[Edu-sig] teaching Python
Daniel Ajoy
dajoy at openworldlearning.org
Wed Nov 24 14:18:55 CET 2004
Kirby wrote:
> I lean towards using mathematics as my place to cut new
> programming teeth. At first glance, that sounds like a real
> turn off. Doesn't it just take the fun out of programming
> to tie it to a boulder like math, and throw it off a
> bridge. We just sink to the bottom, right? But look at it
> this way: they want you to learn quite a bit of math
> *anyway* (the boulder is a given) and approaching the stuff
> while learning Python makes the math more fun. In other
> words *given* math is important, Python has way more to
> offer in the fun department than just graphing calculators.
I have prepared a series of "programming challenges" for a
Logo programming environment. They are just geometric pictures
that I suggest students try to mimic. The first ones
are very simple. The first one, for example, is the classic
first Logo "program":
to square
forward 100 right 90
forward 100 right 90
forward 100 right 90
forward 100 right 90
end
or
to square
repeat 4 [forward 100 right 90]
end
But in #14 the student might want to know the relationship
between the diameter of a circle and its perimeter.
In #21 the student might want to know how to make squares
of different sizes, like:
to square :size
repeat 4 [forward :size right 90]
end
square 80 left 90
square 40 left 90
square 20 left 90
square 10 left 90
In #22 the student might want to know the Pitagorean theorem,
and for #33 it would be good to know how to program loops.
For the last few ones, things become easier if the student
understands the concept of derivative.
http://mondragon.angeltowns.net/paradiso/Construcciones.html
John writes -
> Some on this list have suggested that Python is "too rich" to be good
> language for young or first-time programmers.
I think I was one. The thought went like this: "why would
I want to program something in Python, if it's probably
already programmed somewhere in the libraries or in the
Internet" It is a little bit discouraging to know that you'll
be either just programming glue code and doing a lot of
digging for the right code, or reinventing the wheel.
Daniel
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