My Experience with LOGO!

Looking at this weeks blog prompts, I thought I would write about the chrome extensions because I had no clue what LOGO was and I didn’t want to mess around with it. However, I have very little to no experience with those so really I was a newbie either way. After Alec gave us some time in class to read through the LOGO workbook and experience some free time on the LOGO site, I was hooked. I found myself curious about how it all worked and trying out new ways to create images. I felt I caught on quickly and was moving through the process smoothly. I felt excited when I hit that run button and the image actually came out correctly. It was a sense of accomplishment. Yay! I did it. A few of the images I found easy but as I worked through the book they became more challenging. I was determined to figure it out tho. If I made an error I would try again until I got it figured out. I was a little frustrated that I could not undo my last error and then just continue on. I would have to clear the screen and then start over. This frustration became very evident when I tried to create my own “simple” images.

It was after class when I thought I would play around with the LOGO interpreter a little bit more. I thought I would create my own image. It was full of lines and 90 degree corners. I guessed a bit on the lengths of lines. It isn’t perfect but it worked. My strategy was to think it out all in one process and then hit run. If it didn’t work I would go back and try again. I found it a lot more satisfying to think it through than to just write in one step at at time. It was my way of challenging myself. I was happy when I saw I was successful. If you want to see what I made…here is the code: fd 20, rt 90, fd 100, rt 90, fd 20, rt 90, fd 40, lt 90, fd 70, rt 90, fd 60, rt 90, fd 20, rt 90, fd 40, lt 90, fd 50, lt 90, fd 40

I felt that first attempt at my own image was a little too easy. I wanted to experiment a little bit more. At this point I have stopped reading the guide book and am learning through my own experimental play. This time I didn’t want to just use 90 degree angles and straight lines. I challenged myself to make something a little more complicated. This was a lot more frustrating. I had to play with it a lot. I no longer could write it all out in one step. I had to attempt angles and see if I was turning in the right direction or not. I had to make notes on a seperate piece of paper so I did not lose the code. I became frustrated that I had to start all over when I made an error.

It was a lot of guess and check but I was determined to figure it out. I spent a long time working on my image. I was slowly getting closer to the end. I ended up having to draw it out on paper to try and wrap my head around it. In the end I had a finished product. It was not great and the angles are not exact and the measurements do not line up perfectly. I was still happy I got the image I did and was feeling like I had learned through the process of experimenting on my own. This is exactly what Seymour Papert was saying about constructivism, “Students learn through participation in project-based learning where they make connections between different ideas and areas of knowledge facilitated by the teacher through coaching rather than using lectures or step-by-step guidance.” Today I looked back at the workbook to see if I could have done things differently but I did not learn nearly as much as I did by just using the program. Here is the code to my second LOGO: Rt 90, Fd 20, Rt 110, Fd 100, Rt 70, Fd 10, Rt 65, Fd 30, Lt 125, Fd 30, Rt 60, Fd 10, Rt 65, Fd 100, Rt 115, Fd 20, Rt 65, Fd 70, Lt 115, Fd 20, Rt 50, Fd 10, Rt 50, Fd 20, Lt 125, Fd 70

Using LOGO is not something I see myself doing in the future unless I wanted to for fun. I do think some students would really enjoy coding. Even in talking to Shelby, we noticed how differently we think and how we found one blog prompt easier than the other. This is the same with our students. Some would become incredibly frustrated using the LOGO program but others would find it relaxing and enjoyable. I think it really challenges our thinking. Planning ahead, understanding angles and measurement is critical and also just that focus and determination is a skill some students need to work on. I can think of some of my own students I am currently working with that might find this really neat and I would love to see the images they would create. I am sure they would come up with something far more magical than I did.

This also made me think of a program I already use in my classroom. I have the Osmo and have used most of the different programs with my students. I mainly use the words, numbers and tangrams games and occasionally the Pizza Co. one with my students. The thing with the Osmo is kids are using an Ipad and manipulatives to work through skills such as reading or math plus lots of problem-solving skills. It is fun, interactive and can also be independent. The one program I do not have and have been curious about is the coding one. I am curious what it is like and how helpful it would be for students. It might be a great way to introduce coding to some of our younger students!

4 thoughts on “My Experience with LOGO!

  1. M's Abstractions

    Sounds like you had a good time experimenting, persevering, and learning! I got side tracked and watched all the videos about Osmo. I’ve never seen it before! Do you use it at your school? If so, is it as a ‘station,’ in a pull out small group/individual setting, or (I highly doubt this) a full class?

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  2. I do use it at school. I am an SST so I use it with individual students or pairs. The numbers one is best on their own but could be done in pairs. The words one can be together or vs one another. It is fun. I found three or four to be too many and not as effective. The pizza and any other ones again are best on their own. You can create accounts for the students on the app so that they progress through the levels. You can also alter some settings. For example on the pizza one you can have whole numbers only for providing change. Or you can have it in true form so they have to provide change down to the cent. It is quite fun. I had a student work on the numbers app on a weekly basis and it really helped him learn to subitize and memorize some simple mental math! He was determined to unlock the three different fish on each level so he set his own goals and pushed himself.

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  3. Great post Joce!
    You are right about how different minds work. While I enjoyed using Logo in class and following the directions to make images, venturing on my own in the program as you did sounds like a lot of frustration and time (lol). You seem to have found a lot of benefit and reward in creating your own images! Well done!! As you know, I’m a square personality so I need things done right so the idea of trial and error sounds just annoying to me haha but I’m glad you found the patience to trial the program out more.
    You are so right about the benefits of experiential learning and I’m sure if you gave the program to students and the exercise book, some would follow the book to completion (like I would) and others would veer off on their own exploration of how things work and learn in their own way (like you did)!

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  4. Melinda

    Hi Jocelyn,
    I am impressed by your creativity and perseverance! I did struggle quite a bit with LOGO but I really enjoyed it. I still couldn’t figure out how to make circles. Haha Just like you, I decided to make my moves in chunks after a while since I wasn’t happy about having to clear everything when I made the wrong move. Thank you so much for sharing the Osmo Coding. I never heard of it, but looks like a fun tool. This hands-on way of coding seems very effective starting at a young age. Love it!

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