Tomoko Fuse is a Japanese origami artist whose designs are highly geometric. A Google search for her origami models reveals a plethora of boxes and intricate three-dimensional structures, many of which are folded from multiple sheets of … Continue Reading ››

# All posts by Daniel Scher

# Breathing New Life Into Sets

Ms. Walter, my junior high math teacher, sure knew how to get my attention on the first day of class. She told us we would be studying all about sex. Well no, let me restate: She said we'd learn about sets, but my seventh-grade ears heard otherwise. It didn't take long for my confusion to … Continue Reading ››

# Sketchpad Reflection Puzzles

In a recent blog post, Karen Greenhaus describes how it's possible to construct familiar corporate logos using Sketchpad. You might start with a rhombus, for example, and then reflect it twice to obtain … Continue Reading ››

# Exploring Conic Sections with Sketchpad

As a student, I didn’t place conic sections on my list of favorite high school topics. The standard textbook treatment of the ellipse, parabola, and hyperbola seemed uninspired. There were messy algebraic equations with multiple square roots. There was lots of terminology. Drawing a conic meant plotting several points on graph paper and connecting them with … Continue Reading ››

# Exploring Factor Patterns in an Interactive Array

OK, I admit it: I have factors on the brain.
First, I wrote about When Factoring Gets Personal. I followed that with a post describing what happens When Factors Put on Their Dancing Shoes. So what's next—When Factors Apply for a Home Equity Loan? Thankfully no, … Continue Reading ››

# The Dynamic Number Project Comes to NCTM Philadelphia

It’s time for the NCTM Annual Meeting!
For the past two and a half years, my colleague Scott Steketee and I have been collaborating with elementary teachers in New York and Philadelphia as they field test curriculum materials for the Dynamic Number project. We’ll be showcasing our work at three sessions during the upcoming … Continue Reading ››

# When Factors Put on Their Dancing Shoes

What’s the narrative? That question, so fundamental to any novel, may not sound as relevant when applied to mathematics. Take, for example, the topic of factors: 1, 2, 4, and 8 are factors of eight; 3, 5, and 7 are not. Where is the inherent drama in these relationships? In most elementary mathematics curricula, there … Continue Reading ››

# When Factoring Gets Personal

As an author of Sketchpad activities, I like to think that I can pose good problems for students to solve. But as I visit elementary classrooms and watch students use Sketchpad, I realize that a large part of the enjoyment they derive from using our software comes from creating their own problems and sharing them … Continue Reading ››

# Oh, the Fractions You’ll See!

A quick quiz: How many fractions are there?
This may sound like an absurd question, but in the context of elementary mathematics curricula, it makes a lot of sense. Think about it: Children encounter fractions like 1/2, 3/4, and 2/6 all the time, but do they ever see 1/100, 31/90, or 499/500? Unlikely. No brave soul … Continue Reading ››