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To: <mwforum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: Changing direction and shape orientation
From: "Jeff Knope" <jknope@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 17:10:27 -0800

On 18 Dec. Chris wrote:
The discussion about constructivism  and a previous question about
changing shape and direction prompted me to design a simple
MicroWorlds EX set of procedures that might serve as a scaffold for
my students to build a game.

Let me know what you think.

Hi Chris,

I am unable to open "%changeDirections.mwx". I get a "invalid file type" error message. I tried changing the filename, eliminating the % sign, but still no luck. Not a clue what's up there. But I had no trouble with "changeDirections.mwx".

... have I
left enough for elementary students to take this and run with it.

The attached Project keeps your Project intact on Page1. Page1a shows a couple adjustments I think make it more understandable. Page2 shows a more fully developed form that students may attempt to achieve.


Let me explain the things that confused me. It's probably fair to say what confused me is likely to confuse 3rd or 6th graders.

It appears you are using the Project Procedures Tab to keep visible your code, even though the code being used actually resides in the backpack of "t1. Since both the Project Procedures Tab and the Backpack Procedures Tab are legitimate places for functioning code to reside, I was at first confused about which was running the show. It seems to me preferable to show them how to find the code in the backpack.

Notice that the backpack has a tab for "Notes". This is a good place to put your explanations, maybe better than the separate page you use.

I think your use of "random" confuses things. You use it to make very slight adjustments in the heading of the horse when traveling left and right. But the difference between a heading of 90 or 93 is not readily apparent. Since the student can't see what difference this is making, he/she is likely to think there is something they are not understanding. Better to eliminate it altogether.

Similarly, the use of "random" in the forward movement of the horse doesn't make a very useful contribution. A running horse actually moves at a very regular rate, not speeding up and slowing down with each stride. I'd suggest you keep "random" for more important (and more clearly useful) uses.

On Page1a I've added buttons for left, right and diagonal movement. This gives the user the power to make changes in direction while the horse is running. As things stand, the only way to make these changes is with the Control Console. The diagonal you provide is the "downleft" movement. There are 3 other diagonal directions for the students to implement.

Page2 shows the implementation of the other 3 diagonals, and adds "start" and "stop" buttons. Both the FatBits Editor manipulations for making the appropriate costumes, and how to create buttons for "start" and "stop" could be good classroom demonstrations, with the students making their own versions of these. Note the Page2 additions to the Procedures Tab in the backpack to make the other diagonal movements function.

I confess a little trepidation about this critique. I am trained in a tradition of very tough peer review, that definitely requires a bit of a thick hide to accept gracefully. Please understand all of the above is offered only in the spirit of constructive help.

Jeff

----- Original Message ----- From: "Chris Forkner" <cforkner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <mwforum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, December 18, 2005 8:59 AM
Subject: Changing direction and shape orientation



The discussion about constructivism  and a previous question about
changing shape and direction prompted me to design a simple
MicroWorlds EX set of procedures that might serve as a scaffold for
my students to build a game.

Let me know what you think. Have I build the entire "wall" or have I
left enough for elementary students to take this and run with it.
I'll test it out on Monday with 3rd graders and 6th graders.

Some of my 6th graders are easily inspired and are eager to make
their own projects. Others will play with the samples forever.
Sometimes the code in the sample isn't accessible enough for them.
When they don't think they could do better, they are satisfied to
play.

My horse simply wanders around the field.  The code is at their
level. I hope that students will think of ways to make a race, an
adventure game or to put in random bloggers to set their turtles off
course,  set up a score text box.. etc. etc.


Christine Forkner
HCES
K-6

Attachment: changeDirections2.mwx
Description: Binary data


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