Turtle travels


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This was a presentation created for the Educational Computing Organization of Ontario's 2005 Conference.

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  • -introductions and finding out who is attending and perhaps why they are there
    -met Peter 2 years ago and he introduced me to the anti-standards movement in the US
    -mentioned logo and the work that he had done with older students
    -last year I saw the primary version that LCSI was demonstrating at the conference booth and I was intrigued by the possibilities with younger students
  • -I’d like to provide a very very simple introduction to some of the philosophy of Logo
    -I am in no way an expert in any of this, but I’ve done a little bit of reading over the last year and I just want to provide you with a little bit of background….and to share a bit of what intrigued me to start this project with my students
    -the act of learning is a progression- the ultimate goal being to get things to work, rather than to get “the right answer”
    -sounds like common sense, sounds like best practise
  • -we all know of Piaget’s theories about cognitive development and that the child learns best when they “construct” their own knowledge
    -teachers foster situations where children explore and discover or interpret for themselves..they construct their own knowledge based upon their personal stage of development
    -the teacher ‘knows’ the answer, and can encourage the child to explore and reflect, but is accepting and patient with their perhaps incorrect understandings
    -without wanting to get too theoretical here, the message is that learning shouldn’t be hurried
    -as Piaget put it…”Children have real understanding only of that which they invent themselves, and each time that we try to teach them something too quickly, we keep them from reinventing it themselves.”
    -Papert’s adaptation of Piaget’s theory is a different term that he calls constructionism
    -it involves the constructing of something new, an unknown outcome, usually with public expression of some kind or perhaps in the creation of some kind of artifact to share knowledge
    -I don’t know about you, but my dilemma lately has been…do my students have control over their own learning?
    -will they want to dream, imagine, puzzle, wonder…if we say “that’s a nice try dear, but here is the way it really is, because we have to move on to another strand tomorrow”
    -logo for me, supports the confidence I have in children
    -that usually they are capable of far more than we expect
    -we often limit possibilities by proscribing that which we want them to learn
    -can primary kids learn to program? This was an exciting question for me..
    -let’s have a look at it
  • -this was the dilemma I was having in reflecting upon my own teaching lately:
    Do my students have control over their own learning?
    Will they want to try to dream, imagine, puzzle, wonder….if we say “that’s nice dear…but here is the way it really is, because we have to move onto another strand tomorrow”
    -what appeals to me Is the incredible impact of control in the hands of the student
    -what appeals to me is the concept of the teacher as co-learner (the construction of what is new -not in any way contrived)
    -ask ‘think about a time recently when you did not know the outcome of something that you were teaching’
    -Seymour Papert’s analogy about learning carpentry and teachers as expert learners
    -The software came with a resource guide which contained some recommended projects to help teachers begin
    -I did use those to get moving on it and I’ll share some of those as we go along today
    -I also created a basic direction to introduce skills and then I found that certain kids took off in certain areas, becoming very adept at particular skills..so they became my experts
    -then I would sometimes draw the whole group back in for whole class lessons..very much the way you might teach writing in primary classes..with a combination of whole class, mini-lessons to small groups and then lessons to individuals
    -during the very first session with MWJR the kids began hiding the turtle to see if their friends could guess where it was…already they were controlling the action…planning and designing, rather than passively responding
    -often run the data projector and have a student work on ‘the big screen’
    -talented students are used as experts
  • -Joyce and Janice….working on their jungle project, found they didn’t like to use the create a label tool in MWJR. I was showing them how to make their picture in Appleworks paint centre and then make it a JPEG and import it. We were seeing how that would work and Janice asked me “do you know if it will work already?” “No…I’m not really sure….let’s try it”…after which she had a good giggle.
  • Move to looking at the interface now and explain the desktop
    Moving, turning, undo, growing, shrinking, saving
    painting tools, stamping, turtle costumes (ready made and make your own), making and importing backgrounds, stamping
    creating, moving, changing text boxes, adding text, modifying text
    recording a sound, creating a melody
    step, wait, stop, multi-step animations
    Projects: list projects here that we did..eg..fast slow, patterns, my favourite place, etc.
  • -had a lot of success with beginning this in the gym
    -have students moving to understand the fact that the turtle moves whichever direction his nose is pointing and then can turn in many directions
    -looking at shapes-during geometry we did a lot of observing what they really looked like (how many turns, how many sides, longer, shorter)
    -describing shapes is important here to analyze what they want to make
    -very experimental at first as students learn how to make the turtle move
    -Total Turtle Trip means that the turtle returns to exactly where he started
  • -kids setting their own goals
    -great to see them trying to sort the relevant from the irrelevant….they needed to be led through this somewhat
    -the ‘bugs’ were just as important as anything..real life is not about getting the right answer but about getting things to work
    -was critical for the kids to examine their ‘mistakes’ and know they are important to help get them where they want
    -would like to work more on the games aspect
  • Turtle travels

    1. 1. May 2005 Turtle Travels…. Beyond Expectations for Primary Students ECOO 2005
    2. 2. May 2005 The Spirit of Logo • “We learn better by doing, but we learn better if we combine our doing with talking and thinking about what we have done.” Seymour Papert
    3. 3. May 2005 Logo Philosophy • Often categorized as constructivism or “discovery learning” • Papert creates a new term called “constructionism” • Acquisition of skills needed to participate with understanding in the construction of what is new
    4. 4. May 2005 MicroWorlds Junior Instructional Implications • Some basic structure in introduction of skills • Students soon take control of their own learning • Sharing student work creates a wider variety of possibilities • Learn a skill -- teach a skill • Whole class, small group and individual instruction
    5. 5. May 2005 Implementation • An environment of collaboration • Student as teacher • Teacher as learner • Logo fosters situations that the teacher has never seen before • Has to join the student as an authentic co- learner
    6. 6. May 2005 Turtles…what they can do • Hatching turtles • Painting Centre • Text • Recording centre • Animations
    7. 7. May 2005 Turtle Geometry • How turtles move • Pen up/down • Drawing shapes with the turtle • Programming the turtle to make shapes (procedures and sub- procedures)
    8. 8. May 2005 Student Projects • Patterns and geometry • Multimedia reports and stories • Interactive pages • Mazes
    9. 9. May 2005 Curriculum Connections • Recognizing, describing, extending patterns • Comparisons and measurement • Creating and exploring simple simulations of movement • Writing in a variety of forms • Using various media to convey a message • Transformational geometry
    10. 10. May 2005 Curriculum Connections • Recognize, draw and compare 2-D shapes • Describe attributes of 2-D shapes • Describe, interpret and apply ideas about direction and distance in navigating space • Generate a hypothesis, test it and reflect on results • Descriptive writing • Find and name locations in coordinate systems such as maps
    11. 11. May 2005 Recommended Websites • LCSI www.microworlds.com • Logo Foundation http://el.media.mit.edu/logo-foundation/ • The George Lucas Educational Foundation http://www.edutopia.org/ • MaMaMedia-The Place for Kids on the Net http://mamamedia.com