Saturday, 13 July 2013

Successful Teaching of Coding - Where to Start?

#ComputingHour Topic 3 – Thursday 11th July 2013
“Successful teaching of coding – where to start?”
Topic suggested by @clairegowland

First Steps
@aiddy starts by asking students to write a recipes for making a jam sandwich, then looks at the results when following the instructions to the letter.
Illustrating the process of converting code into commands by giving a series of instructions to students, line by line, was suggested by @A_Weatherall
@martinbateman starts by pretending to be a robot and the 6 year olds have to give instructions to get him across the class.
@Jon_Torbitt likes to go through the process of writing instructions in plain English, then converting these to pseudocode and finally code

First Software
Confirming the consensus of the 4 July Topic 2 chat, @Coding2Learn likes to start by using Scratch as he finds translating Scratch into Python very simple. @jiggy1976 said "I love Python for the simplicity of its syntax. Reads a little like pseudocode when you first start." @sezzyann72 also uses Scratch together with Python to stretch the more able year fives and sixes. Mozilla web maker and Hackasaurus were also being used. 

Accepting Failure
@SharplesICT, @Coding2Learn‏ and @martinbateman all felt that when learning Computer Science, an important element to learning coding was that students “must be willing to fail, then fail again, then fail again without fear of criticism or peer humiliation.” It was also important to learn from each failure and not to continually repeat the same mistakes. Also, students need to learn that there are usually many solutions to a coding problem.

Sea of Hands
@jonbilton asked “If students are making lots of mistakes, how do we deal with the "sea of hands"”? @Coding2Learn ‏and @martinbateman suggested that peer teaching was part of the solution - those that succeed help those that struggle. Expanding on this idea, @SharplesICT recommended the SNOT acronym – Self, Neighbour, Other, Teacher. A suggestion along the same lines, C3B4ME, was made by @SuzanneCulshaw, who also suggested Question Tokens. @sezzyann72 supports her teaching by using lots of step by step booklets for Scratch with the less able students tending to pair up. More on this thread has been written by @jonbilton in a blog post.

@CodeClub was suggested by @sezzyann72
@Codecademy was recommended @Jon_Torbitt

Summary compiled by @jonbilton
@A_Weatherall has created a Storify account of this topic

No comments:

Post a Comment