  3. group work to work on some of their own algorithms
  4. discuss what they have learned and what they can apply
  5. volunteers to share their work and explain how they came to their opinions
  6. highlight next week's focus and issue homework

If need be, use some more examples from CS Unplugged logo

Discuss the pros and cons of the way the sample algorithms work and are used.  Talk about this more widely in society and how it might be used.  Ask for examples.

Work through the Sorting Algorithm example linked above.

Students in groups can explore these examples and discuss amongst themselves why they work.  Is there agreement?

This website shows how algorithms are used to predict biological issues such as population explosions or mass extinction.

Homework Get students to write their own Sorting Algorithm as shown in the CS Unplugged example. Students can vary their homework depending on their level of understanding Get students to document their experience on their portfolio system for assessment


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