National 5 Computing Homework Computational Thinking

A set of homework challenges to promote computational thinking using Scratch and Python courtesy of Greg Reid, a CAS member in Scotland.

The challenges are:

*fixed loops in which students are presented with a series of scripts produced using the programming language Scratch. Students have to explain what the output will be, fill in missing parts of the script and decide which of a series of scripts produced the given outcome. each of the scripts contains a loop created using the 'repeat' command.

*values and variables follows a similar pattern to 'fixed loops' exploring the use of variables and substituting values for variables.

*string handling explores string handling using Python programming language. Area covered are storing text, concatenation, sub-strings, lower case, upper case and length of string.

*making decisions explores how decisions are made dependent upon an input by the use of the 'if' statement, the 'else if' statement, the 'or' statement using the Python programming language.

*built-in functions tests understanding of string and maths functions in Python. Students must use the description of the function to determine its output.

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(Greg Reid has written two Computing text books for the Scottish education system. His resources are used in thousands of schools all over the world.)

Computational Thinking (learning to think in a logical/problem solving way) is the buzz word in the teaching of programming. By teaching students to predict the outcome of small pieces of code they naturally become better at building their own programs.

Although this homework uses Scratch program code, the code is simply a vehicle to ask the questions and the homework may be used with students who have never seen Scratch.

Permission has been granted by the Scratch team to uses images of Scratch code.

Have fun. My students loved these!

Previously downloaded 30,000 times on a few websites comments have included:
"Thanks, these look like really good examples and introduce code in a fun and engaging way."
"Very useful. I'll use for a Maths class as well."
"Great examples to understand code. Thank you for sharing it."

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