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High School — Mathematics
Geometry and Spatial Sense


Core Resources

    Geometry and Spatial Sense


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      Strategies: Help with Fundamentals

      The following activities are suggestions for working with students who need help with fundamentals. We hope that the activities spark ideas and conversations among teachers about useful classroom strategies that can supplement existing curriculum.

      Difficulty 1

      Some students may have trouble understanding similarity.

      • Give each student an image of a two-dimensional figure such as a triangle or a quadrilateral. Have students create their own similar figure. Then ask them to prove the figures are similar by comparing angle measures, side lengths and symmetry.

      Difficulty 2

      Students may have difficulty comparing a two-dimensional figure to its transformation.

      To address this difficulty follow the steps below.

      • Have students trace and cut out the original two-dimensional figure.

        • Have students reflect, rotate, or translate the tracing so that it aligns with the transformed two-dimensional figure.

        This activity will help students write the corresponding vertices in the right order. It will also help them determine which properties remain fixed after various transformations.

      Difficulty 3

      Students may confuse horizontal and vertical translations on a coordinate plane.

      • Have students place a tangram or other manipulative on a coordinate plane. Have them record the coordinates of the vertices, and then translate it across the x-axis. When students compare the coordinates of the translated shape to the original coordinates, they should see that only the y-coordinates change. Once students are comfortable with vertical translations, have them repeat the activity with horizontal translations. This activity can be used to help students derive coordinate rules for reflections and rotations too.

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