[IAEP] SoaS notes: Gardner (GPA)
caroline at solutiongrove.com
Wed Jul 8 08:18:47 EDT 2009
Background info is here: http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Gardner_Pilot_Academy
Click on the link for the GPA school for demographics.
Yesterday was 2nd going into 3rd Graders. Today 3rd going into 4th.
On Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 12:19 AM, <forster at ozonline.com.au> wrote:
> Thanks Caroline/Mel/Walter for documenting this
> They are useful observations
> It may help to give some background:
> year level
> in school/lunchtime/holiday program?
> prior experience (including Logo etc)
> Should you introduce standard terminology and what about concepts which
> they have yet to be introduced to? Kids seem to have no problems with maths
> concepts which they will not be introduced to till much later, you mention
> angle. I find them quite comfortable with rate (pixels per step), Cartesian
> coordinates, vector addition. The difficult question is that of transfer.
> Will the later formal learning of these concepts be advantaged by their
> informal introduction with TurtleArt? Using a common language should help.
> Is transfer the goal? Is there a skill of 'thinking mathematically' which is
> the real goal of formal maths and is advanced by problem solving in TA
> similarly as it is advanced by more formal maths?
> I think there is. Ultimately the goal is skills for solving real world
> problems, which are typically ill defined and multidisciplinary. That
> requires a good repertoire of basic skills. Also importantly the ability to
> problem solve. Thats where TA and Sugar come in. Part of problem solving and
> 'thinking mathematically' is building good mental models of the problem
> space. Good mental models are internally consistent, consistent with the
> external problem and can be 'run' in various 'what if' conditions. To what
> extent does TA develop the ability to build mental models and is this skill
> transferable to real world problem solving?
Thanks this is a good write up. What we are doing is evolving but it looks
like its going to be a combination of Social Studies and Math and I do agree
that transfer is the goal. We will be introducing cartesian coordinates on
One of the things we are trying to do this summer is tie the Sugar work in
as closely as possible to the classroom work. Again I think one of the
goals is to improve transfer.
> In running similar classes with GameMaker, at the start I give 30-45
> minutes instruction with the data projector then leave them free to do
> Initial instruction, GameMaker for years 5-6 at
> TurtleArt is a different product, it needs a different intro, I wouldn't
> demo keyboard input, I might cover:
> docking blocks
> deleting blocks
> pen up/down
> but then I would just let them loose, just respond to individual questions,
> try to encourage sharing and peer tutoring.
We had 30 minutes total scheduled (though they stayed more like 45 minutes)
and did about 5 minutes of instruction. We had 4 adult tutors so this was
not a problem. At one point there was this look of amazement on a girl's
face when she said I want to do what she is doing and I told her she could
look at her screen and copy what the other girl had done. In other cases we
clearly had pairs of students making the same shape. One of the teachers
also made something cool and you could see it travel down the row of
> Thanks for sharing this information.
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