Report from the 2005 NCTM Annual Meeting

Anaheim, CA
April 2005

The Geometer's Sketchpad featured prominently at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics 83rd Annual Meeting in Anaheim. Members and research advisors of KCP Technologies made several presentations; material from those talks is available below. The abstracts of several other Sketchpad sessions are available, in addition to information on the NCTM meeting of the Sketchpad User Group.

Featured Sketchpad Presentations

Iterated Functions in Precalculus: Doing It Again and Again with Sketchpad

This talk explores various precalculus topics using iterated functions, and includes a handout, presentation sketch, student activities, and activity sketches.
Presenter: Scott Steketee

Integrating Dynamic Geometry in CMP Grades 6 and 7

In this workshop, we will offer a set of Sketchpad-based activities that were developed specifically for the CMP books, including Shapes and Designs, Accentuating the Negative, Bits and Pieces, and Prime Time. We will discuss why the activities are needed, how they can be implemented, and how they support students' learning.
Presenters: Nathalie Sinclair and Barb Kissling
Download Connected Math Activities used in this workshop.

Sketchpad for Young Learners: Revitalizing Textbook Lessons with Technology

As more sketches for The Geometer's Sketchpad are developed to help students increase their understanding of geometry and numeracy, the question arises, "How can I use this tool with my textbook and pacing plan?" This computer workshop will introduce participants to sketches that replace textbook lessons.
Presenters: Geri Anderson-Nielson, Susan Slesnick, and Eleanore Livesey
Download Sketchpad for Young Learner activities used in this workshop.

Other Sketchpad Presentations

Approaching Functions Dynamically: Connecting Motion, Geometry, and Algebra Using Dynamic Geometry™ and Simulation Software

On a dynagraph, two parallel lines (one for input and one for output) are used to represent a functional relationship through direct motion of input and output on these lines. Using dynagraphs on The Geometer's Sketchpad, students can investigate characteristic motions of different functions. Simulations of variable motions using SimCalc MathWorlds software provide a dynamic entry into the calculus of motion.
Presenter: John Olive, University of Georgia

Linking Algebra and Geometric Concepts Using Technology

Geometric models may be used to provide meaningful and memorable representations for a wide variety of algebraic concepts, properties, procedures, and formulas. This session focuses on the nature and use of models created using The Geometer's Sketchpad and other technologies.
Presenters: David A. Thomas, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho; Cynthia S. Thomas, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington

The Math Forum @ Drexel's tPoW: Using Technology to Help Students Solve Problems

Do you teach with one computer, minilab, laptop lab, computer lab? Participants work technology problems (tPoWs) modeled after The Math Forum's Problems of the Week, which are paper-and-pencil activities enhanced by concrete and virtual manipulatives (Java applet, JavaSketchpad, Flash, and so on). Compare the benefits of different approaches to problem solving.
Presenters: Suzanne Alejandre, The Math Forum @ Drexel, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Cynthia Lanius, The Math Forum @ Drexel, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Role of Proof in Dynamic Geometry

This session will present an analysis of different functions of proof in mathematics that underlie a radically different approach to the teaching of proof in a Dynamic Geometry environment. Traditionally, the typical approach to geometry has been to try creating doubts in the minds of pupils about the validity of their empirical observations, thereby encouraging a need for deductive proof. However, proof has many other important functions in mathematics, which in some situations are far more important than mere verification. Some of these other functions that will be discussed are explanation, discovery, communication, intellectual challenge, and systematization.
Presenters: Michael de Villiers, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, Natal, South Africa

Sketchpad and More, Using the Mathematical Tools Digital Library

Implementing new technology requires more than professional development workshops. Explore the Math Tools community digital library for Sketchpad materials and other interactive software to address specific concepts from prealgebra to calculus. Join a community of practice to find problems, teaching tips, shared lessons, and collaborations with teachers, developers, and researchers.
Presenters: Annie Fetter, The Math Forum @ Drexel, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Sketchpad User Group

The NCTM Sketchpad User Group featured several stations at which noted Sketchpad presenters spoke informally about their favorite Sketchpad examples. For instance, Dr. John Olive shared a sketch on the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, authored by himself and Dr. Brad Findell, both of the University of Georgia. The Sketchpad User Group was hosted by the Key Curriculum Press Professional Development Center (which raffled off several seats at the 2005 Summer Sketchpad Institutes over the course of the evening); the event was a well-attended success. If you are interested in presenting at next year's event, please contact us.