Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Tech Tips Tuesday

Pair Programming

I have been further dabbling with code and programming in my classroom using Scratch. My students got on board and are enjoying trying it out and creating new things. They've taken to it quickly and have found ways to add complexity to their designs.

This week I wanted to have my students working with a partner on their programming. This was in part for the benefits of learning together, and in part due to the limited number of computers. I found this amazing video about Pair Programming at Code.org, that explains the process so well, and in terms the students can understand. We watched it through before I gave my students their task.

Their task in this lesson was to create an animated greeting card for Christmas. I admit, my idea for this was not entirely unique, but rather inspired by the Ted Talk by Mitch Resnick: Let's teach kids to code. Mitch Resnick went looking for a Mother's Day card for his mum on Scratch and found a whole collection students had created. I thought I would carry that across to Christmas.

Students enjoyed working in this way to solve problems and create something new. They changed "drivers" often, allowing each to have an opportunity to work the mouse for some parts of the process. It was great to see the collaboration, and watch the knowledge spread across the class between pairs. Someone would call out in frustration "Ugh! I can't get my penguin to talk!" and within moments someone from another pair was helping them out. They learn together.


  1. Wonderful article.I agree that code generated by pairs is superior; however it's possible to achieve similar quality with Pull Requests. It is enjoyable if done correctly and improves team cohesion. Short duration, repeat only when needed.


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