Presentation for Teacher Training or PD?


#1

Hey Code Combat community -

I’m planning to present at our district’s upcoming technology conference on coding with kids. Last year I talked about Code.org, but this year I’d like to showcase CodeCombat. I typically have 30 teachers at my workshops, although one never knows since it is dependent on scheduling & attendance. I’ve had as few as 8 and as many as 80-ish.

I currently have my students complete Code.org’s K-8 Accelerated Comp Sci class first and then move them to the CodeCombat platform for lessons on syntax and “real” programming language. This structure is working well for my middle school students (primarily grade 6).

Does anyone have training materials or a presentation geared toward teachers already created that they are willing to share?

Thanks -
Kris


#2

Hey Kris!

Excited to hear you’re showcasing CodeCombat this year. We’ve just created a handful of guides for teachers to help set up their classroom with our new Courses design, as well as a solutions/overview guide for all of the content in the “Introduction to Computer Science” course.


Hopefully these will be a good start, but I’d love to know what else you’re looking for (in addition to learning about how you’re using CodeCombat in your class). Feel free to message me or email me at robin@codecombat.com.

Best,
Robin


#3

Do you have more of these in the pipeline for courses 2-4?

I really like the course guide.

Thanks,
Hinkle


#4

Thanks so much for the info - I’ll be sure to include it.

I’ll keep you in the know as the date approaches. The conference is in March & just submitting my proposal now.


#5

Yup, working on guides for Course 2-4 as we’re finishing up playtesting and refining the content. Stay tuned!


#6

You may have already seen this in another part of the site, but there is a nice
ppt by thomasd538. It is for students, but could be adapted.

I just skipped the code.org stuff and went straight into code combat. Taking a bit longer than the 1 hour and 5 hours shown though…

Honestly it may just be best to show student code. Look what the students can do! generally works well.


#7

Yes - I did see those - they are wonderful resources!

I totally agree about the time frames - it takes younger kids much longer to get through the levels and that’s even more true if they haven’t seen much code before.

Maybe 75% of my students are very successful with Code.org. There are quite a few that fizzle out because the logic is just too challenging for them. They work with partners so that helps them to get through the levels that confuse them.

Of the kids who are successful in Code.org - maybe 25% of those kids go on to really excel and engage in Code Combat. Most kids are fizzling out after the initial Kithgard Dungeon level, when things start to get more complex.

However, that’s programming. You need to be able to handle the demands of both the logic & the details. Not every ten year old is up for that…but it’s exciting to see how many are really into it!


#8

I teach grades 6-8. We are taking it slow I found that making a few posters with example code helped. Most of my students struggle with levels that deal with numberical values saved in variables (or properties), but the most frustrating thing for me is the unwillingness of students to read the directions… Most common coversation:

“Why won’t this work?”
“What are you trying to do?”
“I don’t know.”
"What does the purple comment text say?’
“Ohhh…”


#9

We definitely want to make it so that nearly all students can keep progressing in CodeCombat, so if you notice particular stumbling blocks, please keep the feedback coming so that we can polish things and add safety nets to rescue more players.


#10

I second that about students NOT. READING. THE. DIRECTIONS. Grrrrrrrr.

My kids mostly struggle with syntax in JavaScript. I know Python would be easier for them because this is almost a non-issue in that language, but JavaScript is what our district wants them to learn…so…

Maybe a few quests that are heavy on searching for missing or duplicated brackets or semicolons would help them early on or even in later levels as you have nested loops. That’s the aspect I see the most (of course, it’s easy to fix!).

I’ll keep an eye out as we progress.


#11

@DysonKL Students in Python have syntax problems too… just not nearly as many. I saw this style of coding once, not sure if it would help.

coding style
loop
    {
    var enemy = findNearestEnemy();
    if (enemy)
        {
        if (this.distanceTo(enemy) < 10)
            {    
             this.attack(enemy);
            }
       else
            {
            this.say('Come here');
            }
        }
     else
         {
         this.attack('chest');
         }
    }

@nick Specifically I find a number of students having difficulty with understanding that self.pos.x and self.pos.y are numerical values which can be fed into self.moveXY. This causes problems with levels such as drop the flag (most of the students had problems with that one). This continues on into the first sarven desert levels where they have to add x to their position about half of the students needed help there.

I am wondering if making a level like range finder where you shout out the x and y coordinates of something to blow it up or one where you have to run around and say where you are would help.


#12

Are they any updates on the Course 2 - 4 teacher guides?


#13

@Hinkle Still in the works!