This is more of a classroom management technique as opposed to a learning activity per se. My idea is to incorporate the concept of decomposition into my teaching vocabulary, linking to the computer science concept whenever I do.
There are always times for reflection, and one of the things we often do is challenge students to recount what exactly is behind their thinking. I aim to use the concept of decomposition to frame my questioning. Examples might be:
- when deciding on your next move (we do a game based thinking skills programme) what are the different steps you need to take? What are your different options? How will they play out? Can you decompose your decision making process?
- You need to program this sphero to get over the bridge (this is a digi tech lesson, but the reference to decomposition is still embedded in general questioning) what are the steps that need to happen?
- You have this maths problem – what is your strategy? Determine what information is relevant (abstraction) decide which operation to use, which strategy will you use to solve the arithmetic? How do you need to present your answer?
This can be applied across the entire curriculum. The key is to identify the concept of decomposition/breaking down the task or problem into bite sized chunks.