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Week 6 Using Kinesthetic Activities, Role Playing, and Algorithm Visualization


  • Identify potential kinesthetic activities for the high school computer science classroom
  • Explain the benefits of kinesthetic activities in teaching CS


  1. Reflect upon your own learning of CS concepts. What concepts were harder to learn/understand for you when you first started learning CS? What models helped your better learn those difficult concepts?
  2. Did your teacher use any Active and Cooperative Learning (ACL) techniques that helped you and your peers in a CS course better understand the concepts? What were these activities and were they effective? What would you change about these activities
  3. Find two CS concepts that you think are hard for students to grasp/understand. Develop a lesson plan that incorporate ACL and/or kinesthetic learning you would utilize to teach those concepts. (You can look at CS4FN to get some ideas, but cannot copy their lesson plan). What are the risks involved in these activities and how would you minimize the risks?



  • Helps to internalize and maintain abstract information
    • Average attention span for a 16 year old is 7 minutes
  • Makes learning accessible
    • Difficult cs topics
  • Encourages working with peers


  • Learning by doing
    • Clear details and expectations for each activity must be provided
  • Role plays
  • Simulations
  • Manipulatives
  • Group discussions on a specific study topic

Readings for Class Discussion

Jenkins, T. (1998). A participative approach to teaching programming. SIGCSE Bulletin 30, 3 (August 1998), 125-129. DOI=10.1145/290320.283090.

McConnell, J. J. (2006). Active and cooperative learning: final tips and tricks (part I). SIGCSE Bulletin 37, 2 (June 2005), 27-30. DOI=10.1145/1083431.1083457.

McConnell, J. J. (2006). Active and cooperative learning: final tips and tricks (part II). SIGCSE Bulletin 37, 4 (December 2005), 34-38. DOI=10.1145/1113847.1113872.


  • Teaching with Toys/Manipulatives
mt2011/week6.txt · Last modified: 2015/02/05 12:46 by Tim Korb