The Geometer’s SketchPad is a cool, online tool for exploring math concepts with 3rd graders through high school students. Published by Key Curriculum Press, SketchPad originally focused on geometry, but this clever program has morphed into a powerful tool for mathematical understanding from basic operations to calculus.
What makes SketchPad so powerful? It provides a visual tool for instruction, student exploration, and problem solving. This tool adds a unique opportunity for students to explore “What happens if I do this?” and provides a user-friendly platform for student interaction. As we know from research, math instruction is much more effective when kids can talk, reason, and experiment.
For teachers, SketchPad supports a creative and relatively simple tool for guiding mathematical learning. Teachers can join a free, online community of educators through Sketch Exchange, with opportunities to: (copied from info on Sketch Exchange)
- upload sketches and activities
- post links to your own website or videos
- participate in a community forum
- browse the content on the site by grade level, topic, or tags
- download sketches and activities for use in your classroom
I use SketchPad with a special needs student who has a visual impairment. SketchPad allows me to change text and object sizes and colors, background color, and increase units of measurement. SketchPad is also available in multiple languages since it it used globally. Give it a try!