I'm currently gathering content for our CoderDojo 'Mentoring' E-Learning module and we want your feedback!
If you have any top tips for moving young people from learning the basics to creating their own project please let us know! This could be brainstorming exercises or challenges or something completely different - we'd love to hear!
You may even get featured on the new module due to be released in September!
This is where we've the sushi cards, the belts and the coolest projects work quiet well together.
We usually have a beginners area in scratch, kids normally stay in this area for 4-6. In the HTML group we start them on the Sushi cards.
After the first few weeks, we've move them into the intermediate area and get them to start work on a yellow belt project. My advice is always pick something that interests you and use the code to tell the world about it.
We have project presentations every couple of weeks were the ninjas get up and present their projects and get awarded with their belt. Then the cycle begins again
One of the key things i've found is you have to keep encouraging the ninjas. In my group I try to sit down with everyone for a few minutes each week to see how their projects are going and where they need help.
Yea, I agree with Barry. When children are initially using scratch/sushi cards encourage them to change/edit it to be more relevant to them.
Create a space of inquiry where ninjas are encouraged to look at and discover the needs of those around them in their community.
Having ninjas brainstorm in groups can be useful. Give them a dilemma, and how they could create something with tech to solve it. Then encourage them to think of a problem that is important for them and to work in the group or individually to come up with project ideas how to solve it.
Mentors can help ninjas ask the questions to discover what those needs are and develop projects to help meet those needs in some way without intruding.
Showing them other projects children like them have made, such as those at Coolest Projects can also be good for making them realise that they can make things that can help people/meet a need.
Badging is also great for rewarding their projects, recognising their work and encouraging them to try bigger projects.
I'm thinking about creating a set of Sushi Cards about the Project-Based Learning in CoderDojo that will include the Belt System, Project Tools Examples and Project Charter Template. The Project Tools can be probably split into several Sushi cards according the different paths (similar to the CoderDojo Bento Boxes). What do you think about it?
Hey @Pavlo I hope you are well. How are you getting on with Project-based learning cards? I really liked the project tools examples you showed on the January community call, so would be interested to hear how you are getting on.
At the moment I am trying to focus on promoting the wrist belts in our CoderDojo Waterloo. We have finally received the belts and we start to award them for the first projects in our April Dojo. The wrist belt system will be the first Sushi card. I still need to work on it a bit so that it's shorter and clearer for kids.
Then I will start adding cards for each learning paths: Game Design, Web Design, App Development, Minecraft Modding etc. I want them to be more graphical rather than a table which might look boring for kids. My idea is to prepare these cards as a part of the interactive workshops that will showcase new project tools. The problem is that kids feel quite comfortable with Scratch and don't always want to try something new. The workshop environment might help them to get out of their Scratch "bubble" and let them learn more complicated tools that are required for the higher level belts. The end goal would be that kids do workshops themselves. Actually it's also included in the belt system as the project impact for a local CoderDojo (see the requirements for the green belt).
I think the belt system is crucial here since it allows kids to track their progress as well as to grow both in their programming and soft skills. Moreover, it's self-promoting because once the belts are out, other kids will notice them and might also want to get them. Can't wait till our next CoderDojo to start rolling it out!
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