All posts by Scott Steketee

Scott Steketee taught secondary math and computer science in Philadelphia for 18 years and received the district's Teacher of Excellence award. Since 1992, he has worked on Sketchpad and Web Sketchpad software, curriculum, and professional development. He taught Secondary Math Methods in the graduate teacher education program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a co-principal investigator on the NSF-funded Forging Connections project.

What Does Rowing Have to Do with Teaching Mathematics?

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Harry congratulates a rower after sweeping Yale for his last time.
Harry Parker died this summer, two weeks after coaching the Harvard rowing team to yet another sweep of all four races (varsity, JV, freshmen, and spares) against Yale and two days after accompanying his 1980 Olympic … Continue Reading ››

Exponential Harmony with Sketchpad

Last week was the fourth session of my spring Advanced Secondary Math Methods class at the University of Pennsylvania. Each year I assign a semester project in which groups of three students use lesson-study techniques—on a small scale—to create, test, refine, teach, evaluate, and document specific shared instructional products, composed of a (possibly multi-day) lesson … Continue Reading ››

ICME: The Nature of Students’ Mathematical Thinking

Like other enthusiasts of mathematics, I’m captivated by the way that mathematical ideas can explain things in the physical world around me, and by the way that I can carry out mathematical thought experiments in my mind and then apply the results to control my external physical environment.

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Sketchpad Activities, Cognitive Demand, and Differentiation

Not long ago, I conducted a Saturday morning PD session for some Texas teachers participating in an NSF research project. (The research is a controlled study of the relationship between students’ use of Sketchpad and their conjecturing and proving behavior. I hope we’ll have a blog post about this study itself before too long.) Because of the … Continue Reading ››

Parents, Children, and Functions in Sketchpad

Functions are hard for students. Students seem to master various families of functions – linear, polynomial, exponential, trigonometric, and so forth. They can graph them, evaluate them, transform them, and answer a variety of questions about them. But ask even our better students a question that’s out of the ordinary and we’re likely to be taken … Continue Reading ››

Writing Mathematics with Sketchpad

In a recent blog post, Karen Coe referred to Conrad Wolfram’s opinion that programming is to mathematics what composition is to English. I’ve taught programming and written a lot of Sketchpad code, and I appreciate Wolfram’s analogy. In English class, students read books, poems, short stories, essays, and articles—but to gain a deep appreciation for … Continue Reading ››