I’ve had a deep love and respect for Geometer’s Sketchpad since I was first introduced to it in 1994 as an undergraduate Math major (and aspiring math teacher) at Bryn Mawr College.
Later, I used Geometer’s Sketchpad during my student teaching stint at Strath Haven High School and again as a pre-Algebra/pre-Geometry teacher at The Dalton School.
Today in 6th grade Math at The School at Columbia University, Katie Klein (@KKleinNYC) and her associate teacher, Jazmin Sherwood, facilitated a great lesson on Fractals blending direct instruction, video, and self-paced sketching with and without technology.
1. Homework from the previous night was to watch the first 20 minutes of Fractals, Exploring the Hidden Dimension.
2. Here’s a link to beautiful photos of fractals found in nature: http://io9.com/incredible-photographs-of-fractals-found-in-the-natural-480626285
3. Here are instructions for drawing Sierpinski Triangles with paper and pencil:
- Teacher instructions for drawing a Sierpinski Triangle
- Student worksheet for drawing a Sierpinski Triangle
4. Here are instructions for drawing Sierpinksi Triangles using Geometer’s Sketchpad on their laptops:
5. Here’s another resource for making other fractals with Geometer’s Sketchpad: http://www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us/PhoenixHS/math/GSP-website/17_Fractals(51-61).pdf
6. With additional time, students could explore fractals with Scratch or Snap (both are web-based block-based programming environments). Here are some links I gathered:
- Karen Blumberg’s hamburger fractal tree in Snap!
- Koch Curve in Scratch
- Koch Snowflake in Scratch
- Dylan Ryder’s Sierpinski Fractal in Scratch
- Scratch Fractal Gallery #1
- Scratch Fractal Gallery #2
- Scratch Fractal Collection