Pilot - U3L15 - Velocity

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We just finished up this course.

I just want to say that this was much more streamlined than the first 10. I had most kids finish this in a day, some of them even went on to course 12 and are now done with that.

I’m not sure what made this so much easier. I think that it’s because this isn’t teaching new coding content, but instead making the students life much easier (instead of a counter, you just use the velocity block).

It’s actually the same with Lesson 12. It’s just far more streamlined then the previous lessons. Some of my students are now on Lesson 13, and there are a few little hiccups here and there, but so far we are getting through the Chapter 2 courses with relative ease.

I’m glad to hear things in chapter 2 are running smoothly for you. Did students have any trouble understanding what’s going on with velocity under the hood, or did they seem able to make the connection between the counter pattern and velocity? I’ll be interested to see if your students continue to more quickly through the chapter 2 content and whether that can be chalked up to the foundations built in chapter 1 or whether it’s just the nature of the higher level functionality introduced in this part of the course.

I just asked my students how they have felt about these courses and they responded “fast.” When I asked why it was going so much faster, they said they felt it was because they just know more now.

We talked about what velocity is doing, and how it’s just a replacement for a counter. However, I would be interested in exploring how putting a counter on velocity would look with changing the x variable instead (I hope that makes sense). Similar to how collisions was explored in Stage 12, Lesson 3.

Right now the biggest hangup in progression is just that the kids keeps working on and changing the games that they are building. The kids love the coin game, and they are adding enemies, walls, and all kinds of things to change it up.

Hey @Russell,

I’m not sure I get what you are saying about counter and velocity. Could you give an example?


Sure (I thought my explanation made no sense…)

So velocity is essentially an x or y counter:
velocityX = 2 is x = x + 2

But we added a counter in using velocity:
velocityX = velocityX + 1

However, I don’t think there is an example expressing how this velocityX counter works using the initial x property. My only worry would be that explaining this would be to confusing for students, to the point where it would hurt their learning more then help. It might be a worthwhile challenge though for some more advanced students.

Does that make any more sense?

Quick edit - I made an example:

So I think what you are saying that a counter on velocity becomes acceleration and students should see that? or not see that? @Russell

Great question.

I actually don’t know if students should see it. There is a momentum in this chapter, and I worry that adding an example at this point in the lesson would actually slow kids down and/or confuse them.

While I do think that it’s an important concept, there is also a bit of “need to know” right now. Students don’t need to understand acceleration to make it work. However, I think it might make for a great challenge problem to try to make the kids animate acceleration without using velocityX

That sounds like a good idea. I will add that as an idea for a challenge puzzle! Thanks @Russell