[ann] make 4th grade courseware this summer « Tidepool News

Hi everyone,

For years, I’ve endeavored to create a courseware library that showcases the deep-learning possibilities of tools such as Squeak Etoys and Scratch. My goal is to create supplemental learning materials for all topics covered in 4th grade. I first tried this as director of Squeakland, then later as director of Waveplace. We made progress using Etoys as the platform, but never quite finished. Now I’d like to try again with Tidepool.

I’m hoping to find educators who can help us create 8 to 24 units this summer. We have a fund for stipends, which will be shared by the authors. We will also launch a Kickstarter next month to supplement this fund (all money raised goes to courseware authors).  All courseware will be Creative Commons.  Tidepool itself is free.

Each unit will have ten lessons, each of which should occupy a child between 45 and 90 minutes. We have the following units planned, but we are open to suggestions:

  • Language Arts: Interactive Fiction, Storytelling, Vocabulary
  • Mathematics: Measurement, Geometry, Algebra Concepts
  • Social Studies: Economics, Geography, History
  • Science: Earth Science, Life Science, Motion
  • Music: {One}, {Two}, {Three}
  • Visual Arts: {One}, {Two}, {Three}
  • Health: Clean Water, Malaria, {Three}
  • Technology: Engineering, Programming, {Three}

Of this list, we implemented roughly ten units using Etoys. We may reuse some of these older units, though probably will rewrite most of it.

All in all, the goal is to show classroom teachers that they can use tools such as Scratch and Tidepool to teach traditional classroom topics in a deeper, more engaging way. We have always seen Logo, Etoys, and Scratch as “tools to think with” and have long hoped to get people past soley using them for mathematics and science.

Anyway, if you’re interested, email me. I hope to hear from you!

Take care,
Tim

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