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First Day of CSFirst Camp!

While I was out of town for work, the gang—7 y.o. No. One, 5 y.o. No. Two, and 3 y.o. No. Three—continued their CSFirst work with my partner.  Google cleverly refers to CSFirst as a club.  No. One took it a step further and decided the club was in fact a camp, you know, like summer camp.  One decided that as a camp they of course needed a banner, and went to work.
I heard during the day that the gang had worked together to set up One’s sandbox—the web app where CSFirst students do their programming work. I also heard that they were pair-programming; I’m a huge fan of pair-programming, so I was excited to get home last night to find out how everything went.

NOTE:  For those who aren’t into programming in general, or agile programming methodologies in particular, pair-programming is the practice of two programmers sitting down at one screen to work on a piece of code.  As one programmer types, the other checks their work.  They both discuss ideas for the piece of code they’re working on as they go.  Occasionally the keyboard and mouse are handed back and forth as the programmers switch roles.  This results in two people that know every piece of programming code as well as code that’s already undergone its first perfunctory quality check

Upon my arrival, One was the only kid awake.  She met me with a huge grin, and proceeded to fill me in on the day’s programming work.  As I’d heard, they’d setup her sandbox.  One said they’d programmed using ‘tablets’.  Some tablets like the purple-ish, pink ones let you type in numbers to say how many beats a sound should last.  Other boxes like the purple ones let you type in numbers, or a “liiitttle bit of text”.  Using orange repeat boxes, you could repeat tablets by putting them inside the repeat box, and filling in the number of repeats you wanted.  She said they’d used percents as well.  When I asked about pair-programming, One explained that when she used the mouse, Two told her what to try, and when Two had used the mouse, she had told him what to try.  (Not a bad first go at pair-programming).  They’d learned what sprites were, (characters--a cat in this case--they could animate by programming), and then programmed them to do different things, and make a variety of sounds using the tablets they dragged with the mouse.  One was grinning from ear to ear and wiggling around with glee as she reported all of this.
All-in-all, the first day was a huge success.  The gang learned about procedural programming, and got their first taste of subroutines and for loops.  They also reinforced the math they’ve been picking up including practice with percentages.  Most of all though, it sounds like they had a blast!

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