Students learn about Pair Programming by watching a video and then practicing it themselves while working on their project apps. At this stage, students are adding their first lines of code to make their app interactive using debugging skills from the previous lesson.
Students will be able to:
Pair Programming is an effective collaboration strategy both inside the classroom and in professional settings. As this is the first opportunity students have to program starting from a blank screen, this is a good opportunity to explore the usefulness of Pair Programming.
Important context for teachers: Students will continue to work on adding behavior and code to their app in following lessons, specifically Lessons 9 and 10. We recommend you take a look at Lessons 9 and 10 as well when you are preparing for this lesson to get an idea of where students should be at the end of this lesson and what tasks and activities take place during future lessons.
Prompt: What makes a good partner?
Group: Place students in pairs with their project partner
Distribute: Direct students back to the App Development Planning Guide - Activity Guide
Do This: Students fill out the chart on page 4, listing all of the Event Handlers in their programs. They should be able to determine these based on the Program Specification they designed.
Display: Play the Pair Programming video. Then, review the two roles in pair programming:
Project: Students work on their projects. Remind them of the requirements for the app:
Circulate: Give students time to work on their project. As they do so circulate the room encouraging them to use debugging practices they've learned in previous lessons. Every few minutes ask left and right partners to switch being drivers and navigators.
Taking on the Blank Screen: This is the first time students are adding interactive code without an existing base to build from. Some students may need assistance. Direct them back to their Planning Guides to help students understand the events they need to code in their project.
Supporting Pair Programming: Your biggest role in supporting pair programming will be encouraging students to use it early on and helping enforce the switching. Run the timer in the slides and have left and right partners switch roles. You may opt to increase the time to longer periods as time goes on.
Debugging Practices: Students learned a lot of debugging practices in the previous lesson. Encourage students to use these and record bugs they find as they program today. Continue to normalize and celebrate debugging as a normal and fun part of programming.
Prompt: How does Pair Programming help when working on a project? How does it help with the debugging process in particular?
Discussion Goal: Use this prompt to reinforce not only the value of pair programming and collaboration while programming, but also to remind students of debugging practices they learned in the previous lesson. Possible answers include:
Journal: Have students add "Pair Programming" to their journals.