Dreaming of Dreambox…

Posted on December 15, 2012

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The semester’s done! My grandiose plan of emailing a fun Flash lesson timed so it would arrive during the final didn’t make it (well, I did study for my own final just a little — but just did a few things on the “code correction” and handed it in.  It’s a little funny — now that I’ve totally, intentionally tanked one final as I did last May it’s entirely too easy to say “a B would be fine! I’d rather get 45 minutes more sleep tonight!” especially since I’m just not where I can fix somebody else’s mistakes, probably won’t ever have to do it, and don’t see the value in “do whatever it takes to make it work” when the thing to “make work” isn’t something I need to work).

So I’m trying to make an exercise where you drag and drop counting rods .We’ll be using   Mortensen Mathb[Warning:   web design is *not* their specialty ;)] rods so I kinda sorta matched those colors.

Inspired by the obvious importance of visual design I wandered over to Dreambox and found their “gumball packer” that is used to teach division with big numbers.   I really love that yes, really, finally, somd ebody doesn’t have a textbook online and run around calling it revolutionary.  (I had the same issue in *** 1998 when I was a grad student looking at educational software at the U of South Carolina.   “Educational games” were just quizzes with bells and whistles then, too.)   I  think I can learn a thing or two about the javascript part from it… hte games are Flash. I would have liked to see a little more fidelity to reality so that  when I determined that I could pack 19 bags of gumballs with 20 gumballs in each from 381 gumballs, that actually 19 bags would come out (better yet, with 20 gumballs visible in ’em instead of the same icon for everything) instead of the arbitrary 8 in the animation.   Why?   Becaues I’d like somebody to be able to drop in at any level (and that’s assuming that the division concept is more carefully constructed with the smaller numbers — I hope so).

(So yesterday nobody, not one person at work mentioned the slaughter of the kindergartners in Connecticut.   I know that I was just not willing to be the one to tell somebody who didn’t know yet.   Now I find from Slate that yea, the guy was on meds –rather possibly the ones that have possible side effects of suicidal ideation) and I remember that being true for at least two other mass murderers.   hello hello hello  let’s at least check things out)

/and  now I’m going to try to apply the nice visual design of Dreambox to my little rod-matching exercise (with MOrtensen’s site as a “what not to do!” inspiration).    The plan: to do combinations to equal ten, and then toss in “negatives.”   I think that the Dragon BOx “night version” concept is interesting… but as I tweeted, those lessons (I sprang $6 for the Windows app) seem a little too much like TouchMath for Algebra with even more degrees of separation between the visual-motor and the number concepts. I’m thinking red slashes…

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Posted in: flash animation, math