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Elementary Math Method: Measurement and Geometry Essay

Navigating through the Teachers’Lab website section on shape and space in geometry was very easy and quite enjoyable; it would appeal to students because of its color and interaction. The quilt activity, based on symmetry, is particularly useful for students who are visual and kinesic learners. I did not discover anything about symmetry I did not already know but the idea of naming the types of symmetry with letters of the alphabet was a novel innovation for me.

Four types of symmetry are explored and named with a letter of the alphabet in accordance to the direction of symmetry; for example, symmetry that is both horizontal and vertical is called H-symmetry; symmetry that is horizontal (left to right, right to left) is called M-symmetry, and vertical (top to bottom, bottom to top) is called B-symmetry; where there is no symmetry the term S-symmetry is used.

As a novice teacher I find this activity very useful for adaptation in the classroom and as an online self learning activity outside the classroom, set as homework after the students have understood the concept of symmetry. In the classroom, assuming students have already been taught two-dimensional symmetry they can begin to master both horizontal and vertical symmetry. The lesson could utilize already prepared shapes that students put together to build symmetrical patterns illustrating symmetry of both directions.

Once the teachers feels students have gained a good understanding the students could build a quilt as depicted in the online activity by folding a square piece of paper into 8 triangles, dividing each into two and coloring one half of each triangle, cutting them out, and then in small groups creating a quilt that represents each type of symmetry explored in the online activity.

Teacher would need to guide and teach each type as students progress. Following the lesson or lessons students could be directed to the website for further practice. References Teachers’Lab (n. d. ) Quilts, Shape and space in geometry, Retrieved 4 July, 2010 from http://www. learner. org/teacherslab/math/geometry/shape/quilts/index. html


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