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Tux Paint - Bill Kendrick

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Are school budget cuts cramping your style? Then look at this award winning, FREE drawing application! Tux Paint is an "open source" drawing software for young students (preK - grade...more
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Are school budget cuts cramping your style? Then look at this award winning, FREE drawing application! Tux Paint is an "open source" drawing software for young students (preK - grade 6) and is available to the public at no cost. If you are familiar with Kid Pix, you will feel right at home with Tux Paint. The design is straightforward, and easy to navigate. The center of the screen serves as a large canvas with drawing tools on either side. Beneath the screen is a color palette. A cute penguin cartoon character directs students through the program and provides helpful tips. Some of the features include a large, kid friendly mouse pointer, brushes, stamps, sounds, erasers, letters, numbers, "magic effects," and an undo/redo option. Save artwork directly onto a slide finder page without having to create a file name. The installation is quick and easy even for older computers. First, download the application itself, and then the stamp collection. The number of stamps and the variety of images is amazing! Feel free to install Tux Paint on as many computers as you wish. Tux Paint will work on a variety of operating platforms such as Windows, OS X 10.3, and Linux. The "Tux Paint Configuration" tool is a separate file found on the "Tux Paint" download page. Having the controls in a different location makes it difficult for students to adjust the settings. Simply open the Tux Paint Configuration file and a main control panel will come up. From here, the supervising adult can control the screen size, sound, mouse, print settings, and save functions. Adjust the settings and simplify the program for younger children. Choose from approximately 80 different languages to run Tux Paint.

tag(s): creativity (90), drawing (60), painting (55), preK (259)

In the Classroom

Introduce this fabulous site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students take turns trying the program. Include a link to Tux Paint on your class website and encourage families to download Tux Paint onto their family computer. Elementary teachers will enjoy all the options Tux Paint provides for image making. Classroom teachers can have students draw a response to a class glyph, illustrate stories, label scientific images, write and illustrate word problems or create self-portraits. You will need headphones or speakers for the audio portions of this site. Dazzle parents at Open House or Back to School Night with a viewing of the slide show presentation or looping animation of student work. Save student work as a JPG and export images into a multimedia presentation with narration using My Storybook, reviewed here. Ask older students to design and submit new stamps to Tux Paint. Explain to them the premise behind Open Source software and how to participate in collaborative software development. Tux Paint is also a great way to teach young students how to control a mouse, type, drag, and cut or paste imagery. Stuck for lesson ideas on how to use Tux Paint, just ask the students!

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