Flash Games: Presentations and demonstrations

January 30, 2012 at 3:19 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This week we spent a good bit of time watching flash game presentations and going over binary number conversion.

The link given is a very good site for students to learn binary number conversion. I am giving them a test next week and this is a good review.


My students have designed some really neat games. Students were required to turn in requirement specifications and a flow chart for the game that they had in mind. Then they were let loose on the computer to design the games. Here are some of the games that they have designed for this project.


Binary Numbers: Fundamental to Computer Science

January 24, 2012 at 2:41 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

For the last ten years, as an AP Computer Science teacher, I have taught my students binary conversion. It was more math than computer science. I would take a decimal number and covert it to binary and the other way around. I never really taught them the need to learn binary numbers or the role binary numbers play in computer science.  But thanks to CS Principles, binary numbers: concepts & applications is a major topic now.

I had fun teaching this concept. I used flashlights, flashcards and simple worksheets from CS Unplugged.  I had my students finish and turn in their work. Based on the work turned in and the reflection component I am certain that the students understood the importance of binary numbers and their importance in computer science.

In the next two weeks we should be getting our hands dirty by doing some actual java programming with Greenfoot. I am looking forward to seeing how the students fare using this tool.

Game Design and other happenings…

January 17, 2012 at 2:53 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Yes. Flash is an excellent tool to hook students into programming. It is visual it is scripting and gives students the thrill of creating a visually appealing project.

I asked the student to write requirements specifications for the game they are designing. They also had to come up with a flow chart that explained the flow of logic and their approach to designing the game.  Click here to see some samples.

Next week I am going to teach binary numbers. I am going to approach this differently. I recently read this book: CODE (The hidden language of Computer Hardware and Software). I have picked up some good ideas from this book which I am going to try and teach next week in class.

NCWIT Affiliate results have been announced. My Advanced Web Design student and Robotics Club – Vice President, Emily Ritter is one of the 20 women in Georgia who won! I am so excited and proud of her.  Emily was also nominated a finalist for the NCWIT Aspirations Award at the National level.

The FIRST Robotics Challenge for 2012 is “Rebound Rumble”. This robotics game is played between teams and the goal is to get as many basketballs in the hoops a possible during the 2 minute and 15 second match. The build season has begun. Our robotics students are busy brainstorming and building. There is a lot of excitement in the classroom as students some up with ideas and problem solve.

A lot is happening in the computer science area at school. I will continue updates next week when I have more information to report on my plans and progress.

Game Design using Flash CS5

January 8, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

First week back was good.  I talked to the students about problem solving and its importance. I asked if they would like for me to sprinkle logic puzzles throughout the semester. The interest level was good.

Flash is a really good tool to introduce students to some serious scripting. The visual appeal is great and it has some simple scripting that introduces students to typing code.
With the course of course being a Game design course Flash as a programming tool fits in very well.

I asked students to follow a tutorial:

And design the game. As a next step I asked them to ask one new feature to the game.

The feature they add should satisfy two conditions:

  1. The feature should make some simple modifications to the script
  2. The feature should make use of a feature of Flash CS5 that has not been used before.

Happy New Year

January 3, 2012 at 3:55 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

I am excited as the New Year begins. New thoughts, new ideas, fresh beginnings always make things seem so much brighter.

As I start school tomorrow, I spent a good bit of today trying to decide what I wanted to teach this semester in CS Principles. One of course is to complete all the details in the “Big ideas”.  All the computational thinking practices as outlined are constantly practiced in the class. It is almost a style of teaching and it has been very successful. I will continue it this semester also.

Another goal is to get at least 50% of the CS Principles students ready for taking the programming AP Computer Science in Java. APCS, as it is today is a fourth science. And students want to take this to satisfy their science requirement.  The leap from Scratch to Java programming is hard for many students. I will need an intermediate language environment as a stepping stone.  Greenfoot is my choice. I think it will work very well for all my students: those who are planning on taking the AP and others who don’t.

I plan to introduce Greenfoot very soon and then keep revisiting the environment the entire semester.

It all starts tomorrow!

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