I am teaching a 6th grade coding course, and we are using CS Fundamentals as an introduction. I am at a loss for how to help students as they become stuck. I tell them not to give up, and allow students to help each other. I even allow “expert students” who are ahead to make Loom tutorials and share them out to the class. But many of those options do nothing more than just give the answers to the students. How can things be broken down so that students can problem solve better themselves? What ideas have been used to help students learn and move on… on their own?
I think there are a lot of ways to tackle this, like you said. Have you looked at your teacher dashboard to see if anyone is getting stuck on the same level? Maybe try to reteach a skill by putting it on the board and doing a few together, then students go back and do those same levels independently?
Or, (and I haven’t tried this) make another student account in your section and you can pair program for students who are having trouble, add half the code solution for a level and run it, see if they can finish it on their own.
It’s ok to give them solutions, they will eventually pick it up!
You are not alone! Thanks for sharing your questions here with other educators.
Have you looked at the CS Fundamentals curriculum guide yet? Make sure to check out the section on debugging as that has great tips on how to get students to think through their bugs.
I have also found success when reminding students about some of the tool features at their disposal: they can click on the speaker icon to hear the directions for a puzzle, they can click on the hints icon for help, and they can use the “step” option to run their code one step at a time to isolate where their code needs reworking.
Above all, remember that you are the Lead Leaner in the classroom. You do not need to have all the answers. The lead learner’s mantra is: “I may not know the answer, but I know that together we can figure it out.”