Saturday, June 28, 2014

Geometer's Sketchpad class part 1

     I just finished my class on Geometer's Sketchpad. I am a newbie to this program and have never worked with it before. When asked what our background was with Geometer's Sketchpad, my response was that I bought the licenses and had our IT person install them. That was it. I had no idea what the capabilities of the program were. This program is awesome! There is so much that I will be able to do with my classes this coming school year and I can't wait to get started.
     The class I took was through Dynamic Math with facilator Kristen Clegg. She was amazing. I learned so much in this class! If you have the opportunity to take a workshop from Kristen definitely do it. You will not believe how the times flies and how this can transform your classroom. I give this class 5 out of 5 stars.
                                                          Karen Clegg 
                                                  Kristen Clegg from Dynamic Math.
                                       Check Kristen's website for lessons as well. 
     I am excited to share the resources that I learned about this week. Here are just a few samples. All of these resources need the current version Sketchpad 5.06. Remember, I am new to this and just getting started so my sources are for those newbies. Enjoy!

     1. Go to the website for Geometer's Sketchpad from Key Curriculum.  There is so much on this website, I could take days checking all of the different sections. Included on the site are tutorials,free lessons, Sketch exchange, books and so much more that you can use for your classes. The Getting Started tab is where you will find Sketchpad tutorials and videos to help you begin using the software. Even if you do not have the technology available for the students there is so much you can do with this program in class led discussions. 

     2. The free activities tab has some great lessons that I will be using. Being an 8th grade teacher, I went to the middle school tab and found that I could use all of the lessons listed with my classes. My favorite is Mellow Yellow - Interpreting Graphs. This is a lesson about a character named Mellow Yellow. The students decide whether a graph describes a given story. They also create stories based on given graphs and create graphs as well. There is also a Hikers problem where students use systems of equations to compare the hikers distances and time traveled. Just click to see the lessons for your subject. 
      3. The books below have great modules for students with step by step instructions. I look at several from the Exploring Algebra 1 and am ordering this book. The layout of the modules is easy to follow.
      Click here to see  books with sketchpad-activity-modules.
        4.  If you don't have the program, you can download 20 minute trials at Geometer's SketchpadYou will not be able to save or print but you can use it to see some of the things you can do with the program.
     5.  Go to: learningcenter.dynamicgeometry. This takes you to GSP (Geometer's SketchPad) and connects you to sketch pad tips. (You are going to love this one.)  
  • Download the entire sketchpad tip library (it's a zip file if you want it :)) or just click on a topic.
  •  Next, click on the yellow tab next to the topic name and you will get a cool comic strip that gives the directions and diagrams in an easy to follow style. These are nice!
  • Here's an example for measuring length and distance.

  • My eighth graders are going to have no problem understanding what to do when I use these pages. I plan on having them make a reference book from them. (Thanks to Diane for sharing this resource.)
     6.  There is a sketchpad-explorer-for-ipad available that is a free app. It works with any document that has been created in GSP so it is not the full program. Good news is that it is free. I love free things. Go to the iTunes store to download the app. I haven't used this yet but it could be great for my students as we have a classroom cart with iPad's and only 15 licenses for the laptops. 
     7. Sketch exchange is a place where people have shared lessons they have made. Just looking through all of this takes time but there is so much out there to use that is where I will be starting.
     I walked away with lessons that I will be able use this year. I like what Kristen said during our class. She said, " not to look at this as one more thing to our already packed curriculum but to see how we could use this program in place of what we already do."(Not an exact quote but something like that.) I can tell you that I will use this when I will be using this when I teach translations, angles, and graphing functions. It is fantastic. I realize I have only talked about resources here but trying to explain everything this program can do for you is beyond my ability level now. I will keep reflecting and hope to have another post with on this topic soon.
     On a funny note, I was watching TV and a commercial came on. There were some shapes connected by segments floating around on the screen. I was so excited, I said to my husband, "I know how to create those shapes and make them animate like that now." It's the little things in life that can make your day isn't it?
                                                              Til next time,


  1. I love the information on your site! I look forward to your future posts! I am your newest follower!

    The Math Nerdette

    1. Hi Christine,
      I am so glad that you found me. Thanks for taking the time to comment. It always makes me feel great that people enjoy the blog:)


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