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Previous Years: 20–21, 19–20, 18–19

Classroom Resources

Chimes

  • low, med, high: stand and listen quietly
  • high: listen quietly
  • high, med: look at screen for directions

First Day, 2021-08-19

Welcome to Computer Science

Beauty and Joy of Computing

BJC Logo

This year, we will study computer science using the Beauty and Joy of Computing curriculum, first developed at U.C. Berkeley, later adapted for high school, and for the first time this year, adapted for middle school.

BJC Introduction from U.C. Berkeley Professor Dan Garcia

Computing in the News

Each week we will spend about 5 minutes presenting and discussing a news item about computers.

Unit 1

Lab 1: Introduction to Snap!

(Adapted from the BJC curriculum)
Mr. Briccetti will guide you through using Snap! for the first time. We will make a block that reports a personalized greeting.

  • Make a block
  • Name it greet and make it a reporter block
  • Add an input called name
  • Use join to combine a greeting with the name
  • Put the join block inside the report block

Lab 2: Super Short Stories

(Adapted from the BJC curriculum)
In this activity, you’ll use functions to write one-sentence stories.

❇️ Open this Super Short Stories project.

Every Snap! program is made up of blocks, and those blocks tell the computer what to do. There are lots of blocks in Snap!, and you can even make your own blocks. For this first project, we’re hiding most of the blocks, but there is one already in the Scripts area (the central space of the Snap! window) for you to play with.

❇️ Click the Super Short Story block, and read the bubble that appears.

There are multiple types of blocks in Snap. This Super Short Story block is a reporter block. That means that it does some sort of computation and then “reports” the result to the rest of the program. In Snap! reporter blocks are oval-shaped.

When you click a block, the computer runs its code. You’ll see the code behind this block in an upcoming activity. For now, notice that when you click the block, you see the reported result in a bubble.

Many blocks accept inputs that customize what they compute, and those inputs show up as blank boxes. This block reports a story based on the inputs (a feeling, a job, a verb, etc.). You can change the inputs to change the output (in this case, the story).

❇️ Change some inputs to the Super Short Story block, and click it again.

What happens to the story in the bubble?

Snapping Blocks Together Snap! is called Snap! because you can snap blocks together.

❇️ Choose one of the brown blocks like random feeling and click it several times.

Which block did you click, and what was reported?

These blocks don’t take any inputs, but since they are reporters, they still report an output. You can use the output of one block as the input to another block.

❇️ Drag some brown random blocks into the Super Short Story block, and click the block a few times.

What happens to the story reported by the block?

❇️ Make sure you are logged in to Snap! by checking that your name appears in the Snap! Cloud menu.

❇️ Save this project to your Snap! account by choosing “Save” from the Snap! File menu (it looks like a piece of paper with a corner folded.

Be sure to save your projects after an important change to your project and, if you are using a shared computer, whenever you’re done for the day.

Summary

In this activity, you learned how to run a block by clicking it and how to change a block’s inputs by typing different text into the input slots or by dragging other blocks into the input slots. You’ve seen that, either way, changing the inputs that are given to a function will change the output that it reports.

2021-08-25

Review of Growth Mindset

Video

Computing in the News

Lab 3: Dealing With Data

2021-09-02

Finding this Page

Look in Google Classroom for the link to St. Perpetua Computer Science 2021–22. Click on Go to the latest lesson.

Computing in the News

Confirming Your Email to Snap!

Continue at Your Own Pace

If You Finish

If you finish, play with Snap! and make something you like. Maybe look at the Snap! Crash Course. Or, explore other people’s Snap! projects. Use headphones if the programs you run make sound.

See Google Classroom

How did it go today?

2021-09-09

Computing in the News

Random Story, from Scratch

One student said they would have preferred creating the Super Short Story project from scratch, so we’ll do part of that together. Run Snap!

Saving and Sharing Your Work

Save your from-scratch story project. Share it and notice that the URL changes. Copy and paste the URL into today’s Google Classroom assignment.

Continue at Your Own Pace

Continue working from here on whatever you haven’t done (skipping Lab 1, Activities 1–3). Look at activities you’ve already done and think about what questions I might ask you to see how well you understand the material. There may be a quiz coming.

