NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1093211
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1326-0286
Teaching 3-D Geometry--The Multi Representational Way
Kalbitzer, Sonja; Loong, Esther
Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, v18 n3 p23-28 2013
Many students have difficulties in geometric and spatial thinking (see Pittalis & Christou, 2010). Students who are asked to construct models of geometric thought not previously learnt may be forced into rote learning and only gain temporary or superficial success (Van de Walle & Folk, 2008, p. 431). Therefore it is imperative for instruction that promotes geometric thinking and spatial ability to provide a variety of activities that promote visual imagery, as well as use language that is appropriate to the level of the students. Open-ended geometry tasks have been shown to foster engagement and independent mathematical thinking with children as young as six years old (McKnight & Mulligan, 2010). Dienes (1960) emphasises the need for "multiple embodiments" in mathematical concept development as being necessary to produce abstractive learning rather than associative learning. In this article Sonja Kalbitzer and Esther Loong describe a number of open-ended tasks that draw upon the use of multiple three-dimensional representations to develop the spatial ability and geometric thinking of students. Simple tools like multi-linked blocks, isometric dot paper and the use of the "Insert Shapes" tool in "Microsoft Word" are used. These tasks have been adapted and revised from lessons prepared and implemented by the first author with her Year 5/6 mixed ability class. The article concludes with some discussion on assessing the tasks and providing student feedback.
Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT). Tel: +61-8-8363-0288; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A