This summer, my two children have expressed an interest in learning about what daddy does. I’ve never taught kids to program before, but I wanted to share what we’ve been working on so far.

The first thing that we did was find good logic computer games to work on. The best I’ve found so far is lightbot. You give a little robot commands and even call functions to tell him how to move and light up tiles. The downside to this game is that it gets challenging very fast. First and second graders can’t really handle nested loops too well when starting out.

http://armorgames.com/play/2205/light-bot

After some experience with lightbot, we were able to translate some of those concepts directly into the KTurtle environment on Edubuntu linux. KTurtle is a graphical drawing program that moves a pen (the turtle) around a canvas. You move the turtle by issuing text commands such as “forward 100″ and “turnright 90″. I’ve given the kids some challenges to work toward on our white-board. For anything that required a bit of trig and the Pythagorean theorem, I gave them the numbers.

IMAG0015.jpg

How do you teach kids to program? What suggestions do you have for me?

Post to Twitter

Posted by Andrew, filed under Linux. Date: June 2, 2010, 9:18 am | 1 Comment »

One Response

  1. Richard Mondello » Children and Programming Says:

    [...] in its own way. There are many posts and blog comments that debate tools and languages to use when teaching children, but few that really tie everything together. I’ll be picking up a few books on the topic, [...]

Leave a Comment

 
Your comment

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.