The ‘Good Morning!’ Algorithm
I have a created a simple algorithm (please disregard the lack of visual aesthetics) for students to follow to get ready for a school day in the morning. This flowchart resource could be adapted in many ways across the primary years to integrate algorithms and programming in meaningful ways.
In the younger years, this flowchart could be used simply for students to follow every day when they get to school. The flowchart could be displayed on the classroom door or on the window wall for students to look at and follow. Young students could then create their own ‘Getting ready for school’ algorithm by recalling and describing the sequential steps that they complete to get ready in the morning. This activity addresses the lower tiers of Bloom’s Taxonomy but is a great starting point in introducing the concept of an algorithm. It also incorporates elements of authentic learning by breaking down an relatable everyday task which all students complete. PP, Year 1 and Year 2 Digital Technologies Curriculum codes ACTDIP003, WATPPS02, WATPPS07, WATPPS12 are addressed in this activity.
I purposefully made the flowchart simple and vague, for middle to upper primary students to analyse and evaluate the algorithm. In pairs or small groups, students could discuss the errors in the algorithm. Exactly which ‘maths games’ can students play? Who exactly do you say ‘Good Morning’ to? What if there aren’t any chairs, or bag hooks left outside? The errors could be demonstrated to the class as the teacher being the ‘Robot’ following the instructions, similar to the ‘Sandwich Bot’ activity. Students could discuss what to do if you have a lunch order or a specific classroom duty job, and alter or even create their own improved, detailed ‘Morning’ algorithm – in relation to Bloom’s Taxonomy. Students could also incorporate elements of ‘decision trees’ into their flowchart. Curriculum codes WATTPS16, ACTDIP011, WATPPS21, ACTDIP019, ACTDIP020 and WATPPS27 can all be addressed in this activity.
Limitations/Concerns: In the younger years, pictures could perhaps accompany the text on the algorithm to differentiate for students who may have difficulty reading.