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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Should a cs teacher teach non-scientific methods?

Is it normal that a computer science educator teaches something and gives no reference nor proof that his method is useful? What should a student do if he was taught something that sounds useful but ...
guest's user avatar
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1 vote
6 answers
171 views

What Informal Description Might Help Beginning Students Understand Python's `str.strip()` method?

When teaching python to new students in middle school (or any age group), the students sometimes find the python documentation to be a bit overwhelming. What is a short, easy-to-understand description ...
Samuel Muldoon's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
186 views

Seek for textbook suggestions of introductory software engineering

I am looking for a good textbook to teach freshman (or some sophomores) introductory to software engineering. Specially, need that the textbook has example labs/projects for the whole semester ...
Nerdy Girl's user avatar
5 votes
8 answers
608 views

Driven to Abstraction

One recurring discussion I have on this site which I have never understood is: Why not teach people how computers work right away? This always leads people to speculate about cosmic strings and other ...
Scott Rowe's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
108 views

What are some good conditional branching excercise scenarios?

I want to get my students to exercise the conditional-branching mind-muscle. [edit: and I need it to be fun/playful] I will ask them to read pseudo-code, then represent as a branching sketch[^1]. And ...
Vladimir's user avatar
  • 123
3 votes
1 answer
39 views

Services-centered design

I am having some difficulties to find free access documentation, lecture notes, scientific papers, or books, on a course I have to give. Course topic is "Services-centered design". Course ...
cProg's user avatar
  • 141
2 votes
1 answer
69 views

Logo course scaffolding

Good afternoon, colleagues! We're planning a year-long intro course to computer science for middle schoolers and going to use Logo as a main language but also looking for alternatives available to 5-...
paus's user avatar
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5 votes
6 answers
259 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 ...
user avatar
3 votes
6 answers
281 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, ...
scivix's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
148 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 ...
Ben I.'s user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
211 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 ...
Onorio Catenacci's user avatar
16 votes
5 answers
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,...
Bill Pratt's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
163 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 ...
Mallam Awal's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
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 (...
progner's user avatar
  • 181
5 votes
3 answers
135 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 ...
Ellen Spertus's user avatar
35 votes
20 answers
4k views

Teaching binary to 6-8 year olds

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 ...
Roel's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
181 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, ...
Bastl's user avatar
  • 141
7 votes
3 answers
239 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 ...
ctrl-alt-delor's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
216 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 ...
Bob Brown's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
210 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 ...
Andres Alvarez's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
178 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 ...
Mahkoe's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
232 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) ...
Ryan1729's user avatar
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30 votes
21 answers
13k 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 ...
swineone's user avatar
  • 411
7 votes
7 answers
2k 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 ...
cryptic_star's user avatar
9 votes
7 answers
520 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 ...
srattigan's user avatar
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9 votes
4 answers
368 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 ...
ysalmon's user avatar
  • 301
5 votes
2 answers
217 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 ...
Ben I.'s user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
158 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 ...
user avatar
15 votes
8 answers
1k 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 ...
JPhi1618's user avatar
  • 251
7 votes
2 answers
119 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 ...
thesecretmaster's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
573 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 (...
ItamarG3's user avatar
  • 6,297
4 votes
3 answers
142 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 ...
Peter's user avatar
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12 votes
6 answers
882 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: ...
nova's user avatar
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6 votes
4 answers
4k 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 ...
user avatar
17 votes
10 answers
7k 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, ...
kosciCZ's user avatar
  • 173
3 votes
4 answers
378 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 ...
ItamarG3's user avatar
  • 6,297
28 votes
17 answers
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 ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 9,102
11 votes
8 answers
673 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 ...
ItamarG3's user avatar
  • 6,297
16 votes
8 answers
720 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 ...
thesecretmaster's user avatar
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