by Bob Kahn, Middle School Educational Technology Coordinator
What's better than 5th graders programming interactive projects in Scratch? That's easy, 8th graders helping them! For the last several Wednesdays and Fridays of May, Sydney M., Kaila H., Sophia L., Aidan K., Ariel L., Sam S., and Hannah T. have all journeyed to the Lower School to assist the 5th graders with their Scratch programming projects. Several 8th graders helped on multiple days. Pam Horrocks, Lower School Educational Technology Coordinator, told the 8th graders "the 5th Grade projects this year are the best they've ever been. I am seeing effects that I've never seen before, and it's because of you!" About the experience, Sophia L. said "it was a very valuable use of time for both her and the 5th graders, and it was fun." Many of the 5th graders expressed how much they enjoyed working with the 8th graders too. Here is just a sampling from their thank you emails to Ms. Horrocks and me.
From Shelby R: "Thank you so much for planning this helpful and fun learning experience. Not only did I get all my questions answered, but I had a very fun time. I hope I will be able to do this when I am in eighth grade. Also, Aiden helped me create a point counter, a live count, and much more. Overall, thank you so much for taking your own time to plan this fun event."
From Peter D: "Thank you so much for coming! I really appreciate you taking time from your schedule to help us. So many of us got really far in our projects and almost finished. I feel that learning from other kids can really boost your learning speed. Thanks again!"
From Marin M: "Thank you so much for having some students come down from the middle school. Samantha really helped me out today and I thank her and I thank both of you for this special treat. I appreciate all the time and effort you both put into making this happen. Today was such a great experience for me because Samantha taught me a lot of elements of Scratch that would be hard for me to be exposed to otherwise. Thank you so much for this experience! I truly learned a lot. Hope to see all the students again soon!"
Clearly more mentoring of this nature would be wonderful for our younger and older students.