It was so important for us to “loop in” the kids every coding class. With out their interest and engagement in each class, there is really no sense and satisfaction in delivering anything. It is true for any class for that matter. However, coding for kids’ classes are a different matter altogether, since we are trying to deliver and teach some complex and abstract concepts in very simple ways, that help register the concepts and also help students solve problems in their own “creatively best” ways. It is indeed as subjective as it sounds J.
Keeping things informal has helped us a lot here. We quickly learnt that to encourage imagination and creativity we needed to encourage risk-taking and to encourage risk-taking we needed to operate informally with the young minds. It we operate formally and in a very structured manner, we are really “boxing them in” and not “looping them in”.
Being informal with kids and operating almost like friends has another benefit: they start liking the teachers and and do not hesitate to express - After all creativity is imagination and expression of the imagination. I have been informal to the point that some younger kids call me Mr. Bean or call me with names of their favorite Cartoon charters J. What ever they call me, does not matter, but what this does is provide me more and more opportune moments to deliver and register the concepts into the young minds. Isn’t that our intention after-all?