2 Aug 05:52 2010

### Etoys Challenge #1: Help 6th graders figure out for themselves how to derive the value of Pi

Why I think this is possible: I created a project in Etoys (Circle Explorer) which allows kids to inscribe and circumscribe a circle with a regular polygon of N sides.  When I have shown this to kids (as young as 8) they comment (in a number of cases without prompting)  "hey its filling up the circle".  The regular polygon is made up of triangles.  I have seen kids can figure out how to determine the area of triangle using GeoBoards (Here is a sample GeoBoard project in Etoys that uses squares, you can add a triangle by opening the object catalog,  click on find and type triangle, place it on the GeoBoard and move around the vertices to create different triangles.).

My initial thoughts on how to do this:
1. First ask the question:  How can we figure out the area of a Circle?
2. Let them play with the Polygon in a circle tool
3. Have them record in a table the "# of sides" and "area of the Polygon"  This can be done with both inscribed and circumscribed polygons (the diameter of the circle can be set by them or they can inspect it by looking in the viewer for the circle object.
4. They could try this for different size circles
5. Then ask the question: What is the ratio of the area of the Polygon to the Radius squared (how to lead them to this I haven't figured out, suggestions welcome)
6. Have them plot their results on graph.
The other possibility is to have them determine the circumference of the circle and then the ratio of that to the Diameter of the circle.  They could figure out the Circumference using the Ruler Object within Etoys.

Ways in which you can help:

1. Provide a set of suggestion on how to use the Circle Explorer and a GeoBoard (to help kids figure out how to derive Pi
2. Provide other activities within Etoys (or other similar tools) and hands on activities that can help facilitate understanding.
3. Provide sample lessons and/or a set of lesson plans for these concepts.
4. Point me to already created lessons (that I can use as is or use to derive lessons that can be freely distributed under a Creative Commons or similar license).
5. Provide a set of "Head Games" they can play in the car to help them become more facile in playing with and manipulating the ideas in their heads.  An example of a simple "Head Game" you can play in the car is "Guess My Function" where you ask the kids to give you a number and you can make funny "machine" noises then spit out the answer.  Once the kids catch on they will come up with "trick" functions like "YourNumber + 2 * 20 / 20". This can lead to a discussion on equivalent functions, or in kid terms ("Hey you cheated its the same thing!!!")

Screenshots:
Here is a screenshot of the inscribed circles:

Here is a graph showing the results the kids would collect:

Why Etoys?
Etoys is a free educational software tool for teaching children powerful ideas in compelling ways. It works on almost all personal computers and OLPC laptops.  Projects created within Etoys can be easily modified by people around the world (for translation into local languages and cultural symbols).  Any kid can create their own work.  It allows kids (young and old) to make their own models, stories and games.

This challenge is posted here as well.

Thanks to Carlos Rabassa for his initial Mathematical Challenge which spawned this idea.

Stephen
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2 Aug 12:52 2010

### Etoys developer chat today - release planning

Hi all,

now that I'm back from Squeakfest in Wilmington, and we are nearing the release, we should have more regular
meetings again. As we agreed before, feature freeze is already in effect. For reference, here is the
release schedule again:

We should talk about how to get an alpha release to testers as quickly as possible.

Please come to the Etoys chat room, as every Monday at 12 noon Squeakland Time.

http://tinyurl.com/2u7uvgm

To participate, replace "squeaker123" with your own name on

http://chat.squeakland.org/

and press "Login". Then say hi

Alternatively, use an IRC client of your choice to join #etoys on irc.freenode.net

Everyone is welcome!

- Bert -
3 Aug 06:42 2010

### Re: Etoys Challenge #1: Help 6th graders figure out for themselves how to derive the value of Pi

You should take a look at DrGeo in the new Etoys image. It's just the right tool for your challenge. It's a fantastic extention to Etoys for geometrical work. It is a litte confusing to begin with.

Open a new DrGeo. You can click and get a tool menu to pin down. Or get a button menu from the halo menu to build a interface for your challenge.

Karl

On Mon, Aug 2, 2010 at 5:52 AM, Steve Thomas wrote:
Why I think this is possible: I created a project in Etoys (Circle Explorer) which allows kids to inscribe and circumscribe a circle with a regular polygon of N sides.  When I have shown this to kids (as young as 8) they comment (in a number of cases without prompting)  "hey its filling up the circle".  The regular polygon is made up of triangles.  I have seen kids can figure out how to determine the area of triangle using GeoBoards (Here is a sample GeoBoard project in Etoys that uses squares, you can add a triangle by opening the object catalog,  click on find and type triangle, place it on the GeoBoard and move around the vertices to create different triangles.).

