Friday was Day 2 of our enrichment week and gave me another opportunity to work with children from across Key Stage 2. Most of the children enjoyed the challenge of building code routines for the Angry Birds maze. This is the first tutorial found on Code.org and mentioned here on this blog.
Aside from the enthusiasm that pulsed through the room it was good to see collaboration and support amongst the group. It would be very easy for me to sit next to pupils who hit the coding wall and offer my support and advice and find that the mouse had lingered in my hand for a bit too long. But I wanted to try to mimic the conditions of an IT company, where expertise and knowledge is shared. Back in my time at 2Simple, we were adept at helping each other and grew to understand who could do what.
Traditional ICT lessons in a suite can involve children connected to their device and completing their work, without wasting time messing about with others. But, with a bit of trust you can introduce and pursue the idea of coaching and mentoring each other and sharing knowledge. Far more effective than you, the teacher, being the conduit of all knowledge. And I’d like to point out that on Friday this worked really well.
This did not mean that all the early finishers became the unpaid TAs, they could move on and spend time looking at other tutorials. One of the most popular was Tynker and their puppy and spaceship focussed code environments.
Find the tutorial here: http://www.tynker.com/hour-of-code/.