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ERIC Number: EJ853828
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 1
ISSN: ISSN-0045-0685
Finding the Area of a Trapezium: Theme and Variations
Vincent, Jill; Stacey, Kaye
Australian Mathematics Teacher, v65 n2 p13-16 2009
An important message teachers convey to their students is that mathematics is founded on reasoning and is not just a collection of rules to apply. Many mathematical rules such as area formulas can be derived in ways that are age-appropriate to students, and it is an important part of mathematics education that students engage in these derivations to some extent. A review of several Australian Year 8 textbooks showed that they generally included the reasoning behind the area formulas (Stacey & Vincent, 2008). For the area of the trapezium, there was a surprising variety of methods. In this article, the authors illustrate five methods for finding the area of the trapezium, which many students will enjoy discovering these variations on a theme. The authors stress that, by exposing students to a variety of dissection methods and encouraging them to find their own variations, teachers promote flexible thinking, greater understanding and less reliance on memorised area formulas. (Contains 5 figures.)
Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT). GPO Box 1729, Adelaide 5001, South Australia. Tel: +61-8-8363-0288; Fax: +61-8-8362-9288; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 8
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia