So, I asked the Principal at my son’s middle school if he would allow me to volunteer to start a coding club. To no one’s surprise, he welcomed me doing this, and was generous in offering the IT department’s help and support with setup in the lab. My son loves coding, and was so excited that he would get to have me for a teacher. I asked all the parents that I knew to please encourage their child to sign up… I was worried I wouldn’t get any kids.
Boy, was I wrong! The first day, the computer lab was bursting at the seams! Over 44 students showed up (I only had terminals for 29), and several more students stopped by to tell me they had a conflict but planned to come another day. It was unbelievable!
After a moment of panic (I teach at a private school with 15 students per class, max), I showed the video I had planned about coding in Scratch. They loved it!
I put some students in pairs, and others at an overflow lab, gave them a handout, and told them to “play”. They all knew exactly what to do, and the sounds of laughter and joy coming from the room as they started animating sprites in Scratch told me that this had gone well.
I have now committed to doing this every week with alternating groups, so that we do not turn any interested kids away. I couldn’t be happier. I am excited to see what these kids come up with!