Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fraction A Day - Day 4 - Tool Building

So today (and actually for a number of days) I have been working on a "Fraction Maker" tool, to help create curriculum and playthinks for kids.  I have been going through multiple iterations (a good habit to teach the kids).   


Fraction Box w/Controls
The user can specify the object to use (in the above case I used a rectangle, but you could use any shape or graphic), the user can specify the # of rows and columns.  The object used has information about the color changes (or other changes such as changing graphic) and whether the event occurs on MouseDown or MouseEnter.  Hmmm, I think I should move that MouseDown or MouseEnter to the Fraction Object and just ensure each object used to "fill" the fraction has a "toggle" script.

Here are a couple of things I want the Fraction Box to be able to do:

  1. When a user clicks on (or mouse's over) a box it will change color
  2. Let user (teacher or kids) specify the colors 
  3. Button to hand the user a copy of the Fraction Box
  4. Button to "lock" the Fraction Box (so the mouseEnter or mouseDown events stop changing colors)
  5. Button to hand the user a copy of the Fraction Maker (Fraction Box + buttons)
Some challenges/design issues:
  1. When "handing the user a copy of the box, unless I put a "border" (not an etoys border) around the "Fraction Box" it is not obvious how to "pick up" and move it. Ideally you could easily get the halo, but that doesn't work too well as I currently have the size of the playfield set to the size of the fraction box, so the only way to "select it" (get its Halo) is to "shift drag" select, which is easy to teach, but not obvious until you are shown how to do it (hmmm, sounds like I need another Etoys minute).
  2. The scripting to do all I want to do (lock/unlock Fraction Box), etc. not hard it just takes time and some figuring out

2 comments:

Don Cohen-The Mathman said...

Steve did you receive my Worksheet book CD? I think with my beginning questions leading to infinite series (start with a hard problem first!!) and cookie sharing, I think your fraction coloring can work together with my stuff. I think you come close to allow kids to color in the 1/2, then 1/2 of 1/2, and can be made to respond to coloring in the wrong amount by telling them what part they colored in.
I think starting with just coloring in without the goal of infinite series is a mistake- as my parent said-boring, irrelevant.

Don Cohen

Mr. Steve's Science said...

Don,

I agree with "I think starting with just coloring in without the goal of infinite series is a mistake- as my parent said-boring, irrelevant."

Infinity is fun and kids enjoy it. The cookie problem is a good one.

This post was me simply playing around creating tools/playthinks that can be used to explore and create lessons.

FYI, I did recieve your CD and recommend folks go to Don's wonderful site and get it: