Friday, May 24, 2013

Computer Science Recipe: Sidewalk Chalk Prototyping

We do this while the kids are working on their Programming Portfolios in the APCS Principles class. We pick a sunny day early on when they start this portfolio and head outside.


  • Markers
  • Blank Paper
  • Sidewalk chalk - feeling crafty? Here's a recipe
  • Sidewalk

The Portfolio for Programming is a partner project. A lot of the writing they will have to do will analyze how the program came together. It is helpful for teh students to stop and draw out the program so they have a clear mental piture of what it is supposed to do.

At the beginning of class I give each pair some paper and markers.  I ask them to draw a picture of what their program does. They can illustrate it anyway they want, but no words.

I then have them do an elevator speech and present their drawing to the class. They have 30 second to give a snapshot of what they are working on.

Towards the end of class we head outside. For this drawing they are illustrating how they will create the program they described. I do not give any structure to this.

We then do a chalk walk and each team describes how they plan on solving the problem.

The main point is to get them really describing what the program does and how they intend to get there.

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to try this out next year. Thanks for the good idea


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