Paul Fisher on a full year of HtDP
As the year winds down I've had a little time to reflect on
my first full year with the HtDP
curriculum and I have to say I am
very pleased with the year for the following reasons:
- I was able to successfully navigate a full year with a
very diverse group of students without leaving anyone behind or
slowing down the stars.
- I have the largest continuation into the CS2/Object
Oriented Design course that I have ever had and some of the students
are surprises I would not normally have expected to continue.
- I've had the largest number of girls in the Intro course
that I have ever had.
- Even the fairly unmotivated students ended the year
quickly recognizing recursive problems and setting up the framework
for a solution with no help.
- Amidst the regular course I had two star students that
went on to develop MineSweeper, Battelship, Pong, Snake, Space
Invaders and a nearly complete implementation of the German Enigma
- I had a sophomore with no previous programming experience
solve the Pascal's Triangle problem from the beginning of SICP
in December and then write an explanation of his solution for the
school's academic journal. This is a student for whom writing is a
real labor. For him to publish something for the entire school to
read is an amazing step.
- I never once felt like I was wasting time on syntax and I
never once had to tell a student something was too advanced for them
to think about.
Now that I have run the course once and understand the pacing and
problem areas and topics that need emphasis (I totally screwed
up not adequately explaining the importance of examples in the
recipes) I'm excited about what future years of this curriculum can
produce and I'm very excited about the starting point I will have in
the CS2 course.
Paul C. Fisher
Morristown, New Jersey
Earth Science and Computer Science
(... it's all silica after all ... )
Webbed by Stephen Bloch / firstname.lastname@example.org