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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2
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2answers
18 views

How to teach something when your students have a high discrepancy of knowledge?

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 ...
9
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6answers
859 views

How can I make database normalization more clear?

Database normalization is needlessly clouded by over-explanation. I reviewed a wide array of web articles and several textbooks before starting to teach it. After I became thoroughly familiar with the ...
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2answers
73 views

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 "...
2
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1answer
33 views

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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21answers
15k 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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6answers
233 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. ...
3
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2answers
153 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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2answers
97 views

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 ...
5
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2answers
118 views

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 ...
10
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6answers
426 views

Helping students adjust to using industrial-strength IDEs

Something I've often observed is that many students find it challenging to figure out how to use full-fledged IDEs such as Eclipse, Netbeans, Visual Studios, IntelliJ, and PyCharm. From what I can ...
39
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20answers
9k views

How to teach the value of the command line in high school?

Part of what I love about the particular adaptation I use for AP CS Principles — CS50 AP — is that my curriculum teaches students basic Linux shell commands in the Cloud9 IDE. Students learn things ...
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2answers
62 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
59 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 ...
3
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1answer
113 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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1answer
103 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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4answers
310 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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2answers
59 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 ...
5
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5answers
349 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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2answers
67 views

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 ...
14
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10answers
3k 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, ...
5
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3answers
204 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 ...
7
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4answers
182 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 ...
11
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8answers
434 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 ...
9
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4answers
273 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 ...
4
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2answers
74 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 ...
4
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0answers
80 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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13answers
3k views

Real life examples of 0-indexing

It can be perplexing for students to begin counting at 0 when they enter a CS class. I made it a point over and over to talk about "Day 0" and "Week 0" in the opening days and weeks just to build ...
8
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2answers
121 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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1answer
85 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 ...
10
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5answers
475 views

Lesson Idea: Arrays, Pointers, and Syntactic Sugar

One of the most challenging concepts to instill in new CS students is 0-indexing (indeed, the pedagogy of this fact probably merits its own discussion). Another difficult topic -- although a slightly ...
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13answers
8k 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 ...
5
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3answers
133 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, ...
5
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4answers
96 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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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 ...
10
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5answers
1k views

Effectiveness of Parsons Problems

I first heard of Parsons Problems thanks to CS Teaching Tips. They define these problems as follows: "Parsons problems are problems where students build programs from ordering small chunks of ...
4
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2answers
120 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 ...
2
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3answers
168 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
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2answers
57 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 ...
11
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13answers
3k views

Explaining why styling should not be done directly in HTML

I recently noticed that <marquee> has been deprecated from html according to this site. From this answer on Stack Overflow, the marquee replacement is made ...
6
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3answers
171 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 ...
89
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26answers
26k 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 ...
6
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1answer
179 views

Lab ideas for information theory

This question is somewhat related to a prior question that I asked about an Information Theory lab. I received a lot of great feedback there, but I have not gotten past the idea yet that the lab that ...
8
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7answers
376 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 ...
5
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3answers
233 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 ...
2
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3answers
189 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 ...
4
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1answer
235 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 ...
5
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4answers
128 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 ...
4
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2answers
116 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 ...
10
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2answers
138 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 ...
4
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3answers
298 views

How to explain the int() function to a beginner

It was suggested I cross post this question from the main Stack Overflow site as it may be of interest here too I am tutoring a neighbour's child and we were exploring the int() function before ...