If You Finish

If you finish, play with Snap! and make something you like. Maybe look at the Snap! Crash Course. Or, explore other people’s Snap! projects. Use headphones if the programs you run make sound.

See Google Classroom

2021-09-16

Computing in the News

Classroom Rules

Listening to Music

Not today. This privilege may return to specific individuals with consistently good classroom behavior.

Allowable Activities

Unless otherwise authorized, you’ll only engage in approved activities on the computers. This will usually be the Snap! web sites, the BJC curriculum web site, and this page.

Leaving Class

Unless it’s urgent, please don’t ask to leave class during the lecture part of the class (usually the first 5–15 minutes).

Resources

See the Resources section at the top of this page, for links such as Snap! and the BJC curriculum.

Reminder of How to Share

See Creating a Link under Sharing Projects in the Snap! Crash Course.

BJC and Snap! Quiz 1 (See Google Classroom)

Rock, Paper, Scissors Test, in Snap! (See Google Classroom)

If You Finish

If you finish, play with Snap! and make something you like. Maybe look at the Snap! Crash Course. Or, explore other people’s Snap! projects. Use headphones if the programs you run make sound.

How Did It Go Today? (See Google Classroom)

2021-09-23

Computing in the News

BJC for High School

See the link in Resources, above, if you want more challenging activities.

Quiz Review

Rock, Paper, Scissors Block

Complete this test from last week.

  • Run Snap!
  • Create a list of the three words
    • Search for list
  • Randomly choose an item from the list
    • Search for random
    • Use the brown Item of block
    • Drag the list of three words into the rightmost input slot
    • Change the 1 to random
    • Click on the block to test it. One of the three words should appear each time
  • Make a new block, a reporter block
  • Drag the Item of block into the input slot of the report block
  • Push apply
  • Search for the block you created
  • Drag it to the script area
  • Click on the block to test it. One of the three words should appear each time.

Lab 5

For those who are ready. You’ll find Lab 5 in the BJC Middle School Curriculum.

How Did It Go Today? (See Google Classroom)

2021-09-30

Binary Numbers “Unplugged” Activity

Introduction

  • Number Systems
    • What different number systems do we know about? (Roman Numerals; Tally marks; Number bases like binary and decimal.)
    • Why do we normally use 10 digits? (10 fingers, plus it’s a fairly efficient way to write things compared with, say, tally marks.)
    • Why do we have different number systems? (Humans use base ten, computers use base 2 because of their on/off circuitry)
  • Bit (Binary Digit)
    • Can have the values 0 or 1 (also thought of as off or on))
      • Decimal digits can be any of the ten values 0 to 9
    • Computer circuitry works with binary numbers (made up of bits)

“Unplugged” Activity

  • Place five volunteers at front
  • Hand out cards from right to left, with students predicting what comes next
  • Repeat a few times
    • Students think of decimal number from 1–31
    • Show them in binary
      • all bits on, then from left to right, see if bits should be on and turn off as needed
  • Count starting at 0
  • How might binary numbers represent letters?
  • Kids decode a message: 01000 01001
  • Letters are actually represented using ASCII
  • What else can be represented in binary?
    • images
    • sounds
    • movies

Lab 5, Activity 1

The Numbers Systems for Humans vs. Machines section explores binary numbers, as we did with our unplugged activity. You’ll find Lab 5 in the BJC Middle School Curriculum.

How Did It Go Today? (See Google Classroom)

2021-10-07

Ergonomics

If you are sitting facing a window, feel free to close the blinds to reduce eye strain.

Computing in the News

  • Snap! now has over 5,000,000 saved projects
  • Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen

Practice with the binary dots cards

I have the cards here if anyone wants to practice with them.

How old is the birthday person?

See Google Classroom

BJC

Continue in the BJC Middle School Curriculum. For many of you this will be Unit 1, Lab 5.

How Did It Go Today?

See Google Classroom, and answer this near the end of class.

2021-10-14

Computing in the News

IoT Hacking and Rickrolling My High School District (Don’t try this.)

BJC

Caesar Cipher Demo

Continue in the BJC Middle School Curriculum.

How Did It Go Today?

See Google Classroom, and answer this near the end of class.