Kids are trained to raise their hands when they get stuck. And for the most part, we’re trained to help them at that point.
Resist the urge!
Prenda is built on a self-learning model. The kids are encouraging to try to solve problems with the help of peers, Google, and their own ingenuity.
Kelly explains this concept in a little more detail in the video below.
Here’s the specific process we teach when coders ask questions:
1. Ask “What have you tried so far?”
Has the coder spent any time trying to figure this out on their own? Have them show you what they tried.
2. Ask “Who else have you asked?”
In code club you (the facilitator) are not the ultimate dispenser of knowledge. Instead, we want coders to be going to their peers when they are stuck. If a coder hasn’t asked for help from someone else in the room, make them do that before you go on.
3. Figure it out together.
Only use this step as a last resort. Before you’ll even attempt to help the coder, make sure they’ve tried to solve the problem themselves for a while, and have asked a peer for help. Then, and only then, will you sit down with them and try to figure it out together.
Figuring it out together does not mean you give them the answer right away. It means you try to solve it with them. Try a couple things, and maybe get it wrong in front of the coder. Try to guide them to solve the problem instead of you dishing out answers left and right.
Generally, facilitators are good at this model because we don’t know how to code anyway! That actually works in your advantage. 99% of the problems will get cleared up before you even have to take a whack at it.