Last week was the start of the new 10 week session of Code Club. We have equal number of returning students and new students. I was seriously nervous about sign-up time. Last time I generated a waiting list by the third day. This is the second and last session of Code Club for these 4th graders. As one student pointed out, there’s no point in a waiting list this time.
One week before the Showcase, I shared my concerns about the sign-up issue with my coders. I was pretty sure that most of the students in the room would want to continue on, which a raised hand count confirmed, and I knew that a fair number of 4th graders were wanting to join in. The limits were 1) space – we have a set number of computers in the lab, and 2) time – my time, time until the end of the year, time until the weather is too nice to be inside sitting in front of a computer, their time until they aren’t 4th graders anymore.
I’m very proud to say that the students had some wonderful ideas to help solve our dilemma: What if they could come back as helpers, not needing a computer themselves? What if we had an advanced class at another time? etc. They also let me know how generous they are – some expressed a willingness to give up their spot in Code Club to let someone else have a chance. So we decided that when the sign up flyers went out, everyone in the room who wanted to could sign up but that I would give preference to new students and fill the rest of the spots with returnees. So that is what I did.
Four of the five students on the waiting list plus a half dozen new students signed up and that left a dozen spots for those veterans coders that just had to, would rather die than not, be in Code Club. That makes for a nice mix of new and veteran Scratchers.