Lesson Thursday

Preparing for the Next Section


You have upcoming weekend homework to complete before the start of class next week. The homework will introduce you to new concepts that you and your pair will work with more closely during class. In fact, every course and course section has weekend homework to complete before it starts.

Weekend homework for any course section is found within that section on learnhowtoprogram.com. So, always look ahead to the upcoming course section for weekend homework. For the next section on JavaScript and jQuery, find your weekend homework here:

Full-Time JavaScript & jQuery

Part-Time JavaScript & jQuery Part 1

Every lesson labeled with weekend is meant to be read through before the first class of the section.

Homework


At Epicodus, we follow the flipped classroom model where reading happens at home, and class time is meant for practice. In the Introduction to Programming course, you’ll have weekend homework, and class time will be used for both completing practice activities and reading lessons. Then, starting in the Intermediate JavaScript course, all reading will be done at home and class time will be dedicated to practice. This means that you’ll be regularly assigned homework reading.

Homework varies in length - sometimes there are just a few lessons and other times there’s a lot, so make sure to review upcoming homework early to plan out when you’ll take the time to review it. We only expect you to read through the lessons. You do not have to code along with the lessons, though you are welcome to.

Homework is meant to give you an introduction to the concepts and terminology you will learn about and apply in the course section. Often, we will ask you to review the homework with your pair. This is because repeated practice and review is crucial to understanding a concept. This is also why reading through the homework before you come to class is so important - it’s your first review (of many) that will prepare you to work with your pair during class!

Here’s what we suggest to stay on top of homework:

  • Look at the upcoming weekend homework in advance so you can plan time to work through it ahead of class.
  • Keep in mind that you only need to read through the homework. You don’t have to understand it, or code along with it. The expectation is that you’ve read it and become familiarized with terminology and concepts.

Be Comfortable With Not Fully Understanding Concepts Right Away

The path to fully understanding a new concept takes many forms. Sometimes, you may read about a new concept once, practice it once, and understand it immediately. For other concepts, you may need to read about it and practice it a lot before understanding it.

You likely will also experience that you understand a concept, but on a second review you understand it in a new or deeper way. Sometimes you’ll work with a concept for weeks before you experience the moment where it “clicks” in your mind. You may learn a new concept just enough to get by but only months later does it really click. Other times, understanding really comes down to seeing a concept applied in various scenarios, or hearing a metaphor to visualize it.

Whatever your experience is, we invite you to approach learning through the high and low moments with a growth mindset!

Homework and Pair Programming

The only expectation for homework is having at least read through the material. It’s okay to come to class without a complete understanding of the material in the homework. By having at least read through the lessons beforehand, you are coming to class prepared with questions and an understanding of any current gaps in your knowledge. That puts you in a much better position to learn and discuss concepts with your pair, than coming to class with no idea of what the day’s lesson is about.

You are welcome to code through the material as homework if you have more time available to you outside of class. However, please respect that not everyone in your cohort will have the same time available to dedicate to coding outside of class as you will.

It’s not fair to repeatedly ask to only pair with others who are able to dedicate more hours to coding outside of the classroom or who are at the same comfort level with coding as you. When you repeatedly do this it has the effect of inadvertently shaming others and alienating you from your peers. This habit also does a disservice to you as well, as you are missing out on opportunities to truly test your understanding of the material by workshopping it with someone else.

Similarly, coming to class repeatedly without having at least read through the material is unfair to your pair and sets you up for failure at Epicodus. When you repeatedly do this it inadvertently puts more pressure on your pair to know what to do and can lead them to burn out. It also creates a gap in the baseline knowledge (from the homework) shared between you and your pair, which can be stressful for everyone.

Often the weekend homework builds a project to put new concepts into action. We don’t expect students to code along with the homework so the first practice prompt for class is often dedicated to reviewing the homework and building the project. This is especially true starting in the Intermediate JavaScript course. Take advantage of this time to review the new concepts and tools with your pair. It’s very likely your pair will have new insight to share or bring up a question that you haven’t considered! As a guideline, if you and your pair are in a situation where one person has read through the homework and the other person has coded through the homework, know that this is very common and expect to start by pair programming through the homework to build the project from the homework.

If you have questions about managing homework or class work, or about navigating pair programming, please reach out to your instructor.

Lesson 63 of 64
Last updated November 18, 2021