Thursday, July 10, 2014

Programming Course Part 2

Follow-up to this post:

Resources required
1. Computers that are connected to the internet
My initial preference is 1 computer for every two kids.
Students should have a computer with internet access at home in order to work on their homework. If someone doesn't have that, is there time available for them to work at the school?

2. Robot Turtles game *new idea*
In some lessons, we will use components from the game:
- command cards to command a human "turtle"
- how can you finish my program (intro activity). Teacher will set up a maze and some starting commands.  They need to select a further series of commands to get to the jewel.
- can you fix my program (intro activity). Teacher will set up a maze and a program that doesn't work.  They find the bug and how to correct it.

Anything else we should use?

First lesson
First half: Robot Turtle commands

  1. We are going to make computers do what we want!
  2. First, we are going to play a game.
  3. <Give out sets of robot turtle motion cards>
  4. What do you see? <discussion>
  5. Let's do an example. You put down command cards that will make me move
  6. <direct each student to choose 1 card to play at a time and rotate through the group 2x. teacher asks the students to show the card and say what the movement should be, then moves>
  7. Okay, time for you to play
  8. <break into pairs, one programmer, one turtle.  switch after 5 minutes>
  9. <regroup and discuss>
  10. On other days, we will play some more games with these robot turtles.

Second Half: pencilcode

  1. We can do the same on a computer
  2. <go to stations with a browser open to>
  3. I'm going to show you how to get started
  4. <play around for a while, teacher will probably have to translate/explain some bits in Thai>
  5. If you create something interesting, here's how you save it
  6. <show>
  7. There is a lot you can discover and explore.  You can look at what other people have created
  8. <show>
  9. And here is the code gym
  10. <show>

Overall objectives:
By the end of the session, they understand
- Commands are the way they direct the computer
- a sequence of commands forms a basic program
- They know how to create an account, log-in, create a new program, run their program, explore other users' programs


  1. Found another blog with a list of other useful resources:
    Marshall Brain Kid's Coding

    Will this course be my excuse to buy a bunch of new toys . . ?

  2. Google is making a push to get girls coding. This looks like it will be another useful source of projects and resources. In particular:
    Scratch has an on-line incarnation
    Mozilla thimble is an intro to html and css