Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pair Programming Tag Team Shootout

So today we changed things up a bit.

Instead of having a typical lab type periods, we tried the Pair Programming Tag Team Shootout.

We aren't annualized so while the kids that have been with me since September have been working in pairs for a while, the other half of the class is just getting used to how we do it. I also wanted to get the kids to mix a little more.

Hence the shootout.

Everyone got a sheet with a bunch of problems on it:


I then paired them off randomly.

The idea is complete the first problem, find a new partner, repeat.

By the end of the period each student worked with between five and seven partners.

I'm having them send me their solutions and partners tonight.

The early response was good -- it's speeding up them getting to know each other and it was a nice change of pace. We had some problems coordinating switching problems, but we'll do better next time.

All in all a good day.


  1. Have you looked at the code duels and puzzles at Pex4Fun? THe C# versions should be quite approacable by APCS students. In fact there are some set up especially for APCS students - there is a button for it at

  2. I've looked at pex4fun, but the interface doesn't do anything for me and while C# might be approachable for the kids doing Java, it is different. I prefer for both Python and Java. I also really like for Python.

    In any case, none of the above can be easily used by us in class -- yes, our internet connection is THAT slow. Something that i have to debrief the class on, and should yield interesting info is that some of the kids worked on some of the projects on computers, and others just in their notebooks (all the problems were very short - the kids are just starting with Python).