EasyCode Pillars

EasyCode Pillars Teacher Debugging Guide

Even if this is your first experience with coding, you can still help your students solve problems and complete their self-guided activities. This sheet has tips that you can use to help your students when they get stuck.

Speak Code

A bug is an error in the code. Finding and fixing the error is called debugging. A bug may cause an error message to pop up on the screen or the program might run differently than intended.

Tips for Working with Students:

  • Be honest about learning to code along side your students. It’s ok to say, “I don’t know the answer, let’s figure it out together”.
  • Model problem solving skills by thinking aloud, putting your thought process into words, as you help the student.
  • Read feedback or error messages out loud to the student. Use the message as a starting point to find the bug.
  • Ask the student to read the directions out loud to you.
  • Ask: “What changed in your code since it last ran correctly?” Look for the bug in the new lines of code.
  • Print and pass out the Student Debugging Checklist. Prompt students to work through their debugging checklist from top to bottom.
  • Encourage students to get help from a peer. Use a guideline such as, peer helpers cannot touch the keyboard or mouse while giving help.
  • Use a “Three and then Me” strategy. The student must talk to three different classmates or try three different strategies before asking the teacher for help.
  • Review problem solving strategies such as trial and error and finding resources before students begin the tutorials.
  • Give verbal praise to students who are debugging. Point out when students are sticking with solving a problem.