Category Archives: Educational Technology

Understand the Sine Function by Dancing It

In Where Mathematics Comes From, cognitive scientists George Lakoff and Rafael Nuñez assert that our understanding of abstract mathematical concepts relies upon our sensory-motor experiences: “For the most part, human beings conceptualize abstract concepts in concrete terms, using ideas and … Continue reading

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Eigenvectors of 2 x 2 Matrices: A Geometric Exploration

Shiva Gol Tabaghi obtained her PhD degree in Mathematics Education from Simon Fraser University in 2012. This guest post is based on her doctoral dissertation research. Presently, she is involved in teaching undergraduate mathematics courses at Simon Fraser University. She enjoys using dynamic … Continue reading

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Discovering the Angle Sum and Difference Identities

In my Advanced Methods class at Penn’s Graduate School of Education, my students are working in groups to create shared lesson plans using an inquiry approach. For a number of reasons it can be challenging for these pre-service teachers to … Continue reading

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Experiments with a Color Calculator

In the 1970s, my childhood friend Tim owned an Activision console and a variety of game cartridges. Tim was the envy of our block, but no matter how much I enjoyed a rousing game of Pong, I knew that my … Continue reading

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Factor Patterns at Your Fingertips

Take a look at the interactive model below. Most of the numbers in the array are shaded orange, but several are blue. What is special about these blue values? They are the factors of 32, the largest number in the … Continue reading

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What Is All the Fuss About Lines?

Yesterday, I led a webinar that demonstrated how Sketchpad can be a powerful tool for exploring Common Core algebra topics. My examples included solving for unknowns with a pan balance, exploring the slopes of lines, maximizing the area of a fixed-perimeter … Continue reading

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Discovery by Dragging

A few days ago I led a webinar on the Common Core and Sketchpad for Sketchpad beginners, and I showed four Sketchpad activities aligned with both the Content Standards and the Standards for Mathematical Practice. I mixed it up a … Continue reading

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Aligning Objects in Sketchpad

I recently got a question from a question from a user about how to line up text objects. The question was both about lining up objects on a page, and about lining them up from one page to the next, … Continue reading

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Learn to Multiply Like No Bunny’s Business

It started with an unassuming bunny that hopped along a number line. In 2011, our team at KCP Technologies released Sketchpad Explorer for the iPad, making it possible for teachers and students to interact with desktop Sketchpad models on their … Continue reading

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What Does Rowing Have to Do with Teaching Mathematics?

Harry congratulates a rower after sweeping Yale for his last time. Harry Parker died this summer, two weeks after coaching the Harvard rowing team to yet another sweep of all four races (varsity, JV, freshmen, and spares) against Yale and … Continue reading

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