My initial thoughts on how to do this:
1. First ask the question:  How can we figure out the area of a Circle?
2. Let them play with the Polygon in a circle tool
3. Have them record in a table the "# of sides" and "area of the Polygon"  This can be done with both inscribed and circumscribed polygons (the diameter of the circle can be set by them or they can inspect it by looking in the viewer for the circle object.
4. They could try this for different size circles
5. Then ask the question: What is the ratio of the area of the Polygon to the Radius squared (how to lead them to this I haven't figured out, suggestions welcome)
6. Have them plot their results on graph.
The other possibility is to have them determine the circumference of the circle and then the ratio of that to the Diameter of the circle.  They could figure out the Circumference using the Ruler Object within Etoys.

Ways in which you can help:

1. Provide a set of suggestion on how to use the Circle Explorer and a GeoBoard (to help kids figure out how to derive Pi
2. Provide other activities within Etoys (or other similar tools) and hands on activities that can help facilitate understanding.
3. Provide sample lessons and/or a set of lesson plans for these concepts.
4. Point me to already created lessons (that I can use as is or use to derive lessons that can be freely distributed under a Creative Commons or similar license).
5. Provide a set of "Head Games" they can play in the car to help them become more facile in playing with and manipulating the ideas in their heads.  An example of a simple "Head Game" you can play in the car is "Guess My Function" where you ask the kids to give you a number and you can make funny "machine" noises then spit out the answer.  Once the kids catch on they will come up with "trick" functions like "YourNumber + 2 * 20 / 20". This can lead to a discussion on equivalent functions, or in kid terms ("Hey you cheated its the same thing!!!")

Screenshots:
Here is a screenshot of the inscribed circles:

Here is a graph showing the results the kids would collect:

Why Etoys?
Etoys is a free educational software tool for teaching children powerful ideas in compelling ways. It works on almost all personal computers and OLPC laptops.  Projects created within Etoys can be easily modified by people around the world (for translation into local languages and cultural symbols).  Any kid can create their own work.  It allows kids (young and old) to make their own models, stories and games.

This challenge is posted here as well.

Thanks to Carlos Rabassa for his initial Mathematical Challenge which spawned this idea.

Stephen

_______________________________________________
squeakland mailing list
squeakland-tgy29QT0A092KDkfy0k2sw@public.gmane.org
http://lists.squeakland.org/mailman/listinfo/squeakland

_______________________________________________
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squeakland@...
http://lists.squeakland.org/mailman/listinfo/squeakland
3 Aug 09:00 2010

### Re: Etoys Challenge #1: Help 6th graders figure out for themselves how to derive the value of Pi

Given your example, it is a good use case for the Smalltalk DrGeo API to
construct programmatically sketches with circle and polygons.
See an example:
http://blog.ofset.org/hilaire/index.php?post/2010/07/08/Sierpinski-triangle

Compare to other interactive geometry software, DrGeo comes with some
user power tools as Smalltalk programmed sketch (bellow) and Smalltalk
scripting in live sketch.

Previous C++ version of DrGeo (1.1) was also enjoying these features,
with Scheme language, but the Smalltalk version brings an infinite
better user experience.

The whole documentation still need to be written.

Regarding use cases, I have seen math teachers using these programming
facilities to explore historical examples:
http://documentation.ofset.org/drgeo/es/drgenius_88.html
But so far, only a few use cases with learner in senior high school were
reported to me.

