Ralleia Experimental Primary Schools

Using EasyLogo to create basic geometrical shapes

Teacher:Petraki Evangelia

Classes: D-F

Students in primary school enjoy learning how to code with scratch. They like creating their own programs, games etc. There are many advantages in introducing kids to Computer Science from early ages. Some of them follows. Students: 

  • improve their algorithmic thinking - they can define a set of instructions/steps to solve a problem;

  • learn to evaluate - when students write a program they check and evaluate their code(program) in each step to ensure that their code meets the requirements that initially had been set;

  • they learn how to break a problem  into its component parts (decomposition);

  • they learn how to remove complexity without losing the important detail required to solve a problem (abstraction) 

  • find general solutions for set of problems (generalisation )

  • they are also encouraged to use their creativity.

 

Apart from Scratch students can easily write programs in other programming environments like EasyLogo. EasyLogo is a programming environment that can be used to teach students in primary education basic programming structures. It was designed for people with basic computer skills to make programming and problem solving as easy as possible for them. It has been developed by the Department of Informatics Education, Comenius University of Bratislava. EasyLogo is available free of charge for educational and non-commercial purposes.

Young students can easily create algorithms which draw specific shapes according to their program. Our students already know Scratch programming environment, so they don't face any difficulties to stucture the solution of a problem, define the steps which will constitute the algorithm and create the program with an easy programming environment like EasyLogo.

EasyLogo has only the following commands:

  • Forward – moves the turtle a constant number of steps.

  • Left, Right – rotate the turtle.

  • Repeat – works as a container that repeats commands a constant number of times.

  • Dot – paints dots

  • Fill – colour fills an area.

  • Pen color, Pen width – change the color and the width of the pen.

  • Move, Draw – disable or enable drawing (like the commands, penUp or penDown).

  • It is possible to create new procedures to draw shapes to specification.

  • It is possible to invoke your own procedure as a command to paint a defined shape. 

 

EasyLogo provides a collection of activities with different educational goals which are a series of small microworlds or tasks that need to be solved. The user may arbitrarily browse, solve or skip these activities.

Objectives:

  • They create basic geometrical shapes with EasyLogo.

  • Students learn a different programming environment  

  • Use their knowledge in Scratch to write programs(code) in a different programming environment

  • They get familiar with the concept of the algorithm and realize that the same algorith can be converted to a program in different programming languages(environments).

  • They improve their critical thinking.

  • They realize the importance of algorithmic thinking for constructing the solution for any problem.

The following video presents how we can easily draw a square, a triangle, an octagon, a house and a wagon with EasyLogo. Students can practice their knowledge with the activities that EasyLogo provides.

Conclusions

  • Students become more confident about their ability to solve problems as well as mathematical problems

  • Students acquired a better knowledge of basic mathematical concepts

  • Students better understand basic geometry shapes by visualizing them using programming.

 

Useful links and sources

http://edi.fmph.uniba.sk/~salanci/EasyLogo/index.html

http://edi.fmph.uniba.sk/~salanci/EasyLogo/Paper.pdf

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