# Introducing the Dynamic Number Project

Four years ago, my colleague Scott Steketee and I began brainstorming new Sketchpad activities for a National Science Foundation grant called Dynamic Number. Our goal was to use Sketchpad to make ideas from number, operation, early algebra, and algebra come alive through interactive models that emphasized conceptual understanding. Continue Reading ››

# 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 ››

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 ››

As a fourth-grader in 1977, I had a love-hate relationship with my Addison-Wesley textbook. Its contents overflowed with arithmetic problems, but every so often an entertaining brainteaser appeared to break the monotony of drill practice. These puzzles were clearly marked: Each appeared in a box set aside from the main text and featured a bespectacled … Continue Reading ››

# Polar Graphing

After writing yesterday's post on the connections between polar and Cartesian graphs, I realized that I hadn't said anything about how easy it is to start from scratch and create a polar graph in Sketchpad, so I decided to write this post, and include an instructional video. Here are … Continue Reading ››

# Cartesian and Polar Graphs

The May 2013 Mathematics Teacher has an excellent article by Jonathan F. Lawes ("Graphing Polar Curves") on the value of plotting the same function in both polar and rectangular coordinates. Doing so not only helps students understand how polar coordinates work, but also gives them a novel and revealing … Continue Reading ››

# Understanding Proportional Relationships with the Proximity Data Game

In the Fall as Middle School and Algebra 1 teachers look for activities to develop students’ understandings of proportional relationships, they may turn to measuring scale diagrams or using springs. One of KCP Technologies' new online Data Games called Proximity offers a new option for teachers to help students learn about proportional … Continue Reading ››

# “Figuring It Out” Is Where the Learning Happens

I often get asked the question when doing webinars, workshops, or professional development training, "is there a quick way to do that" with Sketchpad, TinkerPlots or Fathom? For example, last week we had a webinar on functions, and the question came up about whether Sketchpad had a … Continue Reading ››

# 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 ››

# Functions Come Alive in a Precalculus Classroom

Ken Gordon has written our first in a series of guest blog posts from people working with Key Curriculum products in schools. Ken teaches Precalculus and Calculus in an accelerated program at Sisler High School in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He has been using The Geometer’s Sketchpad since first seeing it at an NCTM conference in 2004. … Continue Reading ››