Thursday, 21 July 2016

Computational Thinking - Logic Flow Diagramming

In discussing "coding", a lot is made of "computational thinking". A useful activity to develop computational thinking with students is Logic Flow Diagramming of regular or daily activities. In sharing this idea, I will use the "Minds-On", "Action", and "Consolidate" lesson framework to explain/share this idea.


Have students (using THINK-PAIR-SHARE) brainstorm regular activities in their live that they do on a regular basis and are usually very repetitive. Some examples include: brushing teeth, getting dressed, making cereal.


Share with students the symbols of Logic Flow Diagramming. An example includes:

Next share with students this example of a logic flow diagram of using a lamp:

This example draws out the usage of the diagram, and how to break down simple daily decision making or tasks into their individual steps. This activity helps students to break-down algorithmical activities/tasks and then visualize the parts or steps.

Once discussing the lamp example, have students go back to their pairs and work on creating a logic flow diagram on a sheet of paper of a daily task/activity that they regularly perform.


To connect this to coding, use a pre-made (unfamiliar) scratch activity and have students dissect how the activity 'works' by creating a logic flow diagram of how it functions. Students can initially try to diagram the activity without looking at the code. Once this is done, they can revise their diagram by looking at the code.

Further application:

Use this idea to have students pre-plan their coding. For example, pre-plan a choose your own adventure game using a logic flow diagram:

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