I'm currently doing my teacher preparation in Germany and next year I have to teach programming in python to high school students. The students only have 90 min of computer science every week and the contents of these courses are variables, functions, input and output, for and while loops and conditionals.

My idea is to use exercises on codewars for this course, because the students get a immediate feedback and are motivate to get some points.

My idea is to start with using python as a calculator to compute something simple. Then write simple functions like square to extend the calculator. Then introduce other types like strings and booleans and write more simple functions.

Then I will introduce conditionals to solve problems like this: https://www.codewars.com/kata/53369039d7ab3ac506000467

One of my problem is that else and elif are not really necessary here.

After this I will teach variables, print and input to make some interactive programs. For example I want to make an interactive program that uses the solution for this kata https://www.codewars.com/kata/5672a98bdbdd995fad00000f to play "Rock, Paper, Scissors". I think it is necessary to explain the difference between return and print here.

After this I will introduce for loops and use it to print the numbers from o to 100 or something similar. Then I will teach the accumulator pattern to solve katas like this https://www.codewars.com/kata/57a049e253ba33ac5e000212

In the end I will introduce while loops, because it is the most difficult concept. The students can solve katas like this with while loops: https://www.codewars.com/kata/563b662a59afc2b5120000c6 and https://www.codewars.com/kata/5286b2e162056fd0cb000c20

What do you think about that. I already found a lot of good exercises on codewars but I'm not sure if this is a good approach.

Can you please give me feedback about this idea?


1 Answer 1


i tried this already, and honestly, teaching using exercises is really a hit or miss. if the students like doing the questions, then the entire year will be fun, if they think of the questions like homework, then it's like your class is just homework and homework with nothing else to do. from my experience, it's best to use project based learning instead of question based. i like using this video to explain the complicated stuff, and after they learn some amount of things, give them a fun project to work on. this is a bit safer than question based learning, but i only tried question based learning twice and never did it again, so it might work for you.


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