[Edu-sig] Python and pre-algebra

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Thu Jun 30 07:50:25 CEST 2011

Hi Mary --

Many subscribers to edu-sig have developed interesting approaches over the

There's a lot of interest in turtle art and/or turtle graphics.  There's
this tendency to divide algebra from geometry, whereas some teachers think
it's important to keep lexical and graphical connected.

To that end, my pre-algebra tends to focus on numeric sequences that have a
clear geometric meaning (like triangular and square numbers, but I also take
it into volume and growth sequences in space -- polyhedral numbers some call
these sequences).

You'll get the flavor my approach from the Oregon Curriculum Network web
site, this page in particular, and this essay in particular:



I'm guessing others will chime in.

Python's 'How to Think Like a Computer Scientist' literature, a free
syllabus, is not inconsistent with developing skills in algebra.

If you want to be more serious and formal about "object oriented" and link
in a notion of "math objects", I recommend spiraling through the same or
similar material with that in mind.

They may not be ready for vector objects tomorrow, but perhaps the day

Polyhedrons are stellar objects because they're both abstract and concrete
in their properties and behaviors.

Algebra and geometric shapes are good friends, or should be, starting with
such as V + F == E + 2.


On Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 4:15 PM, <mary.dooms at comcast.net> wrote:

> I teach 6th grade math and Python was suggested as a way to apply
> pre-algebra concepts in a programming context. My programming background
> consists of one C++ programming class. How do I begin? Are lesson plans and
> small programs available, for example, where students could write and "drop
> in" a script that includes integers and the output would not only calculate
> it, but see the relevance of it in a real world situation?
> *
> *
> *Or, perhaps, the program controls a "wheelchair" robot and students would
> write scripts to drive the robot at a certain speed considering the slope of
> a ramp?*
> *
> *
> *As you can see, I am a novice, but I see great potential and am willing
> to learn.*
> *
> *
> *Thanks,*
> *
> *
> *Mary*
> _______________________________________________
> Edu-sig mailing list
> Edu-sig at python.org
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