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Teaching Learners Who Cannot Type Python Programming Using SnapPy Code

Explore and create
Pre-registration required

Explore and create : BYOD

Tuesday, June 25, 10:15–11:15 am
Location: 118B

Dr. Anthony Lupinetti  
Discover SnapPy Code, a free, block-based version of Python that the presenter developed to teach computer science concepts to young learners. Through hands-on activities, learn how to teach the lessons that guide second- through sixth-graders from "Hello, World!" to loops, conditionals, functions and electronics.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Participant accounts, software and other materials: The attendees will be directed to http://snappycode.org for the web version of the SnapPy Code application. They will be encouraged to download the desktop version the application if they desire.

Attendees should download lessons prior to the session.

Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Computer science and computational thinking
Grade level: 3-5
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Computational Thinker
  • Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.
For Educators:
  • Stay current with research that supports improved student learning outcomes, including findings from the learning sciences.
  • Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Attendees will be aware of and able to use SnapPy code to write Python programs. They will also have a scaffolding for teaching using SnapPy Code (snappycode.org).

Examples of teaching methodologies and sample curricula will be provided. The attendees will explore how the presenter has used SnapPy Code in his own classes by participating in example lessons.

Examples of student work will also be shown as evidence of the applications success in teaching Python to students too young to type well enough to code well using traditional text-based methods.


The presentation will start with background about the presenters experience teaching computer science concepts, specifically Python programming. Example of student work will also be shown. (5 minutes)

An overview of SnapPy Code will follow. This will take the form of I do/you do audience participation. The participants will use their own devices to reproduce what the presenter's examples. (5 minutes).

A mini class lesson will follow with a mixture of instruction followed by a challenge activities designed to give the audience classroom experience with the teaching techniques and with SnapPy Code. During this time the audience will be taught variable usage, loops, and conditionals, and the use of Python libraries. We will then use Python's Turtle Graphics library to further explore the concepts. (20 minutes).

The last portion of the talk will task the attendees to work together to solve a more complex problem using SnapPy Code. The collaborations will model the "team coding" the students use to sharpen skills while practicing teamwork concepts. (10 minutes)

The session will close with a summary of the concepts learned and how the attendees can integrate them into their classes using curricula and worksheets provided (5 minutes).

Supporting research

Videos and examples of student work will be presented to the audience as support for the presenters claims.

Preliminary questionnaire results from outgoing fourth and fifth grade students about computer science and Python programming knowledge will be shared with the attendees.

More [+]


Dr. Anthony Lupinetti, Open Source Kids

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