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Teaching Kids

 
Bartender
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Ok i lost the plot a bit and offered to do a programming club at my kids school, we are talking 9-11 year olds.

So what language, i was thinking python as that is the language they learn at school currently.

So 2 questions
1) what language would you do
2) Can you think of good lesson aims, they will have 1 hour in the club.
 
Bartender
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BASIC!

Truthfully, it depends on the kids, and choosing it themselves might even help them become more interested in it. perl might be an excellent choice because it aims to do what you want it to, making it much easier to just start using.

Goals depend on kids.
Separate projects each time.
Separate steps that make something functional and after a number of sessions make a larger program.
Challenges that can be solved with the days lesson (prizes or recognition also helps)
 
Marshal
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Welcome back, Wendy
 
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i have an 8 yo and a 11 yo. I found this book which teaches both Scratch and Python. The example easy enough that they can pick it up and work on the the programs themselves. They both have been able to expand on the examples to create their own programs.
We had Al Sweigart on the Code Ranch not too long ago. He's got a couple of books about kids and programming here. They are free to download, so there's no risk to try them and see if they give you some ideas.
 
Java Cowboy
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I have no experience teaching kids (nor do I have any children myself, so I am far from an expert with regard to kids!).

Have you heard of the Raspberry Pi? It's a small and cheap computer that's made by people of my generation who grew up in the 1980's home computer revolution. With the Raspberry Pi one of their goals was to re-create some of that, and give kids the same experience that we had with our Commodore 64's.

The Raspberry Pi comes with Scratch, an environment designed to teach kids programming.

Here are some more interesting ideas: 10 of the best Raspberry Pi projects for kids: How to teach kids to code, program and compute (and have a great time) with Raspberry Pi
 
Joe Ess
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Jesper de Jong wrote:
The Raspberry Pi comes with Scratch, an environment designed to teach kids programming.



It can't run the latest version of Scratch, which is based on Flash. The book I referred to above is based on Scratch 2. My boys were very frustrated when they couldn't use their new Rasberry Pi to follow the examples in their new book.
 
Jesper de Jong
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Hmmm... why did the Scratch people base the latest version on Flash, which is a dying technology...?
 
Joe Ess
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Jesper de Jong wrote:Hmmm... why did the Scratch people base the latest version on Flash, which is a dying technology...?



In my brief research, I think the charitable opinion was that it was not clear when they started with 2.0 (2010 or so) that Flash would be dying off.
There are efforts to get around this limitation, like installing Chromium, or re-implementations like Whiskers, but as far as I know they are non-trivial to get running and/or don't have all the features.
 
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