Report from the 2007 NCTM Annual Meeting

Atlanta, Georgia
March 2007

The Geometer's Sketchpad featured prominently at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics 85th Annual Meeting in Atlanta. Key and KCP Technologies Sketchpad staff made several presentations; material from those talks is available below. Information on the NCTM meeting of the Sketchpad User Group is also available.

Featured Sketchpad Presentations

Spinning Around: Using Sketchpad and a Ferris

Abstract: This research session considered how dynamic, Sketchpad-mediated representations, when focused on functional relationships, variational behaviors, and symbolic propositions, affect the development of students' prealgebraic thinking in grades 3–6.  Interaction with Sketchpad activities, videos of classroom application, and briefings from project researchers and teachers grounded participants' discussion of open research questions.
Presenters: Caron Cesa, Manhattan New School; Layne Hudes, Concord Road Elementary School; Nicholas Jackiw, KCP Technologies; Nathalie Sinclair, Michigan State University/Simon Fraser University; Daniel Scher, KCP Technologies

Discrete Mathematics and Dynamic Geometry

Abstract: What do the continuous shapes of Dynamic Geometry have to do with topics in with static, discrete mathematics? It turns out—lots! In this talk we explore how Sketchpad software activities can motivate deep student insight into diverse, discrete topics in early mathematics (fractions), elementary number theory (multiples, factors, prime numbers, GCDs, Fibonacci numbers), algorithms, recurrence relations, and Boolean or binary logic. See the talk summary, with downloadable materials.
Presenter: Nicholas Jackiw

Modeling and Exploring with Multiple Representations Using Sketchpad

Abstract: This talk highlights ways in which Sketchpad helps students reason across multiple representations. Examples relating to fractions, decimals, perimeter, volume, and slope showcase Sketchpad's ability to marry visual images with tabular and numerical displays.
Presenters: Rhea Irvine, Daniel Scher

Sketchpad User Group

The NCTM Sketchpad User Group featured several stations at which Sketchpad presenters spoke informally about the work they were presenting in sessions and workshops during this year's annual meeting.

Pass the Mouse

Abstract: Teach inverse trigonometric functions like never before. Using a wireless mouse and a data projector (or a Smart Board), you can engage students in Sketchpad-based alternative assessments of inverse trig functions. Discover how the wireless mouse assessment strategy can be adapted to explore several other math concepts.
Presenter: Neal K. Roys, Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, Illinois

Forensics with Sketchpad

Abstract: Whether it's a robbery, burglary, or murder, there's something students find intriguing about solving a mystery. Explore how you can use Sketchpad to engage your students in forensic investigations while learning algebra and geometry. Math and technology become the tools your students will need to crack the case.
Presenter: Irina Lyublinskaya, College of Staten Island, City University of New York, Staten Island, New York
Presentation Materials: general information, labs, visual evidence, assessment samples (.zip folder)

Students' GSP Animations: A Different Way of Thinking About Proof?

Abstract: A long-time goal of a geometry course has been to help kids think differently, creatively, and logically. Using GSP animations and presentations is an interesting and challenging vehicle for accomplishing this goal. We spend a lot of time thinking about proof—both formal and informal. Let me plant a seed about a different, fun way to get students thinking about this.
Presenter: John Threlkeld, Graland School, Denver, Colorado
Presentation Materials: sketch collection (10-sketch .zip file)

Sketchpad Trigonometry

Abstract: Using Sketchpad, a trigonometry unit of instruction can be motivated by using a real life investigation.  From a Ferris wheel, the topics of right triangles, graphing, and the unit circle naturally follow. In addition, Sketchpad can be used to investigate: radian measure, law of sines, law of cosines, and more!
Presenter: Kevin Thompson, University High School, Normal, Illinois
Presentation Materials: Ferris wheel modeling unit (sketches, Word doc)

Using Sketchpad to Make City Scapes

Abstract: Model how to make a 2-D perspective drawing of various things like buildings, malls, airports, or towns.
Presenter: Tricia Lytton, North Eugene High School, Eugene, Oregon

Geometry Up-Close, Long Ago, Far Away, and Here-and-Now

Abstract: We'll tour recent Sketchpad student work on the theme of changing scale across time and space. We begin with some work from the USA on the Euclidean GCD, an algorithmic number theory jewel that, when viewed in its original geometric context, offers a startling portrait of irrational numbers. We follow a Croatian student project as it uses linear algebra to extrapolate characteristics of early human skull morphology across millenia of evolutionary development, and wind up with a variety of student projects from the USA focusing on the relation of the sun to the earth, as seen first on a Mercator map, then from a point on the globe, and finally from far outside the solar system.
Presenter: Nicholas Jackiw, KCP Technologies, with many student contributions