Category Archives: Elementary Mathematics

Comparing and Identifying Fractions Visually

In my previous post, I presented an interactive Web Sketchpad model for visualizing and solving fraction multiplication problems. This week, I'd like to back up a step and focus on the more fundamental skill of visualizing and reasoning about the size of fractions. The fraction game below (and here) presents two random fractions at a time and … Continue Reading ››

Understanding Fraction Multiplication

Last week, Scott and I attended a fraction symposium at NYU, and it made me realize how long it's been since I've written about our Sketchpad work with fractions. Below is a Web Sketchpad model for displaying and solving fraction multiplication problems. Representing fraction multiplication with an area model is a common approach, but it's challenging to sort … Continue Reading ››

Exploring Tessellations with Web Sketchpad

Metamorphosis is a New York-based company that offers professional content coaching to transform the mindset and practice of both teachers and administrators. I recently had the pleasure to collaborate with Metamorphosis staff members Toni Cameron and Kara Levin as well as mathematics coach Ariel Dlugasch from P.S. 276 in a coaching learning community that … Continue Reading ››

A Coordinate Plane Logic Puzzle

For the past few years, Scott Steketee and I have collaborated with the author team of Everyday Mathematics to integrate Web Sketchpad deeply into their curriculum. As part of that work, I just completed a websketch that nicely mixes practice with logical reasoning. Students are challenged to find a hidden treasure on the coordinate … Continue Reading ››

Bunny Times Brings Conceptual Understanding to Multiplication

Four years ago, my colleague Scott Steketee and I set out to develop an interactive game to help students develop strategies for thinking about and solving multiplication problems. As we examined the existing apps on the market, we discovered that most focused on the drill aspect of learning one's multiplication facts. We set our goals higher. We … Continue Reading ››

Arranging Addends Puzzles Revisited

In a prior blog post, I introduced my new puzzle, Arranging Addends, that mixes arithmetic with logical thinking to create an engaging playground for mathematical discovery. Let’s revisit this puzzle and introduce some new variations. Take a look at the puzzle below (and here), built with Web Sketchpad. Your goal is to arrange the … Continue Reading ››

Zooming Integers: Magnifying the Number Line

In my prior post, I presented a "zooming" number line model that allowed students to estimate the location of a point along a number line and then repeatedly magnify that portion of the number line to obtain ever-finer estimates, accurate to tenths, hundredths, thousandths, and beyond. In a sense I got ahead of myself because I … Continue Reading ››

Zooming in on Place Value

One of the aspects I like best about Dynamic Geometry software like Web Sketchpad is its ability to illustrate concepts that cannot effectively be represented with static media. Take, for example, a number line that we draw on a white board. Showing the number line labeled with integers is easy. Adding tenth-mark divisions to the … Continue Reading ››

Exploring Triangle Area with Custom-Built Tools

With Web Sketchpad, it's easy to craft tools that are tailor made for the task at hand. I was reminded of this flexibility several weeks ago when creating an interactive model for the elementary curriculum Everyday Mathematics. My goal was to design a lesson focusing on the triangle area formula, A = bh/2. … Continue Reading ››