Digital creations of mathematical geometric shapes with the use of protractors, algorithms, programming and debugging, as follows:
Students learn to use the digital program: Pencil Code to create geometric shapes. They are asked to understand the use of protractors to deal with getting ‘degrees’ of change in direction along with ‘right’ and ‘left’. A handout of the ‘PencilCode.net turtle protractor’ as described by David Bau would be given to assist students in finding their own way. As a break, they watch the video on Angles and Arcs by David Bau. This will allow ‘fast’ students to have more of a challenge. Students finish off with their geometric creations.
Once all students are comfortable creating geometric shapes using the Pencil Code program they will work out algorithms for creating 3 to 4 different shapes writing these down as ‘Instructions’ and ‘debugging’ where necessary so that they are confident their ‘shape algorithms’ can be used successfully.
Students are put into groups of around 4 people with computers opened in the Pencil Code program – ready to go. The groups will be in competition with each other and the teacher will time each session. Each student in each group will first leave one of their written ‘shape algorithms’ at their computer then move to the next person’s desk in a clockwise direction. Everyone will then create the shape from the proffered algorithm and leave another written ‘shape algorithm’. They then move to the next computer and repeat this process joining the next geometric shape to the existing one and continue this process. Once each student has ‘drawn’ a geometric shape at each computer in their group the competition finishes. The group with the most CORRECT items wins!
Outcome = Meets DT and Maths: Students: can create symmetrical patterns, pictures and shapes with digital technologies; are able to follow, sequence and create instructions for simple algorithm development; can use visual programming systems, such as PencilCode, to create shapes and explore angles.