Sketchpad in the Classroom
Younger students are drawn to Sketchpad’s dynamic nature. They can quickly master a relatively small set of basic skills needed to feel in control of the program. Sketchpad’s environment allows students to easily access geometry, measurement, and graphing, while prepared models available in the Sample Activities develop number sense, operations with fractions, data and statistics, and algebra.
Students are drawn to the visualization and dynamic plotting capabilities of Sketchpad. Seeing slopes, intercepts, and other graph features change by animating parameters or dragging sliders connects symbolic representations with visual images and tactile experiences. Sketchpad’s environment allows students to easily explore families of functions and transformations, while prepared models available in the Sample Activities focus on equation-solving and polynomials.
Sketchpad’s environment is fundamentally geared toward geometric investigation and exploration. Students develop deep conceptual understanding and confidence through direct manipulation of the geometry they construct, transform, measure, and animate. Hot Text supports students as they learn to communicate their reasoning and develop proofs. The Sample Activities provide examples of guided investigations and prepared models that extend geometric explorations into three dimensions.
High school and university students use Sketchpad to create dynamic models for representing complex mathematical concepts in trigonometry, calculus, and beyond. In addition to powerful and flexible function plotting functionalities, students in advanced courses use custom tools, loci, custom transformations, and both numeric and geometric iterations to build or manipulate models. The Sample Activities include explorations that start from a blank sketch, and prepared models for topics such as polar graphs and series.