National Strategies Secondary Maths Collection - ICT Supporting Mathematics: Geometry and Measures
Collection Author: Craig Barton - Maths AST and creator of www.mrbartonmaths.com (TES Name: mrbartonmaths)
The teaching of geometry has been revolutionised by the widespread availability of dynamic geometry software, which allows us to explore constructions, transformations, loci, measures and geometrical reasoning in new and dynamic ways.
Static diagrams can be replaced by models that move and allow pupils to explore and deepen their understanding of the principles governing the movements.
There are many commercially available materials that support the teaching of geometry, and we have also provided in this strand some free to use ready-prepared activities.
However, it is important to remember that pupils also need to learn how to use geometry software as one of their ICT tools to help solve problems.
1. Transformations and Co-ordinates
Dynamic geometry software has the power to create moving models and images to help pupils gain an understanding of transformations. Some spreadsheets and graphing software also have the capacity to demonstrate movement, sometimes in a simpler more accessible form. On the following pages are some examples of geometry on a spreadsheet, with lesson notes and guidance on their use.
- The resource consists of a spreadsheet that models rotation, enlargement, reflection and translation within a pair of axes using all four quadrants. Each transformation is dynamic and the initial image can change size and position.
- In this exercise pupils are encouraged to explore some strange maps of the world that are drawn in a ‘proportional’ style. Pupils then go on to draw a map of the UK based on time taken to make journeys from London to other cities rather than on distances.
2. Measures and Mensuration
The ability to manipulate shapes using dynamic geometry software can help pupils explore relationships between shapes and their areas. For example, in one of the examples provided, a parallelogram can be changed to form a rectangle while conserving its area, enabling pupils to understand the connection between the formula for the area of a rectangle and the area of a parallelogram.
- These resources, provided in two formats of dynamic geometry software, allow teachers to help pupils develop an understanding for the formulae of areas of shapes such as parallelograms.
- This resource uses dynamic geometry to look at the geometric properties of a penny-farthing. The associated worksheet asks questions regarding circumference, scale factors and arcs and touches on the tangent-radius property.