The late Stanford University Professor George Pólya once said, "If you can't solve a problem, then there is an easier problem you can solve: find it." This advice can be applied to any problem. For example, how does one go about  eating an elephant? One mouthful at a time! This goofy analogy actually provides great insight into the first step of problem solving through Computational Thinking. Big, complex problems are comprised of smaller, and more easily solved subproblems or tasks.  The process/strategy of logically identifying these smaller problems and determining how to use the combined solutions to solve the bigger problem is called decomposition.

The resources in this collection will aid in teaching the concept of decomposition to your students.

Collection Contents

Beebot Online

by Janet Pinto

Bee-Bot is a simple game for very young children to start to understand programming. Although geared toward children younger than Middle and High School, Bee-Bot can be used as a visual example to explain and practice decomposition.
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Bee Bot App

by Janet Pinto

The Bee-Bot App enables children to improve their skills in directional language and programming through sequences of forwards, backwards, left and right 90 degree turns. The app has been developed with 12 levels encouraging progression. Each level is timed and the faster it is completed the more stars you get! The levels are set in an engaging garden scenario and will appeal from age 4 upwards. The app is for iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch®.
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Similar to Bee Bot, but for Androids.
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Computers store drawings, photographs and other pictures using only numbers. The following activity demonstrates how they can do this. By Computer Science Unplugged.
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In this lesson, students will use a ‘divide-and-conquer’ strategy to solve the mystery of “stolen crystals” using decomposition to break the problem into smaller problems and algorithmic design to plan a solution strategy. By Google
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Santa’s Dirty Socks

by Janet Pinto

This ebook is indicated in the Divide and Conquer lesson plan. To reinforce the concept of divide and conquer decomposition students can explore the silly “Santa’s Dirty Socks” ebook where savvy elves use divide and conquer to efficiently locate Santa’s dirty socks amid a sea of packages on Christmas Eve.
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Computers are often required to find information in large collections of data. They need to develop quick and efficient ways of doing this. This activity demonstrates three different search methods: linear searching, binary searching and hashing. Fun game!
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Scroll down, under Handouts and Booklets heading. Must create free login to access this and more activities.
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