Paired Programming


Would anyone have any pair programming projects to share? I want to try it with the kids next week. Thanks!




To clarify - are you looking for projects with a pair programming structure built in? Any project can incorporate Pair Programming as long as the students are clear in their roles and communicating about the final product. Let me know and I’ll send out the “Bat-signal” for help.



Either or! Anything you could share would be wonderful. This is my first year teaching this so I’m curious as to what everyone else does. I’d love some extra resources!


I used pair programming in Unit 2 and 3 on the levels where students were first exposed to new code. When they started creating their own webpages, I switched to partner programming (my term). The students were paired with another student. Both students had computers and worked independently on their own pages. If somebody gets stuck, they ask their partner for help first and their table mates second. This method really worked for my students and kept the frustration level low.



Sorry for the delay - but I think most people incorporate it into lessons as something the students are doing, without having special lessons for it. Through Code Studio you can have students select each other (from the Pair Programming menu in top right corner) and this way they will both get credit for the lesson, or - like I do - I have them work together and do it twice to become more comfortable with the code and sometimes there are errors they need to troubleshoot.

One of the most important things though about pair programming - which can be done on any unit, any lesson at any time - is that students don’t switch off once they’ve finished a task - keep a timer for students to finish and try to make it a little random. If a student knows they won’t be working on the project until the other student (or “driver”) finishes the bubble, they will be checked out during that time. Make sure they are actively working together and can be called upon to switch roles (driver to navigator) at any time.

Let me know if that makes sense!


Gotcha! I am starting Unit 3 Lesson 9 on Tuesday. The content is definitely getting tougher for them so I think I’m going to try the pair programming with them for this lesson. Do I assign them a partner and they pick who is driver and who is navigator? Do they switch every bubble? Thanks for your help!



I use pair programming almost daily. I use popsicle sticks to randomly assign students daily to new computers/partners. For example, there are 2 number 1s and 2 of all other numbers until all students can be accounted for. They generally change roles after each bubble with the driver only being allowed to do what the navigator instructs them to do in the program. The driver can help if the navigator gets stuck, but can still not add to the program until the navigator tells him/her exactly what to do. It’s worked very well so far. Reach out if you have any questions.


Awesome, thank you! Do you have challenges that you’ve made up for them to do together in the later bubbles?


You can check out’s video for pair programming too.

I think it is important to base the switch between driver/navigator on a certain amount of time. Like 3-5 min. Have a timer. If you switch on the bubble, my fear is that one student tunes out every other bubble.

I just had a student come back and visit. He is doing CS at UCSC and he was saying that a few professors really encourage the students to use pair programming for the labs.