Education Workshop: Using PRIMM to teach Programming with Andy Colley

Hi everyone,

We’re kicking off the first in a monthly series of professional development workshops for our fantastic community of teachers and educators. We really want to start building useful workshops for you that allow us to discuss pedagogy and push forward our teaching. > Sign up for the event on Thursday May 19 at 11:30 am PST.

We’re starting off with a session on PRIMM, which is a wonderful model - and pedagogically sound method for teaching programming skills that can be embedded in your curricula and day-to-day practice.

We’ll be taking a deep dive into the Predict-Run-Investigate-Modify-Make model to see just how this can encourage students to experiment with existing code, before moving on to make changes and final produce their own programs.

This month’s workshop features the amazing Andy Colley (@MrAColley) who is a Head of Computing, CAS Master Teacher and host of the brilliant @LearningDust podcast. He’s produced two PRIMM focused curricula on the Curriculum Hub which you can use for free in your own Replit Team for Education.


We had the planning meeting for this last night, and it’s shaping up to be a brilliant session.

Please share with anyone you think might be interested.


This was a fantastic session! Thank you for this Andy and David!

Did you catch the “Education Workshop: Using PRIMM to teach Programming with Andy Colley” event on Thursday? It was fantastic to see so many teachers from across the world join in.

If you missed it - DON’T PANIC! - you can watch the rerun on Streamyard here:

Follow up questions for the community: Do you use the PRIMM approach with your classes? If so, what successes can you share?


Working my way through watching the YouTube. This is brilliant.

It’d be nice if there were some more integrated way to pose the reflection questions inside replit.
Or better still, a way to embed a replit inside Desmos Activity Builder.


It’s a great video isn’t it? I’ve watched it through a couple of times now and shared with my department. It’s something I’m going to keep coming back to as well!

Could you use a markdown file in the replit to record the student’s responses to the reflection questions e.g. ? Or are you looking for someway of summarising all student comments in one place like Answer Garden or a Google Classroom question?

Sorry I’ve not used Desmos before so am not sure how you set up assignments but would adding ?embed=true at the end of the Replit URL help here?

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I’m just starting out, so I honestly don’t really know what I’m looking for yet.

Last time I tried anything like this it was in CoCalc (Jupyter notebooks). But Markdown just confused the… out of my students. Too much to learn in one go.

Desmos doesn’t support embedded content, unfortunately. I’m guessing I’ll end up using OneNote, as that’s what Andy says he’s using, and its a platform my students already know.

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Teacher could use markdown to generate the template for the reflection questions and leave space for students to type in. I suppose it depends on what age / stage as well. I didn’t really use Markdown until recently either and I’m now a big fan.

It’s also worth remembering that markdown is designed to just basically be plain text - it’s supposed to be readable even without the preview - so you could just write in plaintext and not worry about teaching the students the syntax of markdown


You could, but then you wouldn’t be able to use any formatting to signal to the students. No bolding, no tables, …

My kids need all the clues they can get.

Just for context, my students are all newly arrived EAL students. The vast majority are refugees from Afghanistan.

They don’t have a lot of English language or computer skills.


Event has since ended