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 software, curriculum, and professional development for Key Curriculum Press and KCP Technologies. He also teaches Secondary Math Methods in the graduate teacher education program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Starting with Sketchpad Activities on Day One in High School

In my previous two posts, I listed some of the new Dynamic Number project activities (for grades 2-5 and grades 5-8) that engage students in manipulating and investigating dynamic mathematical objects from day … Continue Reading ››

Starting with Sketchpad Activities on Day One in Grades 5-8

In the Dynamic Number project, one of our goals has been to create activities in which students actually experience mathematical objects by creating them, manipulating them, and investigating them. (George Lakoff and Rafael Núñez describe, in Where Mathematics Comes From, how students' abstract mathematical concepts are grounded in … Continue Reading ››

Starting with Sketchpad Activities on Day One in Grades 2-5

As an 18-year veteran teacher in Philadelphia public schools, my initial reaction when I first saw Sketchpad was “This would have completely changed the way I taught geometry.” I phrase it differently today: “This would have completely changed the way students experience mathematics.” a perspective that differs in two important details. First, I now understand that the … 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 ››