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Teacher-Facing Resources


Estimated Time:15 minutes


Score Type:Automatically Graded

Work completed by a student will be automatically graded and the grade will be sent to the Learning Management System (LMS) gradebook

Available Languages: English, Spanish

Primary Objectives:

  • Student will learn that a model is a representation of something else and how models are used to solve problems.
  • Student practices interpreting a flowchart.
  • Student learns that complicated processes can be divided into smaller parts using decomposition in order to solve the problem or make the process more efficient.
  • Student is introduced to simulations and how simulations are used to test processes involving different variables.
  • Student learns that a prototype is a sample of the output of an algorithm and this sample is used to test the algorithm.
  • Student understands that different types of data can be organized into different formats or data models.
  • Student learns that binary data is a special kind of data model used by computers and other digital tools.
  • Student learns basic terms for units of data used by computers.
  • Student practices creating a binary model.

Secondary Objectives:

  • Student understands the importance of planning in developing a process or system.
  • Student uses reasoning to understand how systems and processes work and how to determine the information needed to solve a problem or complete a task.
  • Students are introduced to the basic concepts used in computer programming and computer language.
  • Student identifies how automation of tasks is possible using computers and digital tools.
  • Student uses active listening skills to understand information and follow directions.


Algorithm Development 

Technology Education > Information Technology > Programming > Algorithm Development 


Mathematics > Process Standards > Models/Representations > Communication


Mathematics > Process Standards > Models/Representations > Compare

Critical / Analytical Thinking

Language Arts > Life Skills Daily Life > Critical / Analytical Thinking


Science > Concepts and Processes > Problem Solving > Engineering

Listening / Pay Attention

Language Arts > Communication > Media Literacy / Viewing > Comprehension > Listening / Pay Attention

Look for and make use of structure

Mathematics > Process Standards > Common Core > Look for and make use of structure


Mathematics > Process Standards > Computation > Methods/Steps/Strategies


Mathematics > Process Standards > Problem Solving > Methods/Steps/Strategies


Language Arts > Reading / Literature > Comprehension / Analysis > Follow Directions > Nonfiction


Mathematics > Process Standards > Models/Representations > Problem-solving


Science > History / Technology / Social Perspectives > Computer Science > Programming

Steps to Complete a Task

Technology Education > Information Technology > Technology Use In Society > Design Process > Steps to Complete a Task

how-to / process writing

Language Arts > Writing > Directions Instructions > how-to / process writing
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  • This lesson is an extension of the Algorithms lesson and focuses on the modeling of algorithms using different types of models, including simulations and prototypes. There are numerous types of simulations online and useful in content areas such as Social Studies and Science. It may be beneficial to display a simulation for the class as an introduction to how these models are used to solve problems and make informed decisions. Today's students may be more experienced with simulations, so be sure to allow students to offer suggestions or ideas about simulations with which they have experience. Some of these simulations may be games instead of true simulations, so this would be a good opportunity to clear up misconceptions and emphasize the usefulness of true simulations to solve problems. Some simulation suggestions include weather, plate tectonics, physics, ecosystems, investing, population growth, or any other subject that your students may be studying.

  • After this lesson and introducing students to online simulations, give students time to explore simulations on their own. Choose one simulation that is simple in scope, and have students draw out a flow chart to represent the process, choices and variables in the given simulation. Have volunteers share the flowchart with the class. Allow students compare their own flowchart to the one on display. Discuss the success of the flowchart, possible improvements, and student ideas about the flowchart.
S.5.a Students formulate problem definitions suited for technology-assisted methods such as data analysis, abstract models and algorithmic thinking in exploring and finding solutions.
S.5.b Students collect data or identify relevant data sets, use digital tools to analyze them, and represent data in various ways to facilitate problem-solving and decision-making.
S.5.c Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.
S.5.d Students understand how automation works and use algorithmic thinking to develop a sequence of steps to create and test automated solutions.
ELA-Literacy.SL.3.2 Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
ELA-Literacy.SL.4.2 Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
ELA-Literacy.SL.5.2 Summarize a written text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Math.Practice.MP1 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
Math.Practice.MP4 Model with mathematics.
Math.Practice.MP7 Look for and make use of structure.