Tag Archives: Sketchpad

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 ››

The Dynamic Number Project Comes to NCTM Philadelphia

It’s time for the NCTM Annual Meeting! For the past two and a half years, my colleague Scott Steketee and I have been collaborating with elementary teachers in New York and Philadelphia as they field test curriculum materials for the Dynamic Number project. We’ll be showcasing our work at three sessions during the upcoming … 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 ››

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 ››

Look Before You Leap: iPads in Education

Happy leap day everybody! Over the last month, I've stumbled across a number of online articles and blogs about iPad integration in the classroom. The contexts and specifics vary widely: Yesterday I read about McAllen Independent School District and their plan to provide an iPad to each of their 25,000 students in grades K–12. A couple of … 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 ››