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How do I teach Computer Science?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by pixiewixiepixie, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. pixiewixiepixie

    pixiewixiepixie Occasional commenter

    Having been a Head of Maths for most of my teaching life, I'm now teaching Maths with a bit of Computer Science on supply. The 'bit of' is likely to turn into a 'lot of' soon, as I take over a Computer Science maternity cover. If I'm honest, I've never been happy with the teaching of Computer Science side of my career, although it has been the lesser part after maths. I've always found it very hard and challenging with classes where breaking problems down, algorithms and coding immediately turn off perhaps 5 out of 30 in a class, added to another 3 or 4 who are pains in all classes and disruptive. Trying to get students to listen, stay engaged, concentrate, read instructions, be self-reliant - all very hard work compared to maths.

    As far as the programming side of things go, I've tried using Codio and similar, using a book, using a free eBook and using a problem-solving approach - doing one or two problems each lesson.

    So, where am I going wrong? Is there a definitive text for teaching mixed ability students in secondary school I have missed? Who has the answers?
     
  2. gigaswitch1

    gigaswitch1 Occasional commenter

    Do you teach mixed ability now? If you don't, how would you teach Maths to mixed ability class?
     
  3. colwynexile

    colwynexile Occasional commenter

    How would you go about teaching how to solve a simple algebra problem to a mixed ability class? It's no different in CS. Just make sure YOU now what you are doing or it will all go horribly wrong (just like it would if you got the maths wrong)
     
  4. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    I think that the degree of enthusiasm with which you deliver something is a big factor - the students can tell when your heart's not in it. I find that lessons go much better, and the students and I enjoy them more, since we switched from ICT to Computing, because I can see the point of it.
     
    wanet likes this.
  5. badpower

    badpower Occasional commenter

    Might be an idea to teach the theory before the actual programming, make sure they have an understanding of data types, structures will help when it comes to programming. I would also start of with flow charts and pseudo code as these are really useful for learning the different concepts.

    once they have got the grasp of the theory then you can move into a programming language and translate your pseudo code into the syntax you will be using.
     
  6. MrsScottDeanery

    MrsScottDeanery New commenter

    http://barefootcas.org.uk/
    I know this website is aimed at primary teachers but its brilliant. Teach computational thinking through the barefoot approaches and use the idea behind their resources but adapt for your age group.
     
  7. MrPragmatic

    MrPragmatic New commenter

    I've got you covered. Use www.BourneToCode.com - there's a full KS3 CS curriculum on there, as well as bits on GCSE and A-level. It's regularly updated, and a superb resource.
     
    colwynexile and Alycya like this.
  8. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    Would have to agree, this a really good resource. If this is yours Mr P - excellent work and double bonus points for putting it all on GITHUB
     
  9. ucodemy

    ucodemy New commenter

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2016
  10. AaronCocker

    AaronCocker New commenter

    I'm looking at building a website which talks about the basics of programming (iteration, selection, various loops, matrix maths etc), object oriented, procedural etc for educational use. If I do it you can have a link if you want. It may take a few weeks because I'll write it from scratch in HTML and CSS, all code examples will be in Python though.

    I'm writing it to use personally but I'll happily share it if I end up making it (free of course :) )
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
  11. AaronCocker

    AaronCocker New commenter

    Not sure if it any use to you but I uploaded a simple python calculator to TES resources https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/simple-python-calculator-11256692
     

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