Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Programming Part 2

For Day 2 of my introductory adventures in programming, we (I mean Chris, the amazing student teacher) did this:

1. Introduce students to test and logic commands (2nd MATH). We practice writing logic statements and identifying if they were true or false.

2. Introduce students to "IF" statements. Together we wrote a program that asks the user to input an x and y coordinate, then identify its quadrant.

3. For homework, students worked on these:

*A program that asks the user for 2 numbers, and then displays the larger number.

*A program that asks the user for the center point and radius of a circle, as well as an additional point, and will display whether the point is inside the circle.

*A program that asks the user for A and B from a function in the form Ax^B, as well as an x-coordinate. It then displays the slope of the function at that point.

*A program that asks the user for the slope of 2 lines, and then displays if they are parallel, perpendicular, or neither.

*A program that takes in a number from the user and displays whether it is even or odd. (Hint:  use fPart command).

Day 2 was just as much fun as Day 1! A few students have been enamored with the idea of a guessing game program where the computer generates a random value between 1 and 100 and coaches the user's guesses with "too high" or "too low" until the value is found. They've been working on it even though they don't have quite all the tools yet, and some of them are figuring it out.


  1. A good first "game" is paper, rock, scissors. Have the user pick one, then a random number generator picks one for the calculator and then you can do some If's to show who won.

  2. This sounds like a lot of fun. I've been experimenting with using Scratch ( with some of my math classes, though mostly with geometry so far.

    We had an interesting conversation today in our math team about whether--if a student wrote a program on his/her calculator, say for the quadratic formula--should/would the teacher allow the student to use the program on a quiz or test. I'm wondering what your take on this might be...especially after doing two days of programming yourself. :)

    1. Thanks for the comment! I am going to take a look at Scratch.

      As for your other question, I am still processing some thoughts about that. It will probably be another post soon!

      In the mean time, my short answer is that it all depends on what you want to assess.

  3. Are these photos examples of student work? If so, do you mind me borrowing one for a (very short) presentation that I'm giving at the Computer Based Math summit in NYC in a couple of weeks?

    Thanks for sharing these!

  4. You are welcome to use these, but they are all my work. The students were working on similar programs. I would be happy to send you some pics of student work. Look for those soon.