Repository 1: ‘Unplugged’ Programming

Tao of Computational Thinking in Programming

An Introduction to the Course for Teachers KS2/KS3) June 2016
An introduction to the Course is presented here for teachers to download. The Development of the Course as a scaffolding for learning to program or to help in the transition from block-based to text-based programming is supported by theĀ  Google Award CS4HS 2016 for Unplugged Programming
This is a pdf file for Teachers and was presented as a CPD session at the CAS National Conference June 2016:

Tao of Computational Thinking in Programming

This Course Tao of Computational Thinking in Programming is currently under further development and marks a radical change in the content, presentation and formatting of the training course of 2015.

The original course is still held here online until the revised version is complete:
Without using a programming language at the screen, and so postponing the difficulties of the learner interface with a screen programming environment,
this course of 5 workbooks for teachers and about 40 mission sheets for pupils attempts to

  • set out a rationale for an ‘unplugged’ programming approach
  • tackle computational thinking applied in practice to algorithms and programming
  • integrate established and research-based pedagogy in learning and teaching algorithmic programming
  • develop skills and understanding in the art of programming
  • introduce 3 of the 5 programming control structures, namely, sequence, repetition and functions
  • use a project driven, cross-curricula approach in the mission sheets, which are graded 0-5* to cover the range KS2-KS4.
  • use ideas of ‘action geometry': of ‘walking the talk’, ‘chalking the talk’ or using ISPY
    a scaffolded approach to computational thinking and programming.
  • make the transition to programming in Scratch 2.0 or Python 3 at the screen more staightforward.

A New Departure

We are presently looking at the viability of introducing short video clips for each of the ‘Unplugged’ Programming Workbooks. The idea is to introduce, shorten and supplement the comprehensive cover in the Workbooks and give a flavour of the Mission sheets for pupils making use of the push-button software ISPY.

This repository contains a ‘rationale for unplugged programming’, and 5 workbooks for teachers with about 40 missions of practical exercises covering a teaching and learning pathway of ‘unplugged’ algorithmic programming with materials for KS2–KS4.
Note “28th September: Workbook 2 has been updated. Error on P16. (Table 8 entry, corresponding to Table 7.2, is Table 9.E not Table 9.C)

  • A Rationale for ‘Unplugged’ Programming
  • Workbook 1: Sequence: Lines, Squares, Letters – Cracking the Code
  • Workbook 2: Repetition: Patterns and Symmetry – Action Geometry
  • Workbook 3: Functions: Building Blocks: Lines, Squares, Rectangles
  • Workbook 4: Computational Thinking: Project Aqado
  • Workbook 5: Translation, Rotation and Reflection

Follow up or accompanying workbooks for programming at the screen are listed below and are/will be available in Repository 2.

  • Workbook 6: Plug in to Scratch 2.0
  • Workbook 7: A Tour around Python 3
  • Workbook 8: Plug in to Coffeescript (to be written)

View and Download

These 5 workbooks of ‘unplugged programming’ are available under a creative commons non-commercial license for Teachers to adapt. The Workbooks available to download are listed in each Repository. For convenience,the whole of Part 1 is listed in a compressed file.

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