Computer Science

Computational thinking: Simple Actions for Complex Terms

How can I get the children in my class to learn the terms associated with Computational thinking and to start using them for themselves?

Having spent some time talking to the children in my school about what they were doing in their coding lessons, it soon became apparent that they were not using the correct terminology.  For example; they spoke about ‘up-levelling’ or ‘re-drafting’ a piece of code rather than ‘debugging’ it.  This prompted me to find a way to get children familiar with the terminology using a fun and engaging approach.  It also occurred to me that there is often a lot of sitting down during Computing lessons so with the children’s help I created a set of actions which would involve them getting out of their seats and getting active!  Every time we spoke about a particular aspect of Computational thinking e.g. an algorithm or abstraction, we performed the action.  Quite quickly, the children became more confident with the terms and were able to recall the words when just the action was shown.  A few weeks later they were using the terms whenever they spoke about their learning.

Here is my son, performing the actions and explaining what they mean.


  • Jane Waite
    November 4, 2017 - 9:58 am | Permalink

    Fabulous! We need to embed these in the learning journeys too…

  • Jane Waite
    November 28, 2017 - 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Wendy can you put your playground signs up too?

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