All posts by Daniel Scher

Daniel Scher, Ph.D., is a senior scientist at KCP Technologies. He co-directed the NSF-funded Dynamic Number project ( He has developed Sketchpad activities across the entire mathematics curriculum, from elementary school through college. He received his Ph.D. in Mathematics Education at New York University.

Constructing Equal-Area Triangles

The origins of this week's Web Sketchpad model date back to the  Connected Geometry curriculum from the mid 1990s. I was one of the co-authors of the curriculum, working at Education Development Center with a  wonderful team of math educators (Al Cuoco, Paul Goldenberg, and June Mark, … Continue Reading ››

Reflecting on the Annual NCTM Meeting

This Thursday, Scott Steketee and I will be presenting two sessions at the NCTM 2015 Annual Meting in Boston:

Functions as Dances: Experience Variation and Relative Rate of Change

Session 52 on Thursday, April 16, 2015: 8:00 AM-9:15 AM in 157 B/C (BCEC)

How better to explore rate of change than as independent and … Continue Reading ››

Solving Simultaneous Equations with Common Sense

Simultaneous equations belong in elementary-school mathematics curricula. That's been my mantra for many years, and I want to examine it now in the context of an interactive Web Sketchpad activity. When I say that elementary-age students should encounter simultaneous equations, I don't mean that they should be instructed in the standard algebraic procedure for solving pairs of equations … Continue Reading ››

More Adventures with Web Sketchpad Tools

In my prior post, I introduced some basic Web Sketchpad geometry tools for constructing points, circles, segments, lines, and rays. These tools are great for getting started, but what happens when your needs grow more demanding? Suppose, for example, that you decide to build a tessellation pattern composed of equilateral triangles. Do you really want … Continue Reading ››

Here Comes Construction!

For over a year, my colleague Scott and I have enjoyed giving you peeks into the impressive development work being done by the Web Sketchpad team at KCP Technologies and McGraw Hill.  Every time I take a desktop Sketchpad model and convert it to Web Sketchpad with a press of a button, I'm impressed by how … Continue Reading ››

Moving Beyond Formulas When Investigating Triangle Area

For the past year, my blogging partner Scott and I have worked with the team of Everyday Mathematics to build interactive Web Sketchpad models for their forthcoming new edition. It's been fun for both of us to find ways to insert dynamic mathematics into their K–6 curriculum. Last year, I shared anContinue Reading ››

Innovative Approaches to Computer-Based Assessment, Part Four

For the past month, I've focused this blog on the role that computers can play in assessing students' mathematical knowledge. I've presented three Web Sketchpad-based examples of assessment with mathematical topics ranging from isosceles triangles, to the Pythagorean Theorem, to the slopes of perpendicular … Continue Reading ››

Innovative Approaches to Computer-Based Assessment, Part Three

Today there is no lack of outrage directed at the high-stakes standardized testing that has become so prevalent in the U.S. educational system. A recent opinion piece in The New York Times examines the backlash against the Common Core and lays the blame not on the standards themselves, but rather on the … Continue Reading ››

Innovative Approaches to Computer-Based Assessment, Part Two

In my previous post, I shared Dan Meyer's analysis of what's wrong with computer-based mathematics assessments. Dan focuses his critique on the Khan Academy's eighth-grade online mathematics course, identifying 74% of its assessment questions as focusing on numerical answers or multiple-choice items. This is a far cry from … Continue Reading ››