Hilaire

Le 03/08/2010 06:42, karl ramberg a écrit :
> You should take a look at DrGeo in the new Etoys image. It's just the
> right tool for your challenge. It's a fantastic extention to Etoys for
> geometrical work. It is a litte confusing to begin with.
> Open a new DrGeo. You can click and get a tool menu to pin down. Or
> get a button menu from the halo menu to build a interface for your
> challenge.
>
> Karl
>
>
>
>
> On Mon, Aug 2, 2010 at 5:52 AM, Steve Thomas <sthomas1@...
> <mailto:sthomas1@...>> wrote:
>
>     _*Why I think this is possible*_: I created a project in Etoys
>     (Circle Explorer
>     <http://www.squeakland.org/showcase/project.jsp?id=10212>) which
>     allows kids to inscribe and circumscribe a circle with a regular
>     polygon of N sides.  When I have shown this to kids (as young as
>     8) they comment (in a number of cases without prompting)  "hey its
>     filling up the circle".  The regular polygon is made up of
>     triangles.  I have seen kids can figure out how to determine the
>     area of triangle using GeoBoards (Here is a sample GeoBoard
>     project
>     <http://www.squeakland.org/showcase/project.jsp?id=7744> in Etoys
>     that uses squares, you can add a triangle by opening the object
>     catalog,  click on find and type triangle, place it on the
>     GeoBoard and move around the vertices to create different triangles.).
>
>     _*My initial thoughts on how to do this*_*:*
>
>        1. First ask the question:  How can we figure out the area of a
>           Circle?
>        2. Let them play with the Polygon in a circle tool
>        3. Have them record in a table the "# of sides" and "area of
>           the Polygon"  This can be done with both inscribed and
>           circumscribed polygons (the diameter of the circle can be
>           set by them or they can inspect it by looking in the viewer
>           for the circle object.
>        4. They could try this for different size circles
>        5. Then ask the question: What is the ratio of the area of the
>           Polygon to the Radius squared (how to lead them to this I
>           haven't figured out, suggestions welcome)
>        6. Have them plot their results on graph.
>
>     The other possibility is to have them determine the circumference
>     of the circle and then the ratio of that to the Diameter of the
>     circle.  They could figure out the Circumference using the Ruler
>     Object within Etoys.
>
>     *
>     *
>     *Ways in which you can help:*
>
>        1. Provide a set of suggestion on how to use the Circle
>           Explorer and a GeoBoard (to help kids figure out how to
>           derive Pi
>        2. Provide other activities within Etoys (or other similar
>           tools) and hands on activities that can help facilitate
>           understanding.
>        3. Provide sample lessons and/or a set of lesson plans for
>           these concepts.
>        4. Point me to already created lessons (that I can use as is or
>           use to derive lessons that can be freely distributed under a
>           Creative Commons or similar license).
>        5. Provide a set of "Head Games" they can play in the car to
>           help them become more facile in playing with and
>           manipulating the ideas in their heads.  An example of a
>           simple "Head Game" you can play in the car is "Guess My
>           Function" where you ask the kids to give you a number and
>           you can make funny "machine" noises then spit out the
>           answer.  Once the kids catch on they will come up with
>           "trick" functions like "YourNumber + 2 * 20 / 20". This can
>           lead to a discussion on equivalent functions, or in kid
>           terms ("Hey you cheated its the same thing!!!")
>
>
>
>     *Screenshots*:
>     Here is a screenshot of the inscribed circles:
>
>
>     <http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_VzolrwmoPkw/TFYOBY1FUmI/AAAAAAAAABM/g3ByCCeuFSQ/s1600/Inscribed.png>
>
>
>     Here is a graph showing the results the kids would collect:
>     <http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_VzolrwmoPkw/TFYO_E4XykI/AAAAAAAAABU/sqUmCXyI3r8/s1600/graph.gif>
>
>
>     *Why Etoys?*
>     Etoys is a free educational software tool for teaching children
>     powerful ideas in compelling ways. It works on almost all personal
>     computers and OLPC laptops.  Projects created within Etoys can be
>     easily modified by people around the world (for translation into
>     local languages and cultural symbols).  Any kid can create their
>     own work.  It allows kids (young and old) to make their own
>     models, stories and games.
>
>     This challenge is posted here
>     well.
>
>     Thanks to Carlos Rabassa for his initial Mathematical Challenge
>     which spawned this idea.
>
>     Stephen
>
>     _______________________________________________
>     squeakland mailing list
>     squeakland@... <mailto:squeakland@...>
>     http://lists.squeakland.org/mailman/listinfo/squeakland
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> squeakland mailing list
> squeakland@...
> http://lists.squeakland.org/mailman/listinfo/squeakland
>
3 Aug 14:25 2010

### wiki is down this morning

Hi everyone,

The Squeakland wiki is down for a bit this morning.  We're upgrading Confluence, or trying to.

I'll send another email when things are back up.

