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So the activity I ended up going with is Blocku, an educational math game.

The objective of the game is to figure out different ways to solve various math problems. The problems are presented in the form: ? + ? = X, where X is some number, and the ?’s are two numbers which when combined with the operator in between them, equate to X. Various numbers are put on the four sides of the blocks, and the user has to put the sides of the blocks together that solve the problem.

There isn’t a whole lot in the game at the moment – just two sample blocks that you can move, and a static grid. There’s a lot to add, most notably the ability to display a problem, as well as to check whether or not the user has solved it. The interface also needs an overhaul, but that will come later.

I’ll be working on an algorithm to generate the numbers on the blocks randomly, while ensuring that the puzzle is still solvable. I imagine this will have something to do with computing the required number of times the question must be answered (dependent upon how many blocks there are), and checking to make sure there are at least that many pairs of numbers which solve the problem on the board. I’ll also be doing a few mockups of a better interface, but improving the look of the game will come towards the end of the quarter.

Sugar Activities

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Three interesting Sugar Activities:

1) Typing Turtle – An app that helps teach touch typing. Looks like it’s a pretty popular activity, and according to the review it’s very well made. What interested me most was the opportunity for expansion, especially the suggestions that reviewer harriska2 had: the ability to upload reports to a teacher, track the student’s progress, and require a student to retake a lesson if they don’t score high enough.

2) Physics – Who doesn’t love a good physics simulator? This looks like a really interesting activity, and one that looks like it has room to grow. It’s hard to say what it needs without having actually played it, but it sounds like it could use some polishing, and maybe a bit more purpose.

3) Listen and Spell 2 – Sounds like an interesting idea, and one that could really be a good way to teach spelling. However, it doesn’t seem like it was implemented very well. I’d definitely like to take a look at the project and see if there’s any way to fix it. Never worked with a speech synthesizer before either, might be cool to take a crack at improving that too.

Hello Open Source World!

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