Hour of Code Recap – Middle School Edition

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MS girls coding before school

An interview with Middle School Technology Integration Specialist, Jim Lengel and Rachel Davis, Middle School Science Teacher and Integration Specialist:

Q: What were your goals going into Hour of Code?
A: (Rachel) – I wanted the girls to get more comfortable with coding and feel like it’s something they can tackle or try in the future.
(Jim) – I wanted to show the girls that coding can be fun! Like Rachel, I think if the students have a chance to experience coding they find find out that they love it.

Q: How did you think you were successful in meeting these goals?
A: (Rachel) – I’m so glad that most of the Middle School students attempted coding. Some students even told Jim and I that after their Hour of Code activities at school, they went home and coded that night!

(Jim) – It was amazing to look over and find a sea of girls in 5th and 6th Grades coding. We really had an enormous amount of Hamlin girls coding.

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light bot; one of many coding apps used

Q: If you could do it again, how would you change the Hour of Code week at Hamlin?
A: (Rachel) – I think an hour dedicated for each grade to code during the week would be great so that even those who felt like they were not good at coding would at least give it a try.
(Jim) – I’d like to develop an integrated project that would then be taught via scheduled classes during the week.  I’d also like to have more time to teach girls coding in general.

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Leah Busque from Task Rabbit encourages the girls to build their dreams

Q:  How did you celebrate the Hour of Code in your life?
A: (Rachel) – I really enjoyed watching the girls code and was impressed with their critical thinking skills.  I Wish I had had the same opportunity when I was in Middle School.  I was really inspired hearing Leah Busque from Task Rabbit speak on Tuesday, I thought she was incredibly inspiring.
(Jim) – I took a coding course “code school“, it will allow the technology team explore any only courses until the spring.  I’m excited to integrate the lessons I am learning into my classes at Hamlin.

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T-shirts to award successful completion of an hour of code!

Q:  Can you share two highlights that particularly stick out in your mind?
A: (Rachel) – Wow, there are so many – picking two is a challenge.  Watching Ms. Helm code with the girls was a real highlight for me.  Seeing the excitement in a student who was able to light up a tree in Alaska, and how proud the 7’s and 8’s were when they received their hour of coding certificates.
(Jim) – One morning I walked around the corner to virtually the entire 6th grade class coding together.  They were excited and really into it – I felt like I had reached the masses!  When we gave the girls their T-shirts as a reward for completing the hour of code it was a fantastic wrap up to the project.

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