Beginning Programming Classes

Beginning Programming Classes

Come explore writing simple code and see if you enjoy it.  Learning the basics of coding is the first step towards a path that can lead to many job computers1opportunities and a successful career in the diverse fields that use computer technology.   Classes are offered in programming and in mastering the basic logic structures that underlie the writing of code.

Younger students start by exploring programming using the Hour of Code.  Older students start by working with pencil and paper problems using Karel the Robot (originally created for Stanford computer science students), and progress to coding in Java or C++.  Tutoring can be one on one, or in small groups.

Hour of Code Classes (grades 4-6)

This class is a great way to introduce younger students to the fundamental building blocks of code.  Hour of Code is visually compelling and fun.  Students will gain a sense of what is Screenshot 2016-05-18 11.38.47involved in the logic structures that make up code.  The content covered will depend on the level of the students being taught.   All students will learn about sequencing and loops.  Students that are ready will work with conditionals (if statements).


1-hour Tutorial introduction $45                                                                                                                   1-hr 20 minute small group class  $28/student for 2 students,  $20/student for 3 students

This class can be taken several times by the same student or group of students in order to cover more material.

Introduction to Programming I & II and  Java Programming I & II

This set of classes is based on the 54 hours of content from the programming courses that I taught for University of Colorado Continuing Education.  I have revamped the classes for smaller groups of people (the Continuing Ed classes had up to 30 students for the Intro classes, and up to 12 students for the programming language component).   I have also changed them to use the Java Programming Language.  Versions of the language class are also available in C, and C++.

A student who completes this series of classes will have a strong foundation in programming logic, and will be familiar with the syntax of the Java programming language needed for beginning and intermediate structures.

Introduction to Programming I & II

The Karel the Robot class is available to 7th or 8th graders on up.   The first class is 1  – 2 hour private tutorials, not a group class.   I prefer starting off with a private session to make sure that each student gets started off on the right foot, and really grasps the important concepts.  It helps me embed/reinforce the importance of tracing the code by hand (rather than just guessing and trying) and gives me a chance to really assess where the student is at, and if they are really ready to continue with the programming II class.  Cost is $80.

While the Karel the Robot class does incorporate small amounts of work with the Hour of Code, or with a compiler, the focus of the class is on pencil and paper problems.    Working  problems by hand forces students to learn the practice of thinking through what is actually going on with their code — of tracking it step by step.   It can be  hard mental work, and it requires developing discipline and persistence.

Coding can be a lot of fun.   At its heart it involves solving puzzles that become more and more complex.  Learning to code strengthens a person’s ability to separate a problem into its constituent parts, analyze it, and then come up with a solution.    Learning to code also improves concentration,  analytical abilites, and logical thinking skills.

The class offerings are :

  • Mini Intro to Programming – 2 1/2 hours, $25
  • Intro to Programming I – 10 hours, $150
  • Intro to Programming II – 12 hours, $180
  • Intermediate Programming – 12 hours, $180
  • Advanced Programming – 12 hours, $180

Students are shown the difference between code that works, but is horribly written, and code that is elegant, efficient, and easy to follow and debug.  Explanations and examples are given to clarify concepts and rules, and students are given selected problems to solve.

The 2 1/2 hour Mini Intro to Programming class starts with the simple sequencing of  statements, and moves on to simple loops and conditionals (if statements).   The Introduction to Progamming I and Introduction to Progamming II classes progress on to problems that explore these structures in greater depth.  Students work with variables and subroutines, and use multiple levels of nesting and more complex logic in order to solve the problems.

For students who want to continue beyond the introductory series, intermediate and advanced courses are available.  In these courses students learn about object oriented programming.  The Java programming language is used to code more complex problems, and more advanced concepts such as arrays and pointers are introduced.

In order to give optimal amounts of individual attention to each student while they are solving their coding problems, the class size will be limited to 6 students.

For all classes  students will need to bring their own computer and tuition must be paid in advance.

My education includes a Master’s degree in Computer Science.  For over 10 years I taught a sequence of 4 different programming courses, totaling 54 hours of classroom instruction,  for the University of Colorado Continuing Education Department.  My current series of courses updates these original classes by making use of the new interactive learning materials that are now available, and by using Java as the programming language for the advanced courses.

Course Schedule and Setting up a Class

The schedule for summer classes is yet to be determined.   If you have 3 students that want to learn programming, I can set up a class and tailor a class schedule to meet your needs.
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