Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Geometer's Sketchpad - Practice Distance Between Points

When using the Geometer's Sketchpad it is often better to "start from sketch, not from scratch". That is, give students a premade sketch rather having them build something from nothing (as many textbooks would have you do). In this activity students can download a GSP sketch that allows them to practice determining the distance between two points (this part could also be used to check answers) and then to be quizzed with randomly generated sets of points.

  • MPM2D - develop the formula for the length of a line segment, and use this formula to solve problems (e.g., determine the lengths of the line segments joining the midpoints of the sides of a triangle, given the coordinates of the vertices of the triangle, and verify using dynamic geometry software);
  • All that is needed are the electronic downloads
  • Note that this really works well on an iPad using the Sketchpad Explorer App (which is free)
  • You can also use this on any web based computer (or Chromebook) with this Web sketch
Watch the video below to see how to use the sketch. The first page can be used for discovery or for checking problems and the second page can be used for quizzing students as it will generate an infinite number of random points to find the distance between.

Did you use this activity? Do you have a way to make it better? If so tell us in the comment section. Thanks


  1. I had tried a similar activity with the properties of triangles, instead of my traditional note, I am using a series of gsp files and a student guide ( Students will use the files to determine the properties of the different lines (ie altitude), then see and explore the special properties. I agree with idea of having the gsp file pre-made in some applications. I feel that I will have a better understanding of terms and properties after this. I need to find better applications to real-life next. I really like the activity that you've posted and will probably try it with my class next semester.

    1. Thanks for the link to your sketches. I like doing that kind of investigation instead of traditional notes. I think it's a bit more authentic. The real life bit is tough, you are right.