Tim

--
Timothy Falconer
Waveplace Foundation
http://waveplace.org
+ 1 610 624 3760
4 Aug 23:30 2010

### Forward: Points of View - a tribute to Alan Kay, second printing available

From Ian...

-- Yoshiki

Folks,

Some of you missed the first printing of our book "Points of View -- a tribute to Alan Kay", supplies of which
were depleted less than six hours after the announcement.  We have made a second printing of the book that is
now available (in return for a donation of \$55 to Viewpoints Research which will help us to recover the
costs of production and shipping).  Please visit:

http://vpri.org/pov

from the same page.)

Cheers,
Ian

Viewpoints Research is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving "powerful ideas
education" for the world's children and to advancing the state of systems research and personal
computing.  Visit us online at: http://www.vpri.org

_______________________________________________
squeakland mailing list
squeakland@...
http://lists.squeakland.org/mailman/listinfo/squeakland
5 Aug 02:59 2010

### wiki back up

Hi folks,

The wiki is back up.  Sorry about the delay.   Wasn't able to upgrade yet, but hoping for something soon.

Tim

--
Timothy Falconer
Waveplace Foundation
http://waveplace.org
+ 1 610 624 3760
6 Aug 10:33 2010

### Fwd: [IAEP] Live Math 2.0 event with Alan Kay: "Important Questions in Education Research, " Saturday 2pm ET

Don't miss this event!!

Rita

Begin forwarded message:

Date: August 5, 2010 11:35:58 PM GMT+02:00
Subject: {Disarmed} [IAEP] Live Math 2.0 event with Alan Kay: "Important Questions in Education Research, " Saturday 2pm ET

# Important Questions in Education Research

During the event, we will discuss the list of education research questions Alan Kay considers fundamental, ways questions can be addressed, and reasons why few researchers try.

All Math 2.0 events are free and open to the public. Information about all events in the series is here: http://mathfuture.wikispaces.com/events

Saturday, August 7th 2010 we will meet in the LearnCentral public Elluminate room at 11am Pacific - 2pm Eastern time. WorldClock for your time zone.

 To join: Follow this link: MailScanner has detected a possible fraud attempt from "sas.elluminate.com" claiming to be http://tinyurl.com/math20event Click "OK" and "Accept" several times as your browser installs the software. When you see Elluminate Session Log-In, enter your name and click the "Login" button You will find yourself in a virtual room. An organizer will be there to greet you, starting about half an hour before the event.
If this is your first Elluminate event, consider coming a few minutes earlier to check out the technology. The room opens half an hour before the event.

## Agenda

During the event, we will discuss Alan's list of important questions in education research, and his vision of how to address the questions.

Partial list of questions:
• Should various levels of a child's society be able to choose some of what a child should learn? If so, what and why?
• What kinds of learning are we going to try to help the child accomplish? Case-based recognition of situations, and actions to take? Deep understanding and fluency that resembles practitioners in a subject area? Etc.
• What is the spectrum (or the dimensions) of children's abilities to learn a wide variety of subjects (e.g. from sports to physics)?
• What is the similar spectrum (or dimensions) of internal and external motivations for putting effort into learning various subjects?
• How can we ascertain what kinds of help are needed by the different kinds of children?
• What are the trade-offs and pathways of teaching children how to learn vs. teaching subject matter?
• What are the best kinds of situations/environmens/processes to help children learn difficult to learn ideas?

## References

"The Power Of The Context" - Alan Kay's tribute to his research community

"Points of View: A Tribute to Alan Kay" book

## Event Host

Alan Kay is one of the earliest pioneers of object-oriented programming, personal computing, and graphical user interfaces. His contributions have been recognized with the Charles Stark Draper Prize of the National Academy of Engineering “for the vision, conception, and development of the first practical networked personal computers,” the Alan M. Turing Award from the Association of Computing Machinery “for pioneering many of the ideas at the root of contemporary object-oriented programming languages, leading the team that developed Smalltalk, and for fundamental contributions to personal computing,” and the Kyoto Prize from the Inamori Foundation “for creation of the concept of modern personal computing and contribution to its realization.” This work was done in the rich context of ARPA and Xerox PARC with many talented colleagues.

