# Constructing an Ellipse with Web Sketchpad Tools

{{unknown}}

{{unknown}}

Several weeks ago, my friend Martin shared the following probability puzzle with me: *Two points are chosen independently and at a random on a stick. The stick is broken at those points to form three smaller sticks. What is the probability these three sticks can form a triangle?*
This is a classic problem, dating back to … Continue Reading ››

Did you know that aside from being a source of news, *The New York Times* is also the place to get your weekly fix of mathematics? Their online Numberplay column features some very clever math puzzles. Last year, in fact, our blog featured a Numberplay puzzle about a flying squirrel-frog from former Key Curriculum … Continue Reading ››

In my prior post, I presented a "zooming" number line model that allowed students to estimate the location of a point along a number line and then repeatedly magnify that portion of the number line to obtain ever-finer estimates, accurate to tenths, hundredths, thousandths, and beyond.
In a sense I got ahead of myself because I … Continue Reading ››

One of the aspects I like best about Dynamic Geometry software like Web Sketchpad is its ability to illustrate concepts that cannot effectively be represented with static media. Take, for example, a number line that we draw on a white board. Showing the number line labeled with integers is easy. Adding tenth-mark divisions to the … Continue Reading ››

With Web Sketchpad, it's easy to craft tools that are tailor made for the task at hand. I was reminded of this flexibility several weeks ago when creating an interactive model for the elementary curriculum *Everyday Mathematics*.
My goal was to design a lesson focusing on the triangle area formula, *A* = *bh*/2. In … Continue Reading ››

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 ››

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 ››

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 ››