Rube Goldberg (1883–1970) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American cartoonist, inventor, innovator, and the only person whose name is an adjective in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. A Rube Goldberg Machine® solves a simple problem in the most ridiculously inefficient way possible and in their funny functionality invites us to think more deeply about machines and mechanized processes, gadgets and technologies, and the very human ways in which we use them.
Aligned to fourth grade common core state standard 4.MD.C.7: recognize angle measures as additive, this Code.org lesson provides an excellent opportunity for inquiry based learning.
Page 78 of the book outlines mathematical questions that can be asked during each one of the puzzles. Along with these, I have also included a link to student lesson that focuses on the inquiry needed to make these strong mathematical connections.
Computational thinking and coding can deepen student understanding!
The above video shows the lesson in action, with a teacher in front of live students. This is a great introduction to the concept of 'functions' for upper elementary students.
Teachers could even pair up with 5K - 1st grade for some fun in creating the pattern. The older students could then work with younger students in making the bracelet together.
Tangrams are not only a perfect place to expand upon mathematical concepts in geometry, but it is also a way to include the ELA standards of using words that signal spatial and temporal relationships, as well as words and phrases that signal contrast, addition, and other logical relationships.
Code.org's unplugged Tangram lesson can be integrated into math, ELA, and/or the arts!
Music teachers can help students see computational thinking and coding connections with this unplugged lesson on songwriting. The chorus of a song is often repeated, thus students need to change various 'parameters' within the chorus.
See how loops can help meteorologists predict weather patterns. This is the prefect spot for NGSS.ETS2.B: Influence engineering, technology, and science on society and the natural world.
As students move onto high school, they will have a solid foundation to make a weather forecasting app..
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been a front runner of FREE resources for block-based coding. They have tutorials, student resources, and many opportunities for the sharing of ideas.
PBS Kids also provides many free resources.
The CSTA (Computer Science Technology Association) has been instrumental in developing K-12 computer science standards. The majority of states who have adopted CS standards have based them off these national standards.
They also serve as an excellent resource for professional development, CS coaching resources, as well as virtual teaching resources.
The following lessons are for K-5 and progress in difficulty. They use Scratch's free block-based coding website.
1 = The Three Little Pigs
3-5 = Choose your own adventure: