Dana Hall School introduces software programming at various levels for grades 5 through 12. I teach several different languages such as Scratch, Python and Java. Since software programming is comprised of thousands of programming languages and dialects, it is nearly impossible to learn them all. So how does one become adept at programming?
I think programming is much like solving a puzzle. For example, a Smart Games puzzle such as IQ Fit or IQ Twist initially allocates puzzle pieces based on skill level. Players begin at the Starter level and then progress to the Junior, Expert, Master, and eventually the Wizard level. Computer Science teachers work similarly with their students. At the beginning of the school year and at younger grade levels, I teach the basic building blocks (variables, loops and conditionals) that are needed to write successful software programs. The ultimate goal is for my students to utilize key learnings in order to become independent code writers and problem solvers. Students will also develop their own unique solutions as they enhance their skill sets. When a student has the skills needed to apply what she has learned to real world problems and write software programs on her own, she has reached the Wizard level. I look forward to those priceless smiles when my students here at Dana Hall realize that programming is not only challenging and fun, but provides endless possibilities.