He has been a Xerox Fellow, Chief Scientist of Atari, Apple Fellow, Disney Fellow, and HP Senior Fellow. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at UCLA. In 2001 he founded Viewpoints Research Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to children, learning and advanced systems research. http://www.vpri.org

At Viewpoints Research Institute he and his colleagues continue to explore advanced systems and programming design by aiming for a “Moore’s Law” advance in software creation of many orders of magnitude. Kay and Viewpoints are also deeply involved in the One Laptop Per Child initiative.

_______________________________________________
IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
IAEP-g/J2nbn7YhmA8YT9BuzgjUB+6BGkLq7r@public.gmane.org
http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/iaep

_______________________________________________
squeakland mailing list
squeakland@...
http://lists.squeakland.org/mailman/listinfo/squeakland
6 Aug 11:35 2010

### You want to help Squeakland ? Join the web team!

Everyone is welcome to be part of the Squeakland web team!

The goal is to optimize the Squeakland website to better serve the people who visit it. Therefore, we need
your ideas and feedback. What do you want to see on the website? What do you think is missing? How can we
achieve this? If you want to discuss questions like these and maybe even have answers, join the web team!

I created a google group here:

Click "Apply for group membership" in the right column to join!

Greetings,
Rita
7 Aug 16:01 2010

### Alan Kay Live in Elluminate today - Important Questions in Education Research

 Classroom 2.0

### A message to all members of Classroom 2.0

The following event has been organized by Maria Droujkova, who holds weekly Math 2.0 Webinars in LearnCentral.org (see http://www.learncentral.org/group/5315/math-20).

# Important Questions in Education Research

During the event, we will discuss the list of education research questions Alan Kay considers fundamental, ways questions can be addressed, and reasons why few researchers try.

Saturday, August 7th 2010 we will meet in the LearnCentral public Elluminate room at 11am Pacific - 2pm Eastern time. WorldClock for your time zone.

 To join: Follow this link: https://sas.elluminate.com/site/external/jwsdetect/meeting.jnlp?password=M.FCAF787B38E30D58F943EB7232EE27 Click "OK" and "Accept" several times as your browser installs the software. When you see Elluminate Session Log-In, enter your name and click the "Login" button You will find yourself in a virtual room. An organizer will be there to greet you, starting about half an hour before the event.
If this is your first Elluminate event, consider coming a few minutes earlier to check out the technology. The room opens half an hour before the event.

## Agenda

During the event, we will discuss Alan's list of important questions in education research, and his vision of how to address the questions.

Partial list of questions:
• Should various levels of a child's society be able to choose some of what a child should learn? If so, what and why?
• What kinds of learning are we going to try to help the child accomplish? Case-based recognition of situations, and actions to take? Deep understanding and fluency that resembles practitioners in a subject area? Etc.
• What is the spectrum (or the dimensions) of children's abilities to learn a wide variety of subjects (e.g. from sports to physics)?
• What is the similar spectrum (or dimensions) of internal and external motivations for putting effort into learning various subjects?
• How can we ascertain what kinds of help are needed by the different kinds of children?
• What are the trade-offs and pathways of teaching children how to learn vs. teaching subject matter?
• What are the best kinds of situations/environmens/processes to help children learn difficult to learn ideas?

## References

"The Power Of The Context" - Alan Kay's tribute to his research community

"Points of View: A Tribute to Alan Kay" book

## Event Host

Alan Kay is one of the earliest pioneers of object-oriented programming, personal computing, and graphical user interfaces. His contributions have been recognized with the Charles Stark Draper Prize of the National Academy of Engineering “for the vision, conception, and development of the first practical networked personal computers,” the Alan M. Turing Award from the Association of Computing Machinery “for pioneering many of the ideas at the root of contemporary object-oriented programming languages, leading the team that developed Smalltalk, and for fundamental contributions to personal computing,” and the Kyoto Prize from the Inamori Foundation “for creation of the concept of modern personal computing and contribution to its realization.” This work was done in the rich context of ARPA and Xerox PARC with many talented colleagues.

He has been a Xerox Fellow, Chief Scientist of Atari, Apple Fellow, Disney Fellow, and HP Senior Fellow. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at UCLA. In 2001 he founded Viewpoints Research Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to children, learning and advanced systems research.http://www.vpri.org

At Viewpoints Research Institute he and his colleagues continue to explore advanced systems and programming design by aiming for a “Moore’s Law” advance in software creation of many orders of magnitude. Kay and Viewpoints are also deeply involved in the One Laptop Per Child initiative.

Visit Classroom 2.0 at: http://www.classroom20.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network