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To: mwforum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: RE: Looking for ideas from teachers of MicroWorlds EX
From: "Steve Robson" <csmdigital@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 01 Nov 2005 17:21:46 +0000

Hi Nadia,

One thing for certain, the kids will love the work!

I've introduced MW (currently using EX, but all versions work) in a number of ways, here they are, and please feel free to use or lose as you think fit!

1. Wibbling
This is basically a reworking of turtle graphics which explores recursion. It?s a good introduction, as it produces nice patterns and unexpected results.

Hatch a turtle, and type PD into the command centre. Ask the pupils to give you a string of commands, usually a move followed by a turn, you'll get something like:

fd 60 rt 178 bk 134 lt 67 fd 234 lt 234

Hit enter and see what you've got; not too exiting probably! Return the caret to the end of the line of instructions and hit enter again - h'mm what is going on? Try that a good few more times and see what happens (see attach1). This code can then be placed onto a button and run many times. It can also be edited from the button and changes investigated. Using setc commands in the patterns can be fun, and it is a short hop from there to make a simple procedure such as:

to pattern
repeat 200 [ fd 60 rt 178 bk 134 lt 67 fd 234 lt 234 setc random 250]

2. Digital Movies

I use this as an alternative 'in' to the world of programming and control.
Use the paint tools to paint a background; I often use a sky or sea.
On another page paint a ship, aeroplane; whatever. Shrink, copy and paste into the shape centre (sorry center).
Back to page1, hatch a turtle and drag the head to face an appropriate direction. Apply the shape to the turtle, right click and animate. Voila. This can be extended to the n'th degree, by adding interactions with background colours or other turtles. I've got examples if you need them.

These are just very basic thumbnails of the ideas I've found helpful in the classroom, if you like them, please use them, if not; no worries!

All the best



Steve Robson


From: Nadia Bluhm <nadia.bluhm@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Reply-To: mwforum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
To: mwforum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [MWForum] Looking for ideas from teachers of MicroWorlds EX
Date: Tue, 1 Nov 2005 10:48:38 -0500
Hi All,

I will be teaching a MicroWorlds class starting this coming January. I will be teaching to a class of about 8, 9-12 year olds who have had no experience with MW or programming. Each class will be 1 hour long and I will be running the class for 14 weeks. I am a software engineer and familiar with MicroWorlds but have never taught kids before. I am interested in teaching programming and not just the multimedia aspects of the software. Wondering what the best approach might be? Teach a few commands each class and let them explore or give them a mini challenge each class to work on? Is it helpful to use a white board to outline examples and then have the kids copy the examples into their machines to try out? Does it work best to have kids work independently or collaborate? Are there any curriculums/books out there that you know of which outline a good way to approach the teaching of the basic commands and suggest specific projects. (I know there are tutorials with the program but I am not sure just having them do these in class would make for an interesting class and asking them to do them at home may not work since this is not a graded class and the kids are very busy... ) Sorry so many questions... Any suggestions would be much appreciated.



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