It's Elementary Show #34 Messing Around with Math

Post-Show description: 

We talked about Logo programming language and math in the elementary classroom with our guest Colleen King.

  • Maria shared her background with Logo and Roamer robots in her kinder class, and her connections with Colleen who runs an after school Math Group and the Math Playground web site
  • Colleen described about how programming and programming robots can be used to teach mathematics in a way that is fun and gets to standards
  • There was a discussion about Second Life and how promising this could be for math instruction with children.
  • Colleen talked about the need for not just interactive but open-ended math games that don't have just one right answer
  • We finished with an interesting discussion about manipulatives, and how Colleen and Maria's thinking about online manipulatives had changed over time from negative to positive.

Chat Log

21:00:15 Durff: hi!
21:00:24 matt montagne: nothing like a little phone call
21:01:27 LParisi: Is Colleen coming into the chatroom?
21:01:31 Durff: hi angela
21:01:33 LParisi: Hello Colleen
21:01:42 alicemercer: nope, we'll pass along questions
21:01:47 angelamaiers: Hi Durff- How is your Monday?
21:01:53 Durff: hot
21:02:27 Durff: hi peggy
21:02:32 PeggyG: Hi everyone
21:02:35 MariaK:
21:02:37 angelamaiers: Hi Peggy!
21:02:38 sheila: Hi!
21:02:46 PeggyG: Is that Colleen talking?
21:02:50 sheila: yes
21:02:51 angelamaiers: Thanks for the link!
21:03:04 PeggyG: Hi Angela!
21:03:19 PeggyG: Hi Sheila!
21:03:23 Durff: yes colleen king
21:03:38 matt montagne: It's Elementary Crew rocked it last Tuesday on Earthcast09!!!
21:03:40 derrallg: How did Colleen become inspired to do mathplayground?
21:03:50 PeggyG: I knew it!! She does so many amazing things on her site!!
21:04:03 matt montagne: hello to Angela, Peggy, et al
21:04:35 PeggyG: Hi Matt-great to see so many ETT friends online tonight!
21:04:56 sheila: Chat window is acting up will be back.
21:05:10 Durff: wb sheila
21:05:21 PeggyG: back up and talk about what logo is :-)
21:05:22 sheila: much better now!
21:05:38 PeggyG: Colleen is reading my mind :-)
21:05:45 Durff: :)
21:05:49 alicemercer: There ya go Peggy!
21:06:00 PeggyG: love it!
21:06:08 MariaK:
21:07:02 Durff: YA SL!!
21:07:06 matt montagne: microworlds is the bomb...still love that program
21:07:07 MariaK:
21:07:13 MariaK: logo info
21:07:43 PeggyG: I started using logo many years ago and was so happy that we were able to move beyond it to much more user friendly tools. :-)
21:08:15 matt montagne: logo has been around since what, '58 technically??
21:08:33 derrallg: Can you compare logo to scratch?
21:08:35 matt montagne: logo can be used to program lego RCX CPUs as well
21:08:51 matt montagne: similar, Derrall...more textual is logo
21:08:57 PeggyG: at least! I was using it in the 70's
21:09:36 matt montagne: is microworlds still a relevant application??
21:09:48 matt montagne: or is microworlds dying off??
21:10:01 matt montagne: Hyperstudio had a nice programming language built in as well
21:10:22 PeggyG: this is amazing! I can't imagine using microworlds with Kindergarten kids!
21:11:06 matt montagne: microworlds is a great painting and drawing platform as well a nice program for K-5 just to play with and explore
21:11:07 PeggyG: Maria is such an inspiring role model for us!!
21:11:40 PeggyG: I need to go back and try again--if Kdgs' can do it I should be able to!
21:11:54 Durff: tell them they are magicians
21:12:02 PeggyG: they really are!
21:12:02 Durff: hi dgoodman
21:12:59 PeggyG: I have Microworlds on my computer since I learned about it at the Constructivist Consortium but haven't really explored it. Now I'm inspired!
21:13:22 Durff: geometry in kindergarten?
