Model writing code using the following techniques to show students how you think about constructing programs in order to support them in learning to independently think through algorithm development.

  • Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura) demonstrates that people learn extremely well by observing models.
  • The best way teach using models is to gradually remove the support of the model (Bandura). For example:
    • First, model writing a program by telling students what you’re doing as they watch you writing the program. Use a projector or whiteboard so everyone can watch.
      • Cognitive Modeling
    • Second, have students write a program while you tell them what to do.
      • Overt Guidance
    • Third, have students write a program while they explicitly tell themselves what to do.
      • Overt Self-Guidance
    • Finally, students should should be able to write programs by thinking through what to do.
      • Covert Self-Instruction
  • Also, be sure to model the setup and testing process of programming, such as how often to save and test your program.
  • “Live-coding” in front of students allows you to show them common mistakes, such as typos or logic problems, you naturally run into, and how to recover and debug your code.
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Tip-A-Thon with Michelle Friend.

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