My goal for 2nd quarter is to introduce my kindergarteners to the different parts of Computational Thinking. During our first time, we talked about Decomposition, which is taking a bigger problem and breaking into smaller, more workable parts. Check out my post on this here.
This week we are talking about Pattern Recognition. Kinders are REALLY good at patterns. They must have great classroom teachers that provide some really fun lessons because they were ALL over this activity! The two web activities I used are both found on my go-to collection of awesome games/activities for kids — abcya.com .
Activity one was a huge hit — Moon Rock Patterns — the kids nailed this! In this activity, there is a snazzy space ship that shoots across the screen and leaves colored “moon rocks” in its path. The “coder” has to use the extra moon rocks at the bottom to complete the pattern.
The pattern above is from Level 1 — a very simple ABAB pattern. As the coder progresses through the levels — the patterns get increasingly more difficult.
This pattern is from Level 6 and is a pattern that repeats after the sixth moon rock — ABCDEFABCDEF. I was really impressed with how well students did on the higher levels. Way to go, Kindergarten teachers!
The other activity we worked on is Monster Truck Shape Patterns (also found at abcya.com!) The kinders loved the sound effects on this …..vrroooom vrroooom!
Just like the Moon Rock Patterns activity — the game starts out pretty easy. The Monster Truck has to be able to drive across the top of the shape cards. The coder needs to identify the pattern and fill in the missing pieces so that the truck can complete its ride. In this example, there is only one shape card missing and the pattern is an easy one — ABA.
As the coder progresses through the activity — more and more of the shape cards are missing. This provided a great opportunity to encourage students to “guess and check” and be persistent. If the coder put the wrong card in the missing spot, the truck honks its horn and the card goes back to the card bank at the bottom. I also encourage my little coders to look all over for clues. In this activity, it’s sometimes best for them to look in the middle — or even at the end of the shape card line up to help identify what the exact pattern.
This activity also has a really fun super challenge! After you have practiced identifying the patterns and filling in the missing shape cards, the coder can go into “RACE MODE” and complete more pattern puzzles. This time, however, they will be racing a PLANE! My Kinder-coders are pretty competitive — and did fairly well! How well can you do??