Questions tagged [introductory-lesson]

Questions related to introducing a subject, paradigm, concept etc., in a specific lesson. Use this tag only for asking about a specific lesson for introducing a specific subject.

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5
votes
6answers
165 views

Is it necessary or advisable to teach text-based input and output in a non-CS intro programming course?

I teach an intro programming course in a social science department. My field is geographic information systems. The goal for the course is for the students to understand scripting in an interpreted ...
2
votes
6answers
226 views

What do programming novices need to know when using MatLab?

I am an assistant professor preparing a 5 lecture series 'introduction to programming'. The target audience are first year engineering undergrads - from a mix of mechanical, electrical, electronic, ...
4
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2answers
128 views

Physical Activity for Objects

I have a vague notion that I could create some sort of introductory activity for Objects. There would be worksheets ("programs") to get kids (high school, in this case) to physically go through the ...
2
votes
3answers
164 views

What is the CS Analog To Learning One's Multiplication Tables?

I apologize; I know this question is sort of open-ended and if I could think of a way to make it more specific, I would. What would you consider a piece of CS so fundamental that it would be ...
16
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5answers
3k views

What is the best way to teach JavaScript functions to middle schoolers?

I am teaching middle school kids (aged 11-13) some basic JavaScript and want to get some "professional" opinions. I am introducing JavaScript with a simple function with a variable, a prompt, if/else,...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

Simple, Compact, Rounded Definition of the term “Programming Construct”

A younger friend of mine, a high school student I have been encouraging to take his Computer Studies class seriously, and possibly go for CS in tertiary education, brought this problem to me. He was ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

What are some non-CS concepts that can be defined using BNF notation?

I'm preparing a class on the modified BNF notation that python uses. I.e., Each rule begins with a name (which is the name defined by the rule) and ::=. A vertical bar (...
5
votes
3answers
108 views

How to introduce Kotlin in a Programming Languages course

I'm teaching an upper-division college Programming Languages course, in which students have learned some Scheme, Haskell, and Go. Students' strongest language is Java, which we use in most of our ...
32
votes
16answers
3k views

Teaching binary encoding - using different symbols

I'm teaching some introduction lessons to a classroom of 6-8 year olds about basic 21st century skills. A fundamental part of this is how computers represent numbers, words and images, which all ...
4
votes
2answers
132 views

Book recommendation: basic, broad and solid overview for advanced learners

I did a PhD in software engineering, now working in financial IT. I had a proper education in algorithms, data structures, operating systems, networks, software etc. and worked as a tutor for Java, ...
6
votes
3answers
203 views

Research into the use of symbol names, in programming, and how it affects learning

When programming we need to name things. I have been using turtle graphics in python, and was wondering if the names, chosen, for the commands, were making it more difficult for my pupils. Some of ...
2
votes
3answers
182 views

Boolean Logic: How to Explain + as OR?

In a previous question, I asked about the appropriate notation when teaching Boolean logic to students ages about 11–14. I selected the notation of engineering and computer science in part because I ...
4
votes
3answers
190 views

How can we educators improve a lot of the negative behavior within the CS community

One thing I noticed in the years I've studied CS and wrote code is the arrogance that a lot of programmers have within the CS community. I remember in high school, coding was just for the tech savvy ...
3
votes
3answers
156 views

Could physical (i.e. lego) models help teach CS?

In this video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5NszbIerYc Dr. David Brailsford uses an elegant Lego model to explain pointers and linked lists. Do you think that using physical models could make it ...
9
votes
1answer
198 views

Is it bad to introduce language features in ways that are different than they will be used in practice?

I found the following example in chapter two of Annotated Algorithms in Python (PDF) ...
28
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21answers
12k views

Teaching students that printf() is not the same as return

For a few years, I have been teaching a programming class to first-year electrical engineering students -- thus, this is their first contact with computer programming. The language used is C (although ...
7
votes
7answers
1k views

Example for For vs While Loop (in Java)

I'm looking for a set of concrete examples that illustrates good use cases of using a for vs a while loop for beginners. I feel ...
8
votes
7answers
390 views

Introduction to programming class: use Spreadsheets to introduce fundamentals

Are there any "pros" or "cons" I have overlooked regarding using Excel as a means to introduce a range of fundamental programming concepts. This question relates to teaching a programming module at ...
9
votes
4answers
281 views

How to effectively teach strings and string literal constants?

I am teaching a general introductory CS course to 18-19 year olds, with Python3 as a support language, and I am not satisfied with how some students respond to strings and string literals. That is ...
5
votes
2answers
195 views

Introducing Pair Programming

I'm currently reading a book, Polymorphism: As It Is Played, which has introduced me to several new instructional ideas. I am particularly intrigued by Pair Programming, which seems like it could ...
3
votes
2answers
138 views

How to introduce Scala to a team of Java developers without being boring?

I work in a startup where each week, a member of the team does a short presentation (30-60 min) on a subject in front of the others. It is a very informal and relaxed session, but now it is my turn ...
15
votes
8answers
934 views

How can I determine if a student would enjoy or has an aptitude for CS?

I'm a developer with a little CS teaching history, and I have a nephew who enjoys math (Algebra-Calculus) quite a bit in high school. Because of this, I feel like he should at least try computer ...
7
votes
2answers
106 views

What's a good initial lesson for teaching arduino?

I'm currently planning a new class at my school on prototyping with arduino (which could later morph into more pcb design). I'm stuck on my first hands on lesson. I want the students to see the ...
5
votes
3answers
469 views

Lesson plan for teaching java graphics

Background: This lesson should give a firm foundation for graphics in Swing in java to students in high school who know OOP in java (...
4
votes
3answers
126 views

Lesson ideas for introducing macros in C

Thanks to working with Racket recently, I've been spending a lot of time learning about and implementing non-trivial macros. In the process, I have been thinking about ways to apply this skill to my ...
12
votes
6answers
850 views

Jargon/Vocab about variables— yes or no?

In my experience (working with college freshmen mostly), I've tried to emphasize precise vocabulary about the concepts and syntax related to creating and changing variables. This is wording like: ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

What is a good analogy to introduce databases and SQL?

I think that it is vital to introduce each subject area with a few handy, even if limited, images or concepts that make the idea clear. Here is how I introduce SQL (in part): SQL takes a set of ...
14
votes
10answers
4k views

How do I approach teaching Python to 12-year-olds as a first-time teacher?

I'm currently teaching Python, to three 12-year-olds. They have no experience at all, and my task is to introduce them to programming concepts, and to Python. I'm fairly experienced in programming, ...
3
votes
4answers
293 views

Transition from Java to Python

I am preparing to teach students python, in addition to java. Usually, I test a proof of concept (POC) of my teaching with a handful of students, so as to know if my lesson plans are good (I teach ...
24
votes
15answers
2k views

What program follows “hello, world”?

You've just demoed your first bit of code in whatever language you're teaching. The requisite "hello, world" has been said. The program has been compiled (or interpreted) and run. Now what? There has ...
11
votes
8answers
456 views

Explaining basic html structure

I am trying to think of a lesson plan about html, and I am looking for a good way to explain the concept of the structure of an html file. I was wondering whether ...
15
votes
8answers
620 views

How can I convey the idea of a programming language vs. a markup language?

When I try and teach web development to absolute beginners, I seem to always get a question about the roles of HTML/CSS/JS and about how the browser renders the HTML. It seems to me that the confusion ...