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CS21A was a lot of fun. When I said, "As this is your first class, I will give you candy," they cheered - I guess they like playing along with that grade school thing. ;)
Dr. Sarmenta edited my history draft and made it much cleaner. Today I actually used Microsoft Powerpoint in class. I think I did okay - we switched to Microsoft Word for the spaghetti example. I should have saved it onto a diskette, though, to make it easier to upload.
We had a bit of a problem with some computers' Internet connections - they couldn't access http://richip.dhs.org/~sachac/cs21a/ from Windows XP, but Windows 98 worked fine.
FUTURE: Move course URL to first page of slides.
Doing the spaghetti example as discussion instead of seatwork seems like a very good idea. No one really knew how to cook spaghetti, so I turned that into class discussion instead, and the students contributed almost all the steps. We started with
- prepare the pasta - prepare the saurce - mix - add cheese - eat
Last summer, I modified the recipe onscreen, making it one long recipe. This time, I broke it down into methods. This is probably more effective - it just needs to be emphasized.
It was a lot of fun, especially because the students contributed a lot to the discussion.
How can I improve? Maybe next time, I can ask a student to sit up front and take notes. Then again, the students responded favorably to my reactions as I typed things in.
I wanted to make the following points:
- Algorithms are part of our everyday lives. - Algorithms can start out as high-level descriptions. - They need to be refined until they can be understood by the computer - Algorithms can be expressed in human languages. - Algorithms should stop.
How will I test this? (I should plan this before I do the lesson, you know.) I can give a quiz. Possible topic:
A person is judged in more ways than one. Be it on the physical, emotional or even the mental aspect. A flower blooms in its own time and pace as with the movement of every cloud seen in the sky. Despite the fact that things move in their own manner and preference, sometimes the value of a person is determined beyond such things.
... but isn't it nice that I post helpful criteria? ;) That way, people know what I appreciate and don't appreciate.
The Old Astronomer to His Pupil
Reach me down my Tycho Brahe, I would know him when we meet,
When I share my later science, sitting humbly at his feet;
He may know the law of all things, yet be ignorant of how
We are working to completion, working on from then to now.
Pray remember that I leave you all my theory complete,
Lacking only certain data for your adding, as is meet,
And remember men will scorn it, 'tis original and true,
And the obloquy of newness may fall bitterly on you.
But, my pupil, as my pupil you have learned the worth of scorn,
You have laughed with me at pity, we have joyed to be forlorn,
What for us are all distractions of men's fellowship and smiles;
What for us the Goddess Pleasure with her meretricious smiles!
You may tell that German College that their honor comes too late,
But they must not waste repentance on the grizzly savant's fate.
Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.
A short walk away from school - quite convenient. Yay!