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ERIC Number: EJ898214
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0839
Think outside the Polygon
Graf, Andrea B.
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, v16 n2 p82-87 Sep 2010
Students appear to be able to see number relationships and patterns but have difficulty recognizing the visual properties of shapes, especially if the shapes are in different positions. Their difficulty in the visual and spatial realm is often linked to a lack of drawing experience and possibly undeveloped fine-motor skills. The author, as a teacher, would watch their painstaking movements as they tried to trace polygons only to realize that their work could not be used because the shapes were unrecognizable. Seeing these frustrated students motivated the author to develop a geometry project using The Geometer's Sketchpad[TM] to help eliminate the roadblocks to geometry for these students. For the spatially unchallenged students, using geometry software, such as Sketchpad, could only deepen their skills. The author discusses this geometry project in which students use geometry software to explore rotations and reflections and build spatial-visualization skills and explains how this activity represented a paradigm shift in the students' thinking about symmetry. (Contains 5 figures.)
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A