21:13:38 Durff: hi nedra
21:13:58 Nedra: hi Durff
21:14:16 Durff: wb dgoodman
21:14:35 PeggyG: Hi dgoodman and nedra
21:14:39 dgoodman: Hello-had trouble with sound
21:15:03 Durff: on both ustream and shoutcast i think
21:15:05 dgoodman: topic?
21:15:11 Durff: math
21:15:28 Durff: giest = ms. mathplayground herself
21:15:29 PeggyG:
21:15:41 dgoodman: thanks
21:15:46 Durff: aka colleen king
21:16:33 PeggyG: @Colleen--how do you persuade other teachers to use programming with their students?
21:17:51 Durff: hokie pokie?
21:18:09 Durff: wb matt
21:18:17 matt montagne: dunno wahat happened there
21:18:24 Durff: the roamer could fetch the coffee!
21:18:51 matt montagne: have them talk to Gary Stager!
21:19:16 PeggyG: yes Gary is very enthusiastic about it!!
21:19:59 matt montagne: I do agree with Gary regarding programming...I would like students to be building real objects via programming more often in school...
21:20:50 Durff: hi dorie
21:20:51 PeggyG: I think it does take quite a bit of time to be productive with the programming though and regular classroom teachers might not feel they can spend that much time one it
21:21:05 doriedance: Hello
21:21:18 PeggyG: Hi doriedance
21:21:28 doriedance: not hearing anything?
21:21:39 PeggyG: click on the ustream play button
21:21:45 Durff: click on the black icon under ETT A
21:22:09 Durff: we have a party of streams going on
21:22:13 matt montagne: programming is the penultimate process oriented task...the product really doesn't matter..but the process does...
21:22:19 PeggyG: so many choices :-)
21:22:32 Durff: penultimate - great word
21:22:46 sheila: This talk reminds me of real-life applications like the rover in Antarctica (which may go to Europa)
21:22:48 matt montagne: dunno know what it means durff...but thought I'd try it ;-0
21:22:52 PeggyG: @matt-that's what many parents have a problem with--they understand product and less so the value of the process
21:23:04 Durff: it sounds good anyway
21:23:07 PeggyG: definitely Sheila! great comparison
21:23:26 derrallg: @matt was wondering how next to last fit in there
21:23:52 Durff: his word of the day, i suspect
21:24:01 Durff: paul - you're late
21:24:06 matt montagne: one of the lunar rovers, I believe, was actually based on MIT's lab view programming software
21:24:07 sheila: Our 8th graders robot under Antarctic ice at
21:24:16 paulrwood: Just got home from work
21:24:40 PeggyG: that was an amazing demonstration from Antarctica!
21:24:40 Durff: we have two streams - shoutcast on ETT A or ustream
21:24:55 Durff: yes!
21:25:03 Durff: my kids liked that
21:25:07 PeggyG: Hi paulrwood! great to see you
21:25:08 matt montagne: ustream is better is more real time.
21:25:25 paulrwood: Glad to be here PeggyG
21:25:30 Durff: shoutcast is better - it's matt's
21:25:43 Durff: we gotta build him up
21:25:46 matt montagne: And, we have a great technical producer running things tonite to ustream ;-)
21:25:59 Durff: we do?
21:26:07 PeggyG: I really love the things Colleen does with mathcasts on Voicethread
21:26:47 matt montagne: @durff...I don't know, do we ;-)
21:27:07 PeggyG: Colleen's site is "one stop shopping" for fantastic math resources for elementary students!
21:27:36 derrallg: I love when I hear teachers in my district who don't really keep up on current trends referencing mathplayground
21:27:46 JoseRodriguez: Hey There... finally made it.
21:27:58 PeggyG: whew! relieved to know I don't have to go to second life to find Colleen!
21:27:58 derrallg: hey Jose
21:28:20 sheila: Our school has Math Playground on our Math web page. It's been there for a long time. Math teacher uses it.
21:28:56 PeggyG: that makes a lot of sense since elementary kids can't access second life
21:29:03 JoseRodriguez: what's the link for math playground?
