The text reads, "Flowcharts for Programming." The image shows worksheets that teach computer science students how to use flowcharts to plan their code.

The Power of Teaching Flowcharts for Programming

By Trilby Hillenbrand

Are your computer science students so excited about coding that they are skipping the important planning stages? Or do they find coding linear algorithms easy, but get frustrated when you’ve introduced conditionals? You can solve these common problems by introducing your students to flowcharts for programming.

Short on time? Grab this done-for-you flowchart lesson to improve your students’ coding skills today.

This images reads, "Flowcharts for Computer Science." The image shows worksheets that teach students how to use flowcharts to plan their code.

What are algorithm flowcharts?

A flowchart is a diagram that represents an algorithm or set of instructions using geometric shapes that are connected by arrows to show the direction of activity. Flowcharts show a step-by-step picture of a process or task. They can help people quickly see what actions need to be taken and in what order. 

Computer scientists use flowcharts to plan programs. Flowcharts help break down large tasks into small, simple actions and visually record thought processes. 

Algorithm flowcharts are an amazing tool for building your students’ foundation in algorithmic thinking before they begin writing code in a programming language. It forces them to slow down and create a logical plan for their code. This provides students with additional support for tackling more complex programming solutions. It also helps students begin identifying potential problems in their algorithm while they are still in the planning stages, which leads to less frustration when they move onto writing their program.

This image shows worksheets titled "Algorithm Flowcharts." They are surrounded by a computer keyboard, mouse, and writing utensils.

5 benefits of teaching flowcharts in computer science courses

1. Visual representation: 

Flowcharts provide a visual representation of a process or algorithm, allowing students to see the sequence of steps and decision points in a clear and structured manner.

2. Algorithmic Thinking

Creating flowcharts encourages students to think algorithmically. Flowcharts help students organize their thoughts in a logical sequence. This skill is crucial in programming, where the correct order of instructions is essential for the proper functioning of a program.

3. Transition to Coding: 

Flowcharts serve as a bridge between algorithmic design and coding. Students can use flowcharts as a blueprint for writing code, helping them translate their algorithmic thinking into a programming language.

4. Communication Skills: 

Learning to create flowcharts enhances students’ ability to communicate their algorithms with others. This is valuable in collaborative programming environments where clear communication is essential.

5. Debugging Aid: 

When students encounter issues in their programs, the visual representation of a flowchart can serve as a debugging aid. They can compare the flowchart with their code to identify discrepancies and troubleshoot errors.

Improve your students coding skills with flowcharts today

This image reads, "Flowcharts for Computer Science: Print and Digital." The image shows worksheets titled "Algorithm Flowcharts."

Ready to level up your computer science class? Introduce your students to the power of flowcharts for programming. Whether they’re rushing into coding without planning or struggling with conditionals, flowcharts can be the game-changer. 

Don’t have time to create a lesson plan? Snag our ready-to-go flowchart lesson and watch your students’ coding skills soar!

Buy it now on TPT

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