Lists in Scratch Lessons – Percentage of Passing Tests

Last week I talked about my experiences with teaching lists to new programmers using the Scratch programming language. In this post I’ll walk through an example, showing how lists can greatly simplify a program that has a lot of similar variables. Let’s say your teacher has asked you to help write a program to determine … Read more Lists in Scratch Lessons – Percentage of Passing Tests

Introducing Lists to New Programmers in Scratch

When I first learned programming, I struggled to understand the concept of lists and arrays. (The exact definition of these terms varies depending on the language but I’ll be using them fairly interchangeably here.) It was not immediately clear to me why I would need a variable containing more than one piece of information when … Read more Introducing Lists to New Programmers in Scratch

Programming a TI-85 Graphing Calculator – Revisting the 1990’s TI-BASIC

In my previous post, I discussed how I cleaned out and restored my old TI-85 Graphing Calculator after finding corroded batteries inside. After finally getting it to turn on, I immediately started reliving my high school experience. It was honestly kind of surprising how quickly my memories came back to me. Despite not using the … Read more Programming a TI-85 Graphing Calculator – Revisting the 1990’s TI-BASIC

TI-85 vs Potassium Carbonate: A Cautionary Tale

This year at the R Studio conference, I heard an excellent presentation from Mary Rudis on teaching statistics with R at community colleges. (I don’t teach at that level, but enjoy learning more about education techniques.) She mentioned in her talk that many students get their start in stats programming using graphing calculators. This comment … Read more TI-85 vs Potassium Carbonate: A Cautionary Tale

Introduction to Paper Circuits with an LED Valentine’s Card

Creating a paper circuit in a card is a very fun project that teaches kids some basics about electronics and makes a fun gift. I have designed a Valentine card with a simple circuit design that you can download and craft. To create the card, you’ll need an LED light, conductive copper tape (the guideline … Read more Introduction to Paper Circuits with an LED Valentine’s Card

Additional Examples of Nested If Statements

In my previous post, I discussed an issue in Scratch relating to Nested If statements. I think that by limiting the If statement to only one conditional (an If condition or an Else condition), the concept of multi-conditional statements has been made more difficult that it should be. I believe that Nested If statements are … Read more Additional Examples of Nested If Statements

Nested If and Variable If Statements in Scratch

I love using Scratch to teach children and others about coding. By using blocks instead of syntax, it has simplified coding to make it accessible even for very young children. I love that it has eliminated the need to learn some of the more difficult aspects of coding such as where curly brackets and parenthesis … Read more Nested If and Variable If Statements in Scratch