There are many different approaches to delivering programming in the classroom, PRIMM is one approach that can be applied and is an effective way of developing a student’s skills, knowledge, and understanding of the programming they are undertaking.

The different stages are introduced within an activity to allow a structure to be followed and skills, knowledge, and understanding to be developed. It is important to understand that these stages do not all have to be in a lesson but could flow over a number of lessons as required.

In this example, KUBO Play has been used. You can find KUBO Play here

PRIMM education with KUBO

Predict

The student is given a program to look at and make a prediction about what will happen when the program is run.

This program shows a sequence of instructions. Step by step instructions is an algorithm.

This could be expressed in different ways depending on the students’ level and ability. 

  • KUBO is starting on B1 and will complete the program on F2.
  • Forwards x2, left, right, forward
  • Forward, forward, left, right, forward

Run

Once the prediction has been made the teacher or parent would then run the program to see if their prediction was correct. This can generate discussion on what the individual instructions are telling KUBO to do.

Investigate

The next stage is to investigate the program created and this can be in a variety of ways. 

  • What does each TagTile® mean within the program?
  • What happens if two TagTiles are swapped around?
  • What would need to be added to the program to go one step further?
  • The program has an error that needs to be debugged.
  • What happens if the start or end TagTile is removed?
  • What happens if the play TagTile is no longer there?

All these are ways to investigate the program and will help students develop their understanding of what each TagTile does and how to use it within their own programs.

Modify

Within this stage, the students are asked to change one part of the program. They can recreate the program on KUBO Play and then follow instructions from the teacher/parent to edit a TagTile. This will help students understand how the platform works, how to attach and detach a TagTile as well as the importance of the start and stop TagTiles.

Make

The final stage is to ask the students to create their own program. This can be differentiated to a student’s ability by asking them to create a program from scratch, giving them a start to the program and different challenges using the map on KUBO Play. 

It is important that differentiation is considered at this stage to allow all students to engage and progress. 

  • Can you program KUBO to get from B1 to J2 to park?
  • Can you program KUBO to go from the car park in J2 to the sandpit in F6?

Both require a sequence of TagTiles but one program builds on the program in the earlier stages and the second requires starting a new program.

The PRIMM Model

The PRIMM model allows students to develop their skills, knowledge, and understanding within an online platform that can be used as a class activity, remote learning activity, or independently.

These types of activities can be accompanied by a structured worksheet that encourages students to document their predictions, the outcome when the program is run against their predictions, what they investigated, the modifications to make, and instructions for their final program.

The main aim of any activity is to help a student understand the key concepts in programming and an online platform can help facilitate this learning. KUBO Play offers an interactive approach to developing an understanding of computing key concepts in a fun and engaging way. PRIMM offers one structured way to facilitate learning taking place within KUBO Play.

By Pam Jones

Computing Curriculum Designer and Subject Matter Expert (SME) for The National Centre of Computing Education.