21:29:14 Durff: their teachers can and do
21:29:31 PeggyG:
21:29:37 JoseRodriguez: thanks
21:29:50 JoseRodriguez: Where is Carmen Sandiego.. kind of deal?
21:29:54 Durff: where is Carmen Sandiego reprisal
21:29:58 sheila: Ohh! Sounds interesting!
21:30:14 Durff: Jose you and I thought alike
21:30:21 JoseRodriguez: yep
21:30:22 derrallg: that sounds great
21:30:25 LParisi: Too late for me.  Need it now.  ;)
21:30:27 PeggyG: listen to all of those standards embedded in what she is saying!! :-)
21:31:26 PeggyG: are the math games on your site interactive among students? (not just interactive for the user)
21:32:23 PeggyG: yes collaborative :-) thanks Maria
21:32:28 Durff: you gave her ideas!
21:33:02 Durff: i draw good stick figures
21:33:03 JoseRodriguez: Peter Reynolds does both
21:33:05 PeggyG: the kids are the best artists :-)
21:33:22 PeggyG: yes Jose-Animation-ish is an incredible tool!
21:33:58 LParisi: Daughter is ready for Flash now, Colleen.
21:34:00 PeggyG: fantastic collaboration with Lisa P's daughter! :-)
21:34:36 PeggyG:
21:34:58 Durff: Peggy the Google Jockey
21:35:06 PeggyG: sorry-should be I think
21:35:31 PeggyG: available in both Spanish and English (and other languages)
21:35:44 Durff: not German?
21:35:54 PeggyG: Yes German is listed there
21:36:14 Durff: I was kidding
21:36:36 PeggyG: Colleen thought of everything for her site!
21:36:55 Durff: wb derrallg
21:37:30 derrallg: thanks durff, still having FF crash issues when clicking on links
21:37:35 JoseRodriguez: model your math... sounds really good
21:38:15 derrallg: @jose what was the link you refered to?
21:38:18 PeggyG: that is fantastic for helping students to understand concepts! wow!
21:38:24 Durff: ah then don't click on anything
21:38:46 LParisi: I am surprised they didn't mention Math Playground.  We LOVE math playground!
21:39:13 PeggyG:  Think that was the site Jose mentioned
21:39:14 Durff: we are atypical
21:39:25 derrallg: thanks PeggyG
21:39:36 JoseRodriguez: thanks peggy
21:39:38 LParisi: We also know Colleen, Durff, so that helps. :)
21:39:47 Durff: true
21:40:10 doriedance: Looks similar to Singapore Math.  Are you familiar?
21:40:10 sheila: Look and feel of the site is nice. Doesn't look too young for the middle school kids.
21:40:28 derrallg: I usually try to do this math mystery every year
21:40:31 matt montagne: I have issues with math instructors in our coutnry...I think we teach students to become mathematicians...most high school students that I see are in a total math daze...they've memorized the algorithims and have memorized how to apply the algorithum
21:40:34 Durff: no, tell us
21:40:39 PeggyG: I can't help but wish that I had a teacher like Colleen when I was learning math--I might understand it better now!!
21:40:47 matt montagne: I mean, "math instruction"
21:41:10 doriedance: uses model drawing
21:41:16 doriedance: unit bars
21:41:16 PeggyG: so true Matt--that's how I learned math and now can't remember what I learned
21:41:58 Durff: i find the opposite peggy
21:42:22 matt montagne: math depts should be should be about engineering, applied math, science and should be about solving real problems
21:42:26 PeggyG: you mean you can still remember all the rules and algorithms Durff?
21:42:34 Durff: i walked into an algebra class the other day, picked up the book, and new what to cover
21:42:40 LParisi: I think we just need to be careful about not allowing students to actually handle manipulatives...for some kids it is important.
