Saturday, September 26, 2015

CS50xCedarville Week 5

In week 5
Back to Greedy, starting with a short on Floats and the Fahrenheit lesson. This lesson is a new addition not part of the CS50 edx course. I love taking it from this angle and only talking about the floats here.  That was a much better approach for my students.

Then a quiz on Tuesday, and the writing of our Greedy pseudocode.  The quiz checked if they could call a directory independently, compile, run and use the correct syntax for a ‘for loop’. 


At the end of the week I actually pulled the students on a different project.  This project included reviewing a student survey within the district. The survey was anonymous but I shared the results via an .xlsx file.  Then I challenged students to pull three pieces of information from the survey that was immediately apparent by looking at the results.  For example, use a =Countif statement to see how many people used the word “stupid” when describing their classes.  Or see use an =If statement to see if students that believe education in America is failing also play sports or don’t play sports. Are there any correlations.  Essentially, we used some code to review a survey and draw some conclusions about our school survey.  This was a neat opportunity to see how we can use the tool of programming outside our classroom.  information about Excel formulas: http://www.gcflearnfree.org/excel2013/14

Oh, and since it wasn’t quite time for a feature flick we found some humor with the IKEA catalog video. 


Looking ahead: continue Greedy

CS50xCedarville weeks 3 & 4

In week 3 (4-day week) we submitted Scratch assignments and discussed libraries.
I showed the short from the CS50 library on libraries AFTER we talked about what was in our school library! 


On Thursday I introduced Greedy only to realize that float and round and libraries were too much.  So I flipped the script!  On Friday, I said in order to do Greedy…we noted we would have to do something over and over as in counting coins but let’s look at your Scratch projects.  

Essentially, I decided to go with Mario instead.  This visualizing a pyramid set a lot better with students.  They were using INT and not converting anything.   The math seemed simpler to them.

In week 4 we continued Mario. 

Drawing the pyramid was very helpful and putting in o for space until they “had” it was helpful too.

Then on Tuesday something unexpected happened.  Students asked if they could stay with me for lunch because they did not want to stop working on their code!  Of course, I obliged.


On Wednesday students began completing Mario and became teacher assistants asking questions like, “I see you have the correct number of hash marks but your pyramid is facing the wrong way, why do you think that is?”  And “I see you are subtracting the row from the height each time but what counter does your first row start?  Is it 0 or 1?”  What awesome teachers!

Since we started with VirtualBox and struggled with the edx.org accounts at first with regards to getting the accounts verified with school email it was now that I introduced the IDE.  At this point students were saying that they would like to work on our projects at home so the completion of Mario allowed us to introduce how we could do the same activity in the IDE.  I chose to have them re-type the working Mario code and then run Check50.


Every other Friday is Feature Flix Friday and this week’s clip was courtesy of The Internship.  We discussed how programs are created by people and for people.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

CS50xCedarville Week 2

In week 2 most of our class time was spent on

1) Installing the appliance
Hello, world – After installing the appliance we setup Dropbox and wrote our first C code.
I did this to show students the real code and syntax we would be moving towards.
I also wanted students to know why we downloaded the appliance. This approach also gave me the opportunity to work with students that were not as comfortable and send students more comfortable straight to Scratch after making their computers say Hello, world.
Tip: I found that students named pset1: Pset1 and PSET1 this lead to a discussion regarding #casematters. Just getting into the correct directory was an issue for some students. Then some students named hello.c: Hello.c and HELLO.c and that was once again an opportunity to show where we needed to be precise. Next time, although teachable moments, I would indicate to use lower case in the naming.

Common error: even after telling students that stdio was short for standard i/o many students typed studio.h so look for that error as you are helping students troubleshoot

2) Working on Scratch projects
Students needed more time on this, I allowed 4 class periods which was approx. 3 hours but many students do not have Internet at home and were not finished. I had them share their project asking that it met the minimum requirements and I’m making it a Brain Break for the remaining of the quarter where students can work on Scratch if they finish the assigned task. I’ve offered bonus points to individuals that go back and continue to enhance their Scratch projects as we move forward. Some students are working on Choose Your Own Adventure style games.
See example: https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/75024544/

TechnoMonsters: creating expectations on myself
On day 10 I cut the party music before the bell and students commented, don’t we get music today?  I feel sorry for the sub should I ever need one. With that said, I have a play list started and don’t worry, on day 10 I switched to the White and Nerdy video by Weird Al and they enjoyed that just as much if not more.  I included the playlist below but note…I’ve not shown the videos of these except for the Lexus Hoverboard, White & Nerdy, and CS50 Week 0.  The others played music only.