Logo

Logo is an old programming language in the world of educational, but it could provide a good introduction to creating written programs before pupils move onto harder programming languages like python.  Logo works in plain English with commands such as FORWARD 10 meaning the turtle will move 10 steps forward. It allows you to program a turtle and using a pen create shapes, which could be linked to maths work on direction and shape.  A simple fee intro is transum.org which has a number of challenges to program shapes, which get increasingly complex. turtleacademy.com is another free website to use, where children can create and share projects and it has a number of free lesson, which easily explain the code.
A good way to introduce Logo before turning on a computer would be for children to work in groups with one child blind folded an the other children create a set of instructions for the blindfolded child to walk in a square.  This would get children thinking about using the correct terminology, such as turn left 90 degrees.  When the algorithm has been created children could then test it out using Bee Bot before then completing the same code on Logo.  BBC robots also provides a good introduction to the idea of sequencing directions without the need to type in code. When your class has mastered a square they can then start to create increasingly complex shapes, patterns or create whole journeys.  For secondary pupils the BBC website has some trickier challenges to complete.

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