The First Day of Teaching Python

Teaching in this portion of the class is fairly different from the first portion.  Our peripheral teaching days were discussion based, and often involved facilitating conversations and creating connections to outside pieces of media/the real world.  In contrast, teaching code involves a bit more of me explaining things to my participants, and ending with some exercises.  In this way, the first portion was perhaps more “englishy” and the second is more formal.  I began my teaching process by discussing pitfalls I personally ran into during this chapter, and linking them to the Chapter 3 concept: Patterns in Code.  This included the importance of proper naming and spacing.  I also discussed how it seems like Python has combined the idea of spacing and brackets, which were separate entities in Java (another form of code I have some experience in).  This makes the spacing essentially more practical and important, rather than merely organizational.  We also discussed how it can be difficult to find errors in code that you’ve written, and some potential strategies include taking a break and looking at the code with fresh eyes later, or finding a friend to take a look, who may catch an error that you overlooked.  Finally we ended by incorporating the calculating chapter, editing the function and name to create new outputs.  From this experimentation we determined that the term “element” could be added multiple times to the mathematical expression, that negative numbers could be generated, and that division results in no decimal places.  I’m hoping that my student had a better understanding of the formulating a function, and was able to better apply the calculating chapter.

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