Posted by Debbie Weissmann
Our October Chapter Meeting topic was 'How To Help Students Get Unstuck.'  We identified a bunch of strategies to help their students get unstuck in their coding scripts.
We chose our topic from a chapter in the the book Computer Science k-12 An A to Z Handbook.  And we also noted that the Harvard Graduate School Of Education Creative Computing Lab also had great set of strategies for students:
We talked about a few of our best strategies in detail.
Code Review. Engage your students in the process of 'the autopsy,' exploring the code after the script has been written. Use Code Rubrics to engage all of the students in the process of code review. Offer students a rubric to analyze classmates' code. Discuss the findings, ask the coder why they made the decisions they did. Suggest students ask for help from classmates often. Some of us tell our students "Three before me." Try three strategies of getting unstuck and then ask me. 
Visualize the code. Offer students IDEs like Mu, Jupyter, Java Visual, and CodeHS which have tools for visual debugging. 

Divide the classroom into study environments. One idea brought up was to use breakout rooms to divide the classroom environment. You could have a 'Quietly coding' room, a 'We need the teacher's help' room, and a ' We're helping each other; room.

Begin with the end in mind. We agreed this was a great strategy to get unstuck. For this strategy, ask your students to take out a sheet of paper and draw the end result. Tell students to nibble at the problem, trying to work out a solution, one bit at a time. Ask them to show you their process by drawing shapes, diagrams, and flow charts. Have time for students to exchange ideas with each other. And insist they write everything down. 

Mindset reorientation. Tell students they are the computer. Ask them how they would process this code. This is similar to the teacher being the computer and processing the students' instructions to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or tie a shoelace. Another way to reorient one's mindset is to flip the process with the result. Help students to enjoy being stuck and enjoy the satisfaction of getting unstuck.
Timeframe reorientation. Provide sufficient time for students to figure out coding solutions. Remind yourself and your students that it takes longer to do everything online. 
And, Persevere. The best way to get unstuck is to not give up.

Want to share your strategies for helping students to Get Unstuck? Join us at our next Inland Empire Chapter Meeting. Every 3rd Thursday of the Month at 5pm. RSVP on our Events page.