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Start the day with students pair programming and then split them up; it makes later collaboration natural and reduces frustration.

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  • Sometimes it can be difficult to get students to collaborate with one another when they aren't pair programming.
  • At times students find sharing a computer frustrating and the longer students pair program together, they more likely it is that conflicts will arise.
  • By starting the day working together on one computer, it is natural for students to help each other out when they are working on their own, separate, computers.
    • Students have an established partnership from pair programming to work off of so they feel comfortable getting help from their buddy.
  • Halfway through class, have students switch to buddy programming.
    • Buddy Programming is when two students work independently on a project, but have a designated partner they can call on for help, feedback, and input.
      • Unlike pair programming, buddy programmings do not share a computer. Each student works at their own station, ideally right next to their partner.
    • The goal is for students to have a partner they’ll go to for help while affording them the opportunity to working on their own.
  • When student switch to buddy programming, they can use the same shared code base they created together in the beginning of class.
    • Students would make copies of their shared code base and then work on these separate documents individually.
    • Note: Transferring the files once the students split can be a challenge.
      • It’s best to define a protocol for how to do this before class begins.
  • This technique is really useful because kids get annoyed sharing a computer with each other. It is HARD!
    • The following is one way to switch the codes when students are working in Scratch.
      • Have the student who is logged into Scratch download the project to the desktop.
        • Then have this student log out of their account.
      • Now, have the student who was logged into the shared computer move to a different machine and continue working.
      • Lastly, have the other student log into their account on the shared computer and upload this file.
        • This can happen when the student who used to be logged in on this computer is logging into the new computer.
        • This allows both students to start working individually at around the same time.
      • Provide students with step by step instructions so they can do this on their own.