Questions tagged [lesson-ideas]

Questions with this tag relate to planning lessons for a specific purpose, such as teaching some coding paradigm or skill. Planning lessons in Computer Science depends on the context and level of the students. If it is a lesson which introduces a new topic, the tag [introductory-lesson] may also be appropriate.

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2answers
54 views

is there any good specific pedagogy research to teach spreadsheets?

There is a lot of good research on how to teach introductory programming. But maybe(?) more important to most students is the ability to use a spreadsheet. What is the best way to teach introductory ...
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What are some fun projects for non-CS majors?

I'm teaching an undergrad Intro to Programming for Non-majors this semester (in Python) and I'm looking for some fun projects for my students that are engaging but not too difficult for them. This is ...
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Common questions students may ask when they learn OOP?

Reading this question Do we really need OO languages to manage software complexity? on one of SE sites and my own experiences in teaching object-oriented concept, e.g. Some real practical example to ...
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175 views

Some real practical example to teach object-oriented concepts and programming (in python)

I have taught my high school students to write some simple python scripts, taking some ideas from "Automate the Boring Stuff with Python", e.g. changing file names in a folder to a specific ...
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5answers
162 views

What are good, practical labs and activities for unnested loops?

I am teaching some high school students, also the first time programmers, some basic programming concepts and applications. When introducing loop I find that using it to check prime number (or find ...
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2answers
45 views

Are there any conventions for writing logic statements for combinations of logic gate functions?

I am teaching logic gates. I would like to know if anyone knows if there are any conventions for writing combinations of logic gate functions. For example ...
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1answer
86 views

How do I teach problem solving and logical thinking to students of age group 12-18yrs through online session

I am currently researching some good content/problems to teach my students. I am referring to Mensa's Book on Logical thinking, which has a good amount of puzzles for all age groups. Is there any ...
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6answers
147 views

Counter-Example for Computability

I am a retired college teacher, now trying to teach computing to middle school kids. One of the parts of the definition of "algorithm" is that it must be "effectively computable." I'm looking for an ...
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3answers
415 views

HS Lessons On Modeling Virus Spread

I'd like to try teaching an online lesson to high school CS students on modeling the spread of a virus. Ideally it would be something that could be coded in a spreadsheet, Code.Org's Game Lab or App ...
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2answers
131 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 ...
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1answer
67 views

How to make someone enjoy programming if they don't like the products they make? [duplicate]

Background I have a friend who loves applied math and physics, but hates programming. She is learning python right now because she thinks it's helpful in getting a math-related job, and her mom forces ...
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148 views

How do you teach when your students have wildly different backgrounds?

I'm going to do a course for my entire University, this means students that are in the last year and also in the first year. What can I do so what I teach isn't too hard to understand for the first ...
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Does it make sense to write tutorial when content of the tutorial can be already learned from internet without that tutorial?

For example, does it makes sense to write tutorial called Best Intellij shortcuts. You can already find so many shortcuts online in many places. If the answer is "...
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1answer
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How to construct non computer-based, Paper Parsons Problem

I was reading this article “Ten quick tips for teaching programming” by Neil C. C. Brown and Greg Wilson at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5886386/ It had many useful suggestions one of ...
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4answers
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How might I structure an assignment with two “levels”?

I've been mulling this over for several hours, and have looked at a tangentially related question here. That question was about making a task more challenging for a "more confident" learner. I have ...
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Assignment repositories

Are there any assignment repositories that you use for assignment ideas? I am aware of the Nifty Assignments from Stanford and have used several. There are a lot of good fine grained problems on ...
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2answers
162 views

Recent Graduate becomes a teacher

In less than one month I'll be graduating from the equivalent of high school (I'm in Latvia). In my high school you also get a certificate based on which career you choose eg. a Chef or a Computer ...
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How To develop One's Interest in Programming [closed]

My younger brother is having a hard time learning programming. This seems strange because he's very good at other computer related subjects. He isn't choosing any other field, so how can he develop ...
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69 views

How to introduce problem solving to primary school pupils?

I'm interested into knowing your experiences about introducing problem solving to primary school pupils. I'm a PhD candidate in Operations Research and, together with my University or my public ...
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3answers
63 views

Suggestions for teaching selection sort with candy

It's the end of the semester, so my students are pretty burnt out, and a bit of sugar might go a long way (plus, evaluations are around the corner ;-). I'm envisioning a tactile class where students ...
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1answer
196 views

How do you teach Theory of Automata / Formal Language Theory / Computation Complexity?

i'm a new instructor & also new here. How do you teach Theory of Automata / Formal Language Theory / Computation Complexity? Is it theory only, or including programming? If theory only, how ...
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4answers
85 views

Turtle examples for loops and variables, or even something else

I'm going to teach using the well known drawing turtle, with one developed by me to fit my students, so in case it can also be modified. It features drawing movement, non-drawing movement and pen ...
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4answers
344 views

Examples of innocent looking faulty code for shock effect

I'm becoming more and more convinced that starting with an imperative attitude is not doing a favor to the students, especially if it's all about scheduling and repeating some ...
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5answers
518 views

What is a good teaching example/application for jagged arrays (2d arrays with irregular row lengths)?

