Teaching kids any new subject, especially one as complex as coding, is a challenging but manageable task. There exists a plethora of tips, tools, tricks and strategies you can employ to help your kids learn to code in no time. Let’s discuss tips for teaching coding to grade school kids that could make your job much easier and more effective.
- Adopt a Hands-On Learning Process
Practice makes perfect, and you can’t practice without doing things in class. It is quite normal for educators to want to show the learner exactly how to get coding done, but letting the learner solve the problems is the best way to learn. Let the learner use the tools provided in class to solve the problems presented to them in class.
- Use Tools Available Online
Numerous fun and engaging tools are available online to help young kids learn computer programming. These platforms add a little color and simplicity to the learning process, which is just what the doctor ordered for kids learning to code. Tools like scratch are a great way to learn programming for beginners.
- Adopt a Learner Paced Teaching Strategy
Young learners do much better in school when educators adopt learner-first teaching strategies. Sure, you should set time-defined goals and milestones for the learner but let them self-pace for a smoother learning experience. This strategy is especially effective because all learners learn at different pace and using different learning styles.
- Adopt the Kid’s Learning Style
It has become common knowledge that each child has a different learning style. This fact also applies to learning coding for beginners. Take advantage of audio, visual, kinesthetic and reading/ writing learning styles to help your young learners grasp their first few lines of code.
- Don’t Fixate On a Single Coding Language
No garden would be as lustrous growing just one kind of flower. Let your learners adopt the coding language they feel most in tune with. All accomplished programmers started with a language they found easy and grew from it, branching into other coding languages. The best way to help kids choose a programming language is asking them what they would like to create or what they would like to know how to do.
- Teamwork Makes the Code Dream Work
Individual students may have a hard time adopting some aspects of coding alone. Placing them in groups lets them solve more problems. Platforms like Quora and Github allow professionals to crowd source solutions, which is a kind of group work project, so you’ll be preparing your learners for the future of coding. Additionally, group work keeps young learners engaged because attention span is not their strongest suit.
- Take Breaks
Everyone hits a roadblock every once in a while, which can be frustrating. It is important to teach your kids to take a break and not give up when they hit a roadblock in their coding journey. Tenacity and resilience in learning will help them grow as coding professionals. Breaks can be spent learning other skills that can come in handy in the coding journey, like typing or basic computer skills. You can even try implementing fun quiz activities at intervals.
- Give Each Kid a Computer
It is impossible to teach computer programming without computers, so each student should have access to a computer. There are computers that are more suited to coding for learners in the market, but any computer will do as long as it does the basics.
The silver bullet for any interested individual to learn coding for beginners is to practice the skill until it sticks; after all, practice makes perfect. These tips for teaching coding to grade school kids can help make work easier for educators looking to make easy work out of computer coding for beginners. Apply them to your teaching process and watch your young coders morph into mini-master programmers ready to conquer the tech industry of the future.