21:42:52 derrallg: we had some PD this year and they gave us lessons but said we had to buy the manipulatives
21:43:02 Durff: teaching kids to think, not the one correct answer is key
21:43:52 derrallg: I don't put my students on the drill and kill flash games
21:43:54 Durff: Peggy - I don't have those things memorized, no
21:44:07 LParisi: There's also Cyberchase
21:44:19 Durff: 1 minuite
21:44:36 derrallg: yes there is one answer to find aliens
21:44:40 PeggyG: I like all of the math resources provided in the New Zealand math curriculums--lots of problem solving/creative things that require thinking without a single correct answer
21:44:54 doriedance: mindinstitute ST Math-district has to purchase
21:45:00 doriedance: not about creating though
21:45:11 PeggyG: I loved the Zoombinis :-) my grandkids grew up with it
21:45:19 derrallg: I liked the Zoombinis too
21:45:30 doriedance: Kidspiration 3-allows kids to create their own
21:45:50 PeggyG: yes-the tessalation sites! good example
21:46:38 derrallg: nice recovery
21:46:51 Durff: we thank you all for coming to our show tonight!!
21:47:22 PeggyG: have any of you used the New Zealand materials in your teaching?
21:48:37 Durff: there goes that google jockey again
21:48:37 PeggyG: very nice summary Alice! I always appreciate that!
21:48:45 MariaK:
21:49:36 PeggyG: I heard you talk about that on an earlier show Maria and was so impressed with everything you experienced at Constructing Modern Knowledge!
21:50:09 matt montagne: the elves
21:50:19 PeggyG: Wonderful conversation!! Really enjoyed being reminded about Colleen's site! Such valuable resources!!
21:50:21 matt montagne: thanks to the elves
21:50:22 alicemercer: Did she mention you Matt? Matt is our streamer
21:50:32 matt montagne: I'm not streaming
21:50:35 matt montagne: the elves are streaming
21:50:36 alicemercer: mizmercer
21:50:43 JoseRodriguez: Hi Nedra....
21:50:51 PeggyG: those elves are truly remarkable!!
21:50:55 JoseRodriguez: sorry she just left.
21:51:02 Durff: ty elves
21:51:16 matt montagne: 'twasn't me
21:51:20 matt montagne: 'twas the elves
21:51:34 matt montagne: go california!!!
21:51:38 alicemercer: miz mercer or alice.mercer
21:51:42 derrallg: left coasters
21:51:47 matt montagne: lots of west coasters in the house!!
21:51:48 JoseRodriguez: thanks dudes...
21:52:06 PeggyG: I'm happy to listen and type :-)
21:52:31 PeggyG: Can Colleen talk about her Voicethread uses?
21:53:07 PeggyG: yes yes!!
21:53:08 sheila: You have the advantage of time zone!
21:53:26 JoseRodriguez: now that sounds interesting... mathcast... voicethread. interesting
21:53:56 PeggyG: Tim seems to have gradually moved from video to voicethread--I really love the mathcasts and use them as examples for VT all the time.
21:54:33 alicemercer:
21:54:36 PeggyG:
21:54:40 MariaK:
21:55:19 PeggyG: Lisa Parisi's students -'s+Mathcast+Portfolio
21:55:36 PeggyG: yes commoncraft :-)
21:55:47 LParisi: We just did that today!
21:55:56 PeggyG: what a great idea Maria!
21:56:05 LParisi: We retold a folktale like Common Craft
21:56:19 PeggyG: there are many people copying the common craft model :-)
21:56:34 alicemercer: can't copyright stick figures!
21:56:41 alicemercer: And paper craft? nope
21:56:44 JoseRodriguez:  pretty cool site and it runs on a moodle
21:57:06 JoseRodriguez: thanks for link,
21:57:09 JoseRodriguez: alice
21:57:14 alicemercer: I"m good
21:58:18 PeggyG: have you seen his video called saving money in plain English?
21:58:49 PeggyG:
21:59:05 PeggyG: Thanks everyone! Great show!!
21:59:10 sheila: Thanks all!
22:00:51 JoseRodriguez: just added some cool links to my delicious..
22:01:01 JoseRodriguez: Thanks maria.. great guest today....


Hey, It's always nice to be mentioned. Many thanks! I hope some of your millions of listeners can come to Constructing Modern Knowledge this July - It's going to be amazing! All the best, Gary