Apparently, I enjoy sharing Mob Programming with kids. It’s just another game with strange rules and tests which pass when we’re successful. I learn much about how to better to explain things and how to teach them better. The students are exposed to code, cooperation, and test driven development.
Recently, my turn came around and I tried to make it reflective, a mini retrospective in the middle of the work. Whatever I said didn’t work. We didn’t know enough about what was possible to know how we might improve it.
People in the next session were kind enough to ask what we could change. We tried changing the timer from 3 minutes to 4 minutes. It worked.
Once, I used my turn to return static text from a Python function to allow us to pass one test. Our youngest member wanted to return one of the other pieces of text instead to pass a different test. It had never struck me how obvious it was to me that I wanted to pass all of the tests with the same piece of code at the same time. Next time, we will try it their way to help spread the understanding. Trying to talk us through it seemed flat.
I think this is becoming my new hobby, taking over a library room and playing with whoever will join me, 3rd graders and older. Come play with us!
total cost: time, tax dollars, and a low end laptop