Csed

Math isn't always fun but you can do fun things with math

Garth Flint recently wrote another post talking about some of the PD going on in his neck of the woods. Garth talks about the disconnect between the professors putting on the PD and what goes on in the K12 classrooms of the attending teachers. Here's the money quote: “Why do all college CS profs think everyone loves math? Want to turn kids off to programming? Throw math at them.
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CS Teacher PD at Grow with Google

Yesterday we held our third monthly Professional Development session for teachers of "APCS-A, Similar, and Beyond." It's great to see that we're starting to form a core of a community of CS teachers teaching some of the more advanced classes as there is a core group that keeps coming back for more. Even better is the fact that we're gaining a couple of new teachers at each session. Last time, we were at Digital Ocean, a cloud provide that has been very involved in education since their creation and has been a tremendous boon to my education projects over the years.
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Choosing A Textbook

Now and again there are requests on the assorted CS Education forums asking about which text book to use. These requests are usually for APCS-A. There are usually a number of "I'm very happy with ..." replies but I thought I'd take a bit of a deeper dive into what teachers might want to consider when evaluating a textbook. It was never an issue when I started as a math teacher.
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Adapting A Nifty Assignment

The Nifty Assignments session at SGICSE is always a popular one. Go to the site and you'll find links to all the assignments presented from 1999 to the present year. On the one hand, it's a great resource. On the other, the assignments vary in nifty-ness depending on one's personal taste. To me, there seemed to be a run of nifty assignments that were really just "take a generic assignment and fancy up the graphics"
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March PD for CS Teachers

Back in December we ran our first PD session for CS teachers. This was to address the need for professional development for teachers who were more experienced in terms of computer science - we aimed this at people who were ready to teach APCS-A, similar, or beyond and also to start to build a community for these teachers. We had trouble setting things up for February but we're good to go for March, April and May.
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Use A Real Language

Why can't we use a real language! This topic has been coming up a lot recently. Now I'm not talking about the Drag and drop vs textual language thing. Let me be clear. To me a Drag and Drop language can certainly be a real language and many are. I also think they're terrific when used correctly. I just think they're frequently misapplied in later grades. No, I'm talking about people asking things like "
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Advent of Code, Data Structures, and Hidden Complexity

Since 2015, Eric Wastl has gifted us each December with Advent of Code - a 25 day programming competition that I very much enjoy. This year I haven't been able to get to too many of the problems. I only completed the first two days on the day they were released, problem three a day late and then I didn't get back to the problems until almost 12/25 - the final day of the competition.
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Visiting schools and talking tech

Back in September I talked about embarking on my Fall 2018 HS CS Tour. Since then I've visited about a dozen schools. I'd like to thank my friends who helped connect me to schools - particularly Aankit Patel and Diane Levitt. Even though the original motivation for the visits was to get the word out about Hunter CS and the awesome things we're doing in the Hunter CS Honors program I always tried to make my talks about something that would be relevant for the entire audience and not just the few that were great fits for my program.
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Professional Development - APCS-A, similar and beyond

A while ago I wrote about our plans at Hunter to run professional development for CS teachers. Specifically, running once a month sessions for teachers who teach APCS-A, similar and beyond. The idea started as a joke but morphed into a legit idea. I was talking to some friends about CTLE hours and how ridiculous the system is. NY State teachers need 100 hours of CTLE credit (PD hours) every so many years.
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Teaching Sorting

Earlier today I saw a facebook post asking for thoughts on teaching sorting. The question was specifically not about motivations like having the class act out sorts or sort cards but rather about the coding. I've been meaning to write about this since last summer when I attended Owen Astrachan's talk on the same subject. Early in my career when teaching sorting I developed the n^2 sorts as standalone routines just as they're presented in most books but as I gained more experience as a teacher, I changed it up to build the sorts (at least some of them) from existing concepts.
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