This 20-lesson Intro to Coding in Python uses fun and engaging project-based lessons to teach students the core concepts of coding in Python. This is the first installment in a 3 part series, the Python Sequence, which serves as a complete student introduction to Python.
Students use loops and random numbers to create digital art using Codesters' built in shapes and drawing library. Codesters projects allow students to practice creativity and expression through coding.
Students create a dialogue between two sprites (such as an astronaut and an alien) to reinforce that programs run as a sequence of steps and to practice using dot notation for actions on different objects.
Students use if-statements to determine who wins a game of Rock Paper Scissors. They also use a random number generator to make selections so they can play against the computer.
Students create shapes with different parameters on a coordinate plane and then use compute and report the area of those shapes. Many Codesters projects naturally integrate math and coding concepts.
Each project-based lesson has around 20 activities and its divided into 3 phases: Build, Modify, and Create. The activities in the Build and Modify phases are automatically graded, including debugging and assessment activities. The capstone Create project for each lesson is graded by the teacher using a rubric provided by Codesters.
Students start by building an example project, through which they develop key coding skills. Debugging activities help students learn specific rules about syntax and the structure of code. Assessments include multiple choice questions and journal responses.
Once students have built their example project they are asked to customize the program to solidify their understanding and demonstrate proficiency with the skills they learned.
Students create a new project from scratch that uses the same core skills skills they developed in the example project. This capstone project for each lesson creates opportunities for students to deepen their understanding and to demonstrate mastery of coding topics.
With Codesters, students learn to code by creating fun and engaging projects. Each lesson is structured as a project for students to build. And each project introduces students to new coding topics and concepts while reinforcing ones they have already learned. For example, in Rock Paper Scissors students learn to use if-statements to compare their choice to the computer's random choice and decide who wins. Students are motivated to persevere through learning to code in order to create the project they want to build. And they have fun while in the process.
Teachers play a critical role in helping students learn to code with Codesters. Teachers monitor each student's progress on their dashboard in order to see which students are struggling and where. They can even drill down to see the actual code a student submitted that did not receive full points. This helps the teacher stay on top of students' learning and guide them to becoming expert coders.
As students follow the instructions in the Build and Modify phases of the project-based lesson, they receive immediate feedback about mistakes they might be making. This feedback is both in the student-friendly error messages and the hints and suggestions built into the automatic scoring system. Immediate feedback helps students to understand and correct their mistakes and smoothes the path to learning to code.