Have students make themselves cheat sheets so they are able to quickly look up syntax, which keeps them from spending too much time looking up these facts.

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  • Make sure that students have a consistent place to take notes for referencing later.
    • You can have students use a dedicated notebook, Google doc, etc.
    • Having students write these by hand can be good practice for paper-based tests (e.g., the AP CS exam)
  • After students learn new programming constructs give them time during class to add this construct to their cheat sheet.
    • Entries should include the general structure in addition to at least one example from class.
      • This example may help them remember both the general pattern and a specific experience they have with the construct.
  • Say, “If I’ve written this on the board, it should be in your cheat sheet” to help students know what is important to write down and remember.
  • Allow students to use their cheat sheet on exams in class to motivate students to keep their cheat sheet up to date and helpful!
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Interview with Aaron Cadle.

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