L2C4K Winter 2015 Week 4 Completed

OK! Week 4 is successfully completed and we are almost at the halfway point. There will be no class next week because of spring break and I will be out of town on business.


A number of St. Kateri kids have asked about getting links to class resources or where to find more tutorials on how to code.  While I've been sharing that information here in blog form, I decided to put it in a more reference/notebook form and in an easier to remember URL.


The site is a new idea and there are a lot of blanks, but I've started to compile some links to good coding tutorial and reference sites.  See the "Learning Resources" entry.  A google search will return just as many, but the ones I've listed I personally approve of.


This week's topic was conditionals - executing code when certain conditions are met.  Conditions are a key concept in coding and are large part of the reason computers can appear to be "smart".  To reinforce the idea of conditionals, we played a card game.  We defined the conditions for scoring points and then played through a hand.

If the card drawn is RED, your team gets a point, lese the other team gets a point.

Here are the supporting slides: [Slides][No Quiz This Week]. Embedded (Click on slides to advance):


Loop Back

Since the kids didn't finish their loop exercises, we reviewed loops and discussed the coding syntax of the loops seen in the exercises.  

The first line of code: 1) initialize count to zero, 2) if count is less than 5 execute code block in curly braces, 3) at the end of the block, add one to count (count++) and then check if count is less than 5 again, if it is repeat block, add one to count, ....

We let the kids pick up where they left off on the loop exercises from last week.  We put a hard stop at the top of the hour so they could move on to the conditional exercises.  The general consensus was that conditionals were easier than the loop exercises.

Coding is Part Puzzle Solving

One of the things we discussed was how simple the loop concept was and how much time doing the loop exercises actually took.  Most of the time was spent figuring out how to solve the puzzle in the least number of blocks of code.  If you like solving puzzles coding could be fore you!

Things to Come

"Events" will be the next concept the kids will learn.  Events, like clicking the mouse or pressing a key, can trigger certain blocks of code to run.  Also Daniel, one our helpers, will present on the St. Kateri Lego League.  If you like coding and team play, then you might like Lego League.  

After learning events, we will a have the basic coding concepts necessary to write a web-based "app".  I've encouraged the kids to think about what they might like to create - with the warning that we will need to keep it simple.  We have to crawl before we can walk.  

I hope everyone has a great spring break and I look forward to seeing the kids back Wednesday April 8!