This page contains information to support educators and families in teaching K-3 students about computer programming. It is designed to complement the Loops topic on BrainPOP Jr.

Learning how to use loops helps students develop coding skills and learn how to efficiently code a repeating action.   

Review with children that a computer program is a set of step-by-step instructions that a computer follows to do something. Loops are instructions that tell the computer to repeat an action, making it easier and faster to write code. Brainstorm daily activities that use repetition. Examples may include combing hair, walking up steps, or playing catch with a friend. Note that the code tells the computer exactly how to complete a task, and a loop tells the computer to repeat the task as often as the programmer decides.

Tell children that in the Loops movie, Annie and Moby use a block-based coding platform, which has a series of blocks they connect to program actions, including repeated actions, or loops. Remind them that loops provide an efficient way for them to repeat code. 

Emphasize that programming instructions must be very clear and written in the right sequence. So if you want a character to move one step to the right, then another step to the right, and then another step to the right, you might use a loop to show that a command is repeated three times. Remind children that when they code, they might make mistakes, and that’s perfectly fine! Debugging is the process of finding errors and fixing them. Part of the challenge of learning loops and computer programming is finding mistakes, addressing them, and improving the code. This requires patience and determination. 

Help children recognize that understanding how to use loops is both fun and an important skill in today’s digital world, especially as our dependence on technology continues to grow.

For enrichment or extension, we recommend exploring other BrainPOP Jr. movies that address coding, such as Conditionals, Booleans, or Computer Programming. And, if your school has the Creative Coding add-on, students can code their own projects

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