Algorithms - Making Steps and Rules
Visit Barefoot Computing - Providing skills for tomorrow with BT and Computing at School as part of the Barefoot Computing programme
Make something to eat with your child. Can they draw or write the instructions (an algorithm) for someone else to follow to recreate the dish?
Algorithms are used in everyday life, such as recipes. It is just producing a set of instructions or rules which can be followed accurately.
My Amazing Game
Ask your child to invent a game to play around the house and write out the rules (an algorithm). Play the game with them - do the rules explain everything about how to play? Can you find any loop holes in their rules?
Algorithms can be rules as well as a sequence of instructions.
The rules need to be precise and specific.
Ask your child to write the instructions (an algorithm) for something they’ve done today. Would a robot version of themselves be able to follow this? Is their algorithm precise enough? Test it!
Here your child has written an algorithm. Algorithms are a precise sequence
of instructions or set of rules for completing a task.
Ask your child to create a step-by-step timetable for tomorrow. What will they do first? Next? Then? Can they present their timetable in an easy to read format for others to follow?
Algorithms can be presented in different ways, here our timetable showing what we will do first, second, next is an algorithm.
Ask your child to hide their teddy/toy in another room in the house. Ask them to draw, write or speak the instructions (an algorithm) for someone to find it. They need to be precise with their instructions if they want their teddy found quickly!
This activity helps demonstrate why algorithms need to be precise. If they’re not, the teddy won’t be found!