When the first lockdown started in March 2020 I wanted my Computing students to still be able to get some regular practice building up their skills and confidence with python programming, so I launched a series of weekly challenges that they could work through.
I took a break over the Summer but found that even with schools open for face to face teaching, I still wanted students to be able to compete against each other for prizes and grow in confidence with python programming. So in November I relaunched the live.withcode.uk weekly activities.
The challenges are aimed at my awesome Y10 Computer Science students but anyone from Y7 – Y11 who’s interested in python programming could use them. The idea is that each week there are 5 free activities that you can dip into:
- Live coding video on YouTube: students can watch a short (around 10 mins) video showing how a python program comes together. There’s some great research that shows live coding (inviting students into the thought processes as they see a program evolve from start to finish) can really help understanding and writing their own code.
- Code type race: students of any ability can type out the code from the video to grow in speed and accuracy so that programming becomes a less frustrating experience for them.
- Experimenting with code: students can view, edit, run and extend the code from the video on any device. The code itself has comments with challenges that students can work through.
- KPRIDE (Keywords, Predict, Run, Investigate, Debug, Extend): Dr Sue Sentance published some ground breaking research on a structured approach to teaching programming and KPRIDE builds on her PRIMM model with interactive activities that add an extra emphasis on code comprehension and debugging.
- Extension challenge: each week there’s a different game, puzzle or activity to work through that links to the code in the video
You can find all the resources here: live.withcode.uk
There are loads of great resources out there. I’m not claiming that mine are the best (by any stretch of the imagination!). But they’re free and I hope they’re helpful.
All the best and do get in touch if you have any feedback or suggestions.