Tag Archives: Constructions

“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 ››

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 ››

Branding isn’t about math. Are you sure about that?

At around Pi-hour on Friday afternoon we successfully launched our new website. The night before (the night of the big storm for Bay Area folks), Andres and I were out with a dear former colleague and I mentioned I was going to blog about our new branding, new website, and new name. She said, “You … 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 ››

The key to Everything Around You Is Right in Your Pocket

"You won't be carrying a calculator with you everywhere you go." A friend of mine recalled his math teacher telling him that. I'm sure we've all heard this or even have said it before ourselves. However, this particular retelling came over twitter, posted from an iPhone, that he keeps with him everywhere he goes. While it … Continue Reading ››

Touching the Math

Sketchpad has always been great for learning by doing. You can create a triangle and then manipulate the angles with your mouse and observe the results. There is something really primal, though, about using an iPad or a Smart Board, reaching in and grabbing the geometry with your bare hands. … Continue Reading ››

Eat Your Vegetables! Do Your Math!

I was not a picky eater as a child. My parents had no trouble convincing me to eat my peas, artichokes, and even spinach (in the form of my dad’s delicious Thanksgiving stuffing). But I drew the line at Brussels sprouts. There was just no way for me to get over that cabbagy smell. [caption id="" … Continue Reading ››