Learning composite and prime numbers through developing an app: An example of computational thinking development through primary mathematics learning

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Computational Thinking (CT) is a universal competence that young learners should acquire. This study illustrates the development of CT through app development for the learning of composite and prime numbers in primary school mathematics. Learners begin with inquiry activities regarding the meaning of composite numbers and prime numbers, and they are guided to find the factors of a given number by exploring an algorithm that involves the concept of modulo and can be implemented in a programming environment. Learners use a simple app to learn how the operator MOD works and then work in pairs to design an algorithm and devise a programming solution to find the factors of a given number by reusing the code of the simple app. The app will tell the users whether an inputted number is a composite or prime. Learners will make an initial connection with cryptography when large numbers such as 563,879 are explored, and they will obtain a more in-depth understanding of composite and prime numbers when 1 and 0 are tested in the app. In the process of building the app, learners will learn CT concepts such as sequence, loops, conditionals, events, operators and procedures. Learners will experience CT practices like reusing and remixing, being iterative and incremental, testing and debugging, abstracting and modularising and algorithmic thinking in developing the app. Learners will develop CT perspectives in the process of expressing, questioning and connecting with the digital world in developing the app. Copyright © 2019 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputational thinking education
EditorsSiu-Cheung KONG, Harold ABELSON
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer
Pages145-166
ISBN (Electronic)9789811365287
ISBN (Print)9789811365270
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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Application programs
Composite materials
Computer programming
Cryptography
Testing

Bibliographical note

Kong, S.-C. (2019). Learning composite and prime numbers through developing an app: An example of computational thinking development through primary mathematics learning. In S.-C. Kong & H. Abelson (Eds.), Computational thinking education (pp. 145-166). Singapore: Springer.

Keywords

  • App development
  • Composite numbers
  • Computational thinking
  • Primary school mathematics
  • Prime numbers