Using LogoWriter

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LogoWriter is software using the LOGO language as its basis. It works well with students because there is immediate success or the need to try again! The following information is not intended to be a complete course in LogoWriter, but enough to explore some geometric drawings in the plane.

Objectives: [NCTM Grades 5-8 Standards: Geometry, Reasoning and Proof, and Communication]

1. To use the software, LogoWriter.
2. To learn how to manipulate the turtle using commands and procedures.

Materials

1. Computer
2. LogoWriter software:

LogoWriter
LCSI
(800) 321-LOGO

Introducing Commands:

1. Instruct the students to make a new page.
2. Instruct the students to practice using the following commands:
fd 50
fd stands for forward and is followed by a number which determines the length of the line segment.
bk 50
bk stands for backward and is followed by a number which determines the length of the line segment.
rt 90
rt stands for right turn and is followed by a number which determines the degrees of the turn.
lt 45
lt stands for left turn and is followed by a number which determines the degrees of the turn.
pu
pu stands for pen up - nothing will be drawn.
pd
pd stands for pen down - the turtle will draw.
setc 1
setc stands for set color - the turtle will draw in a color. Use the numbers 0 to 5 to get various pen colors.
setbg 1
setbg stands for set background - the background can be filled with color. Use the numbers 0 to 5 to get various colors.
setpos [ ]
setpos stands for set position - Think of the turtle drawing area having an origin, x-axis and y-axis. The numbers put between the two brackets will be a point (x, y). Have the students try different values to get a feel for the maximum and minimum values on the grid.
fill
If the turtle is within a bounded area the space will be filled with the currently chosen pen color.
rg
This command will erase the graphics.
cc
This command will erase the commands.
repeat N[ ]
Anything that is put between the two brackets [ ] will be repeated as many times as the value of "N" in front of the first bracket.
Example:
repeat 5[fd 10 pu fd 15 pd]

Introducing Procedures

1. Instruct the students to go to the flip side.
2. Instruct the students to practice writing procedures. Procedures follow a specific format. They are strings of commands beginning with TO and a NAME and followed by END. For example:

TO STREET
pu
setpos [-250 0]
pd
rt 90
repeat 25[pu fd 10 pd fd 10]
END

Once the student has typed one procedure into the flip side, he/she should go to the graphics side to try the procedure! It will be immediately known if it works. If not, return to the flip side to revise and try again.