Teaching python (programming) to children

Sheila King sheila at spamcop.net
Tue Nov 6 20:19:03 CET 2001

On Tue, 6 Nov 2001 18:11:03 GMT, Jeff Sandys <sandysj at juno.com> wrote in
comp.lang.python in article <3BE827B7.D5616361 at juno.com>:

:Sheila King wrote:
:> I think that 8 year olds could easily do some simple programming.
:This seems to be about the right age to get started in my experience. 
:While some 2nd graders (about age 7) will get Logo others will 
:become frustrated, in a large class there are just to many breakdowns 
:for one teacher to manage.  By third grade their spelling and reasoning 
:abilities are reasonably mature for beginning programming.  It is 
:also useful to put the students in pairs so that they help and 
:learn from each other, then the teacher can manage the large group.

Yes, it was just about five years ago or so, when my daughter was right
about that age (and my son was three years older), that I wrote a small
LOGO-like program in Turbo Pascal. It was interactive. So they could
give the turtle commands like
MOVE 100

and so forth, and draw little designs on the computer. (Seeing the
results immediately.)

A few months back, my daughter asked me about "that turtle program" that
I had let them "play with" and she said she had liked it and would like
to try it again.

Of course, I don't have Turbo Pascal installed any more, nor do I know
where that code got to that I wrote. When I suggested *really* learning
to program, she seemed less interested. (I did get my son going on some
Python this past summer.) So, for now it appears to be The Sims for
computer entertainment. :/

Sheila King

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