Tag Archives: Sketchpad
The Varied Paths to Constructing a Rhombus
In how many different ways can you build a rhombus that stays a rhombus when its vertices are dragged? This assignment, a mainstay of Sketchpad workshops, invariably leads to great discussions because there are a multitude of ways to construct a rhombus, with each method highlighting different mathematical properties of the quadrilateral.
A Trio of Parabola Constructions
In my prior blog posts, I've presented methods for constructing ellipses using Web Sketchpad and paper folding. The other conic sections are feeling a bit left out, so let's explore some techniques for constructing parabolas.
All three Web Sketchpad models below (and here) are based on the distance definition of a parabola: The set … Continue Reading ››
Mac Sketchpad Beta Test
Attention Sketchpad fans: If you're a Mac user and would like to give the new Mac Sketchpad a spin, go ahead and contact me so that we can add you to our beta test.
Several weeks ago, Apple released MacOS Catalina and brought an end to all 32-bit apps, including Sketchpad 5.06. Luckily, Nick … Continue Reading ››
The Folded Circle Construction
Of all the conic section construction techniques, my favorite is undoubtedly the approach that requires nothing more than a paper circle.
Here's what to do: Draw or print a circle and its center, point A, on a sheet of paper. Cut out the circle. Mark a random point B anywhere on the circle. Then, fold … Continue Reading ››
Circle Tracer Challenges
Geometry tends not to receive much love in elementary curricula, and that's a shame. In this post, I'll describe some of my new ideas for using Web Sketchpad to introduce young learners to fundamental properties of circles.
On page 1 of the websketch below (and here), begin by asking students to drag … Continue Reading ››
A Double Spiral from David Henderson
David Henderson, the author of Experiencing Geometry, died this past December. I wrote about David in a prior post, and in particular, his approach of asking us to grapple with a small number of rich problems, allowing us to find our own, often non-traditional, ways of … Continue Reading ››
A Dynamic Approach to Finding Pirate Treasure
In his 1947 book, One, Two, Three...Infinity, physicist George Gamow poses a pirate treasure problem that has since become a classic. Below is my reworded statement of the puzzle.
Among a pirate's belongings you find the following note:
The island where I buried my treasure contains a single palm tree. Find the tree. From the palm tree, … Continue Reading ››
Interactive Array Explorations
Arrays can be enormously helpful tools for helping young learners to visualize multiplication. Early work with arrays also sets the stage for more advanced mathematics, like binomial multiplication. In this blog post, I present several interactive arrays built with Web Sketchpad as part of the Dynamic Number project.
The interactive array model below (and Continue Reading ››
Binomial Multiplication and Concreteness Fading
I was delighted that Daniel recently posted our Binomial Multiplication sketches in Web Sketchpad format. I thought about those sketches when I noticed a fairly new myNCTM thread on "When and How do we phase out the body in math education?"
This thread raises a very important question for us as … Continue Reading ››