Exploring Programming Course Overview



Spring 2003 Assignments

Collaborative Web

Tri-Class Reflection

Course Information

Course Overview

Course Syllabus



Common Logo Commands

Logo Programs

Squeak Resources

Visual Basic Resources

Other Languages



Exploring Programming Course Overview

Teacher: Derrel Fincher

Course Goals

Before reading further, please read the Student Learning Outcomes as the course is intended to help students exemplify the Student Learning Outcomes. The focus of the course is on each student's learning. Students will see examples in several programming languages, which may include Logo, Visual Basic, Visual Basic for Applications, VB Script, Javascript, Squeak, Python, or other languages. They will then propose a project and pursue it.

Tri-Class Reflections

Students will be expected to write a short reflection of what they have learned at the end of every third class at a minimum. These Tri-Class Reflections will be a journal of their progress and provide part of the evidence of their accomplishments at the end of the quarter.

Collaborative Website

Students are expected to share their subroutines and programs on the collaborative Web site for the course. The Web site is password-protected.

Major Projects

Students will propose major projects, either individually or in conjunction with others. The scope and type of the projects depend on the abilities of the students, but the project proposal is a significant document as it helps them prepare for being self-directed, productive learners.


The class is held in the Technology Resource Center, and students will be expected to use those resources, as well as this web site,  program manuals, help files, Internet sites, peer helpers, and others. Students are expected to work with others in the class and help.


Students will be responsible for self-assessing their growth and learning, and documenting their progress. At the end of each quarter, students will write a self-assessment where they propose a grade and support their proposal with evidence. In addition, they will have a peer assessment done of their project and their progress in the project. I will review the peer assessment, self-assessment, evaluate their evidence and evaluate the peer assessments they have written in to assign the grade. The focus will be on how the student pursued and created opportunities to expand their understanding of programming and the grades will be:


  • Took full advantage of the learning opportunities offered.
  • Selected a personally interesting project.
  • Continuously tried to expand the boundaries of personal knowledge.
  • Made use of the resources in Web sites and help files to find information as needed.
  • Worked with others to both learn from them and help them with their questions.
  • Reflected thoughtfully and regularly on the learning as it took place.
  • Created meaningful project proposals and plans.
  • Thoughtfully wrote peer assessments for others.
  • Participated fully in any additional assignments.


  • Took some advantage of the learning opportunities offered.
  • Reflected on the learning as it took place.
  • Occasionally helped others or asked them for help.
  • Chose a project for enjoyment.
  • Wrote informative peer assessments for others.
  • Often tried to expand the boundaries of personal knowledge.


  • Took little advantage of the learning opportunities offered.
  • Worked alone.
  • Did not choose a project that was enjoyable.
  • Seldom tried to expand the boundaries of personal knowledge.

Below C: Did not meet the minimum requirements for a C.

Procedures and Policies

Students are responsible for their own learning and progress but they must also make effective use of the class time that is scheduled. I will provide assistance and demonstrate various programming techniques. Students may either follow along in the presentation or work on their projects. However, each presentation is only given once; if students who need it later are expected to get help from others.

Specific Expectations of Accountability

Students are expected to follow the the acceptable use policy they signed when entering the Middle School and behave ethically at all times. Specific issues include not knowingly infringing on others' intellectual property or using their knowledge of computers or programming to disrupt the work of others. Students will treat others in the class with respect.

Derrel Fincher


0422-34-5300 ext. 422


042-362-4314 (before 9 p.m.)



Exploring Programming | Academics | Middle School | The American School in Japan


Last maintained 04/09/2003


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Original Content 2001-2003 by Derrel Fincher (dfincher@asij.ac.jp)

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