Bugg Report: Coding in Math during CSEdWeek


This week we are immersing computer science across the elementary curriculum at Bugg Elementary in Raleigh, NC. Each day we will be teaching new and existing lesson ideas that engage students in their regular classroom content areas with a coding twist. Students will use CodeSnaps to explore their mastery of content in fun, engaging lesson ideas. We will culminate each day in a Bugg Report to capture the day's lessons and share some of our #HourOfCode / Computer Science Education Week adventures. So follow along!

Day 3: Math

Just as students advance in their understanding of mathematical and computing concepts, so too can the problems they solve. Coding can be a great way to engage students to demonstrate their mastery of math content. Today we split the class into 2 activities.  

Activity 1: Math-based Obstacle Course

In a 2nd grade class students used single-digit addition and subtraction to identify the distances Sphero would travel through the obstacle course. This is an easy lesson to differentiate because the complexity of the problems students solve to identify various properties of the obstacle course can increase and decrease quite easily. Be sure to visit our lesson Navigating an Obstacle Course for guidance on setting up this activity.

Math-based obstacle course. Students solve single-digit arithmetic to discover distances.

Activity 2: Math Facts Grid

In the second activity we used our foundational grid activity. For the 2nd graders we placed single-digit numbers in each cell. Students had to identify paths through the grid so that the robot only navigated across odd numbers. This activity engages students in complex problem solving by requiring them to spatially navigate the obstacle course while simultaneously calculating paths that use only odd numbers.

Math facts grid with single digit numbers. Students navigate paths containing only odd numbers.


Here again, this activity can easily be differentiated based on the complexity of the math facts placed in the grid. For instance, a popular CodeSnaps lesson is the Show with Code: 24 Game in which students use restricted combinations of mathematical operations to navigate a grid of numbers, finding only paths where the result is 24. Turns out this lesson is engaging for students of all ages!

What other ways have you integrated coding into elementary mathematics? For other ideas integrating coding across the curriculum, check out this post and our other Bugg Reports from CSEdWeek.


About Author

Scott McQuiggan

Scott McQuiggan leads SAS® Curriculum Pathways®, an interdisciplinary team focused on the development of no-cost educational software in the core disciplines at SAS. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from North Carolina State University in 2009, where his research focused on affective reasoning in intelligent game-based learning environments. His research has been published in more than 30 journal articles and refereed conference proceedings, and been recognized through several best paper nominations including Best Student Paper Award at the International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction.

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