I wanted to show you how we teach programming in my classes. I don’t have time to teach much during class, so we do it before school in a club. We use free online websites for instruction. Then we award different belts depending on which of the codes the student masters.
White belt = HTML
Yellow stripe = CSS
Green belt = php
Blue stripe =Python
Blue belt= Ruby
Red Stripe = scratch levels 1-3
Red belt = scratch levels 4-10
Black belt = API and app creation
20 August – 26 August
Programming requires experimentation, research, and a little bit of fiddling. Empower students to play with things to find out how they work. Help them to teach themselves, and each other, by creating what they want to create, and allowing the students input in regard to the direction of the class.
WEEK ONE: INTRODUCTION TO CODING
Go through what’s going to happen during the semester: everyone will be coding websites and games. Introduce Codecademy and make sure everyone has an e-mail address and can register to the site. Emphasize that everyone learns at a different pace, experimentation is welcome, you will learn lots from catching and fixing your mistakes. This is also different from a normal class because you get to build real things while you learn.
Ask students what their goals are, what they already know about technology and the Internet, and what questions they want to get answered by participating in your club. If you have time, let students try the first exercises on the track.
What is programming?
What is a browser?
Where can you see HTML & CSS? View the source code of your school website.
Where in the everyday world can one see programming?
What knitting and mathematics have to do with programming?
What would happen if computers disappeared?
What will happen in the future as computers get smaller, faster, and cheaper?
- Look up the history of the printing press and how cheap paper manufacturing radically changed access to reading and writing across the economic classes. Can you see any parallels to programming and our modern society?
27 August – 2 September
WEEK TWO: HTML FUNDAMENTALS
HTML is the bones under every single web page on the web. You will learn the fundamentals of HTML to make your own basic website. You will include images, organize text, and add links to your page.
Have students start with the first lesson, which covers the following topics: Structure of HTML – Basic tags – Hyperlinks – Images Then they can go on to the first Project: Build Your First Webpage.
- Look at the source of a favorite website and see if you can find any <p> elements (use Ctrl-F). What other familiar tags can you spot?
- Show students how to use shortcutes to copy-paste code. For Windows it’s ctrl + c and ctrl + v, for Mac cmd + c and cmd + v.