We are teaching an AP CS class and the topic of 2d-arrays is coming up. There are plenty of cool and approachable sample applications for standard rectanglular arrays - matrix math, MIDI music, sudoku,...
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Advise on a class project

Me and my friend are both in high school taking a “PLTW” Engineering class, where our goal is to design a solution to any problem and work on that solution over the course of the year. We’re reaching ...
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6answers
266 views

How would you explain what is a race condition to a five years old

TL;DR: How would you explain what is a race condition to a five years old. Which analogy to concepts he is familiar with would you use? Long version: I am not a teacher but a software engineer. ...
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4answers
192 views

Python function has access to global variables, and doesn't need passed arguments

When teaching functions in Python I get a little annoyed that the code below actually prints out the greeting. I know the preferred way would be to pass in the name, but, for students, if it works ...
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2answers
77 views

Lab ideas for set theory

The title of the question actually says almost everything there is to say. I cannot think of any programming labs whatsoever that would naturally flow from set theory. My students will be coding in ...
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1answer
111 views

How to give students practice with streaming computation?

I'm teaching a theory-focused randomized algorithms course at the undergraduate level, and have included a section on streaming algorithms. It would be great to get students to implement these ...
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0answers
100 views

Small to medium scale exercises about Haskell's higher abstractions

Short version: Where can I find highly varying, small or medium-sized exercises and examples on the use, identification and instance declaration of Haskell's abstractions such as applicatives, monads, ...
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3answers
216 views

Short foundational lessons for 7-8 year olds

I have an opportunity to run four classes of about half an hour, with 7 to 8 year olds (my sons age). This is part of a program called STEM professionals in schools. All I am there to do really is ...
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1answer
120 views

How to structure a Predictive Keyboard project similar to GBoard

Many are now familiar with GBoard, the Google / Android predictive Keyboard. I don't actually know how it works. Obviously it must gather usage data on the device where it is being used, but it ...
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2answers
123 views

How to teach sums and asymptotics to students who don’t know limits

I am to teach sums and asymptotics to first year CS undergraduates who have only high school math. I thought it would be attractive to follow chapter 14 of https://courses.csail.mit.edu/6.042/...
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9k views

Interesting Programming Exercises to Teach Inheritance?

I originally asked this over on Stack Overflow, but they suggested I look here instead: I'm currently teaching my students about the concept of inheritance (we're using Python 3) but am unable to ...
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3answers
142 views

“Computer sciency” and “practical” exercices involving dictionaries

I am teaching a course in data structures to a 2o semester. We hear often that the dictionary is a very versatile data structure, and solves quite so many problems. I'd like to illustrate that, but, ...
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6answers
7k views

How do you teach Big O to high schoolers with varying degrees of math exposure?

My second semester programming curriculum includes a searching and sorting unit and mentions Big O notation, giving the notation for each search and sort we implement. It does not show the ...
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4answers
107 views

Use of jshell in AP CS A

I recently installed jshell in my IDE for use in demoing concepts in AP CS A. It came at just the right time as it was a powerful way to teach ArrayLists and its ...
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3answers
186 views

Is stressing too much on formalism acceptable?

Most of the students like the analogy way of teaching things. But I am biased towards the formal way along with a little bit of analogy. For example, (to make simple) in order to teach about a set to ...
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3answers
186 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 ...
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2answers
60 views

Object Design Lab

When I have finished introducing my students to Objects (including Encapsulation, Inheritance, Polymorphism, and a healthy dose of philosophy), I would like to give them a lab with the following ...
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3answers
181 views

Simple explanation of JPEG working principles

I will teach a lesson on image file formats in a computer science high school class. Regarding JPEG, I will say that it achieves lossy compression and that it is well suited for photographs but it ...
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2answers
127 views

Is there any pedagogically motivated reason to teach quadratic probing?

I'm currently preparing a unit on the implementation of hash tables for a data structures and algorithms course (this is a university-level class, if it matters). Specifically, I'm focusing on ...
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26answers
28k views

How to explain the concept of a variable to a 9-year old?

My 9 year old daughter is heavily interested in science, robots, computers, … She asked me if I could teach her how to program a computer. So, we started with Scratch, a programming language ...
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3answers
195 views

Big-endian, Little-endian

I have explained big and little endian from time to time in my teaching career, but it is quite dry, and asking my students which direction each one goes three months later has revealed to me that my ...
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21answers
17k views

What are good examples that actually motivate the study of recursion?

One of the traps of imperative-first is how difficult it becomes to help students make sense of recursion when they finally encounter it. And if those kids are fairly competent iterative programmers, ...
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238 views

What student exercises force them to modify and extend their own thinking process and methods?

Beginners in CS will generally benefit from changing and expanding their thinking skills. Some of our thought processes may not be intuitive to a beginner and exercises can help them expand their ...
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1answer
260 views

Enjoyable and\or fun way to explain cmake

As a pilot project (which was delayed by an incredible amount, seeing as it's starting 8 weeks after it was meant to), my school grouped together a few kids (high school, they know basic OOP and work ...
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4answers
148 views

Quick and easy intro to computer science for kids for an Engineering Field Day

We have a large engineering day that hundreds of kids (ages 6-12) and their parents will attend. The setup is as follows: local engineering groups/societies will have stations and they will have ...
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2answers
124 views

How do I construct a basic lesson on computational complexity and undecidability?

Essential Understanding 4.2 of the AP CS Principles curriculum is as follows: "Algorithms can solve many, but not all, computational problems." Among the topics I am expected to cover in the context ...
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147 views

Teaching students how to construct regular expressions (and other “translation” style problems)

I'm currently helping teach a unit about languages as a part of a discrete math course -- we're currently focusing on regular expressions, NFAs, DFAs, CFGs, grammars, and the like. One of the skills ...