I've been working at getting Squeak to work again...not that it ever stopped working...but I stopped working with it. Thankfully it's much like riding a bike. You sort of forget how to do things but they come back. I still get an object to move, created a simple test and take action on that test...even draw something with the Paint tools. Wooo-hooo!!!!
I'm starting with variables and tables...what this looks like on a graph. My indicator says they need to be able to create each and then move freely between them. My experience says students can do this but only with LOTS and LOTS of experience. They rack up that experience and can begin to "see" the graph from looking at the rate of change inside the table and sort of "know" what it will look like on the graph.
Now that Squeak is working for me again, I have to really think about how to best utilize it. Initially I thought I'd start off with showing Squeak, teaching them some basics with a predone example. I'm not sure because my temperature probes might do a better job since it collects data, imports it to a table before their very eyes and transforms that into a graph. I can easily set up all sorts of situations where the probe is recording different kinds of situations so the data look different. Wonder how to get the IT guys to let me commandeer laptops to setup stations where kids can explore and try to get their graphs to look differently???? There's cool eToy that might be useful...I need to try it out and see if I can understand it.
Since I know how to do that already, I might save what we could learn from Squeak until we talk about rules and patterns. Maybe I should start off showing them how cool Squeak is on the SmartBoard and we can program simple things together..maybe do the tutorial as a whole class. Then they'd have some info from which to move on ahead independently. I'd have time to really hone in how to do this better and maybe find some collaborators out there that have gone before me.