P is for Practical  
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I wouldn't start with procedural programming. I think
a spreadsheet is a much better starting point.
It is satifying to work with a spreadsheet because it does such a nice job of formatting the work. This gives the student a feeling of accomplishment. Computing some sort of average having to do with sports would be interesting for many 8 year olds. This helps cross a language barrier, since sports have a welldefined vocabulary. Another good exercise is to have them build a computer. I was able to get 30 students to make their own slide rules in twenty minutes. I gave them a quick demo of an adder by using two rulers. Then I gave each of them a log table (with the numbers expressed as lengths) and a ruler, and they made slide rules out of paper. Another example was a prime number generator. One group wrote the sequence of numbers on small slips of paper and handed it off to a chain of others who implemented the sieve of Eratosthenes. It was pandemonium, and fun to watch! (Hint  the bottleneck is at the divideby7 table). The trick to all of these exercises is prepare by practicing.
It should work perfectly the first time!  toma
In reply to Re: How to introduce 8 year olds to (Perl) programming?
by toma

