Teaching Tip – Transformational Geometry

I hate when I create a teaching resource and then when I need to find it, I can’t locate it.

I spent an hour this morning trying to find a worksheet I created about seven years ago. I couldn’t find it in my binders, on my hard drive, or on any of my thumbdrives. I even searched the Internet to see if I could find the original source that adapted all those years ago. I came up empty though.

However, during my exhaustive search, I came across another great resource I created several years ago for my Grade 6 class. I know I saved this two-page worksheet but I couldn’t find a digital file of it either. I think it may be on a floppy disk somewhere but it probably will stayed trapped inside that piece of ancient technology.

I scanned the worksheet into the computer in six different sections because it wasn’t coming out clear enough in one scan.

This worksheet deals with Transformational Geometry. The symbols above show that the object needs to be rotated on a grid. The first shape should be rotated 1/4 turn in a clockwise direction. The second figure needs to be redrawn after a 1/4 turn in a counterclockwise direction. The last two red direction symbols indicate that a half turn is needed.

The red line above is the translation line. The figure needs to be redrawn by following the direction of the line. You count the lines of the grid from the bottom of the arrow to the point. Therefore the first arrow indicates that the figure will be translated 3 spaces to the right and 3 spaces down. This could also be written as (R3, D3)

The line with an arrow on both ends indicates a reflection line. The figure needs to be redrawn on the other side of the line.

The second page of the worksheet allows the students to get extra practice using the three transformations of geometry. Number 1, translation (meaning that the shape is slid) Students will sometimes refer to this action as a slide.

Number 2 is a reflection, meaning that the shape is literally flipped over a line. Sometimes this action is simply called a flip.

Number 3 is a rotation. sometimes this is referred to as a turn.

However, I believe it is important to give our students the correct mathematical terminology.

I hope that you have found this series of posts useful in your teaching practice. Remember to come back each and every week as I present a new tip for you to use. If you have a tip you’d like to share, I’d love to hear from you. Consider writing a guest post and contributing to this series. Teachers helping teachers is what this is all about.


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