Here’s one of our most popular applets that we designed in conjunction with the team at NCTM. In this free interactive, children guide a turtle to a pond using turn-by-turn commands while estimating distance and angle.
How to Play
Children click on the arrow buttons on the turtle controller to move the turtle on the screen forward and backward and make right and left turns. Clicking on the arrows also pulls up another menu that asks students to estimate the number of steps to move or the angle at which they would like the turtle to turn. Once they have entered a path, they simply click on the play buttons to watch their turtle get to the pond with a splash! (or not!)
To make the activity even more challenging, you can choose to turn the grid on or off, add ‘obstacles’ like bushes and rocks, and also expand the number of angles that are displayed in the menu to give the turtle more freedom of movement.
Use this applet to help your children apply mathematical concepts and trial and error to solve problems in a fun and engaging way.
Depending on the level of support you provide, this applet would work well for students in Pre-K through Eighth grade.
If you like this applet, you can find more ideas on how to use it on the NCTM Illuminations website.