[IAEP] GPA Class Notes July 29 - GS

Greg Smith gregsmithpm at gmail.com
Wed Jul 29 14:53:28 EDT 2009

Hi All,

Here are some  notes from my 1.5 hours in the computer lab at GPA with
10 3rd graders.

They are also posted here:

Comments before class:
- We usually boot up each computer with USB stick but Caroline
mentioned that its better to let the kids insert and boot. That way
they can choose who sits together.
- We saw one kid putting a USB cap in his mouth which is a choking danger.
- We reviewed the TA lesson plan from Walter and decided to have
someone prepare the computers while Walter presented.

Walter showed his TurtleArt game designs which should allow the kids
to create the games they defined in the previous class. He put up a
turtle and asked the kids to say where various places were by saying
North, South , East or West. They enjoyed that. One kids noticed that
Walter had two USB icons at the bottom of his frame and asked about

One of the kids pointed to the Maze icon and asked is that a maze
game? They wanted to play "games" and saw that Walter computer had
more than they had.

After the overview, Caroline had each computer running Turtle Art
without the new Game examples loaded. We went to the computers and the
kids played with Turtle Art for a while. I was very impressed by how
quickly they took to playing with it and moving the turtle around.
They also found the prebuilt turtle examples and liked looking at what
those created. However, without specific instructions, many started to
tire and asked to play games.

I worked with some kids to find pictures they had saved before and to
download new ones in preparation to make their games. Two follow up
items on that:
- I think the "Star" will work to flag a set of content for quick
access later. The kids didn't try it but I did and it looks OK.
- Download images appear with the approximately following name in the
Journal: FILE: 86 px
[more stuff]. I think the challenge to find things is that there is
too much data there to easily find and compare. Maybe we should start
with the file name (no path). Then the rest of the data? Not a deal
breaker but it seemed to cost some time.

Meanwhile Walter and Caroline worked on delivering the new TA
programs. We also did that after class. It was not pretty, but I'll
leave the details to a follow up e-mail by Walter.

Next class Walter and Caroline will not be there. So Anurag will run
the class and I will be backup. We thought we had two more classes but
turns out that next week is the last. So we will put the game building
on hold and come back to it in the fall. Next class we will just
download games (e.g. maze) and play.


Greg S

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