Exploring Additional Resources

One of the topics reviewed during the course was transformations.  Below is a list of useful websites devoted to the topic.


This site is useful because it has lessons on identifying, visualizing and  composing transformations.  I would use this site to have students explore the interactive applets and answer the reflection questions associated with the lessons.  It’s a great way to infuse technology into the lesson.


This site is useful because it allows students to investigate the result of performing a specific transformation.  Like the site listed above, there is an interactive applet that allows students to transform a figure eight different ways.  It’s an ideal site for lower-level students to explore.


This site is useful because it allows students to investigate the three main transformations (reflections, rotations, translations).  The site provides definitions and visuals for all three transformations, as well as interactive activities and review questions at the bottom of each page.  It is a great source for an introductory lesson.


This site has interactive graphs that allow students to explore transformations and experiment with different initial conditions.  Students can manipulate points within the graph to make predictions and draw conclusions.  There are also fun activities, quizzes and test associated with each type of transformation.  I would use this site to asses student’s understanding of transformations.








Additional Resources Shared By My Peers







The two platonic solids I started out with were a cube and a tetrahedron.







As a result of truncating the cube, there were 8 equilateral triangles and 6 regular octagons.  14 Faces + 24 Vertices – 2 = 36 Edges








As a result of truncating the tetrahedron, there were 4 equilateral triangles and 4 regular hexagons.  8 Faces +  12 Vertices  – 2 = 18 Edges








I think my students would enjoy creating the Archimedean Solids;  anything that’s hands-on is usually enjoyable.  Truncating the solids, on the other hand, would be a bit more challenging, for some.  Since both grade levels would have prior knowledge of 2-D & 3-D figures, I would definitely have them create all of the Archimedean Solids, so they could analyze the characteristics of each.  Additionally,  I would have them truncate the cube, only, so they can describe the transformation and make predictions about the faces, edges and vertices.  Since many of my students are avid soccer fans, I would use the dodecahedron as a model during my anticipatory set, and display all of the solids on the bulletin board, after the lesson is completed.


What level(s) of Bloom’s Taxonomy most closely align with the level(s) of the Van Hiele Model? Justify your thinking.

Level 0 in the Van Hiele Model aligns with Bloom’s Knowledge and Comprehension category, because both levels require identifying, comparing and naming.  Students are merely required to recall  information.

Level 1 in the Van Hiele Model aligns with Bloom’s Application and Analysis categories, because both levels require students to analyze and differentiate to determine relationships amongst attributes.  Students are required to make discoveries.

Level 2 in the Van Hiele Model aligns with Bloom’s Analysis and Synthesis  categories, because both levels require students to analyze and research to formulate arguments.   Students are required to make predictions and formulate arguments, based on their previous discoveries.

Level 3 in the Van Hiele Model aligns with Bloom’s Synthesis category, because both levels require students to test proofs and formulate an understanding of geometric ideas.

Level 4 in the Van Hiele Model aligns with Bloom’s Evaluation category, because both levels require students to assess, argue and conclude.  Students are required to create and compare their own theorems, and implement a sophisticated level of thought.  

“How can you use the Van Hiele levels to help students learn mathematics?”

I can use the Van Hiele Model to help students learn mathematics, because the Van Hiele Model clearly indicates what students should master at each level; thus, I can implement the appropriate activities according to students level of development.  Since the model provides the opportunity for students to engage in discovery-based learning, students will gain a better understanding of geometric concepts, and a foundation is laid for the next level of learning and thinking.  The model can definitely be used to ensure that students progress beyond a basic, superficial understanding of geometric thinking.

Develop additional questions that you could ask students if you were to use this lesson in your classroom.

Knowledge: Define area & perimeter.

Comprehension: Predict what would happen to the perimeter if you were to place tiles in the corners.

Application: Is it always true that the corner tiles add no units to the perimeter?  Develop a rationale.

Analysis: Compare and contrast the area & perimeter when tiles are placed in the corner, as opposed to any other place.  What do you notice?

Synthesis: Construct a different design that has a perimeter of 16.  Does your design have fewer or more tiles?  Explain why.

Evaluation: Assess the discoveries you made as a result of engaging in this activity.  Were some more beneficial that other?  Decide which discover was the best.  Justify your answer.



When I followed the directions using the small triangles, I created the visuals displayed below.  As on can see, the area of the square along Leg A is A², or two small triangles, and the area of the square along Leg B is B², or two small triangles.  This relates to the area of the square along the hypotenuse, because the area of that square is C², or four small triangles.

Even when I changed the size of the triangle in the center, all of the images clearly demonstrate that A² + B²  = C².  Therefore, students should be able to make a connection that the larger square will always have twice as many triangles as the smaller squares.  Or, in other words, the sum of the two smaller squares is equal to the larger square. For example:

Small Triangle:  A² (two triangles) + B² (two triangles)  = C² (four triangles)

Medium Triangle:  A² (two triangles) + B² (two triangles)  = C² (four triangles or eight small triangles)

Larger Triangle: A² (two triangles) + B² (two triangles)  = C² (four triangles)

This activity would be a good introduction to square roots and rational numbers because the lesson could be extended to have students find the value of the missing side (hypotenuse).  As a result, they would become familiar with triangles that have legs that are rational (the small & large triangle), and diagonals that are irrational, requiring them to find the square root and un-square the radical.  Since my students aren’t taught the Pythagorean Theorem in the 6th grade, if I were to present this lesson to my students, I wouldn’t change a thing.  I think it’s a great hands-on, introductory activity for students to learn about the theorem.


The Pythagorean Theorem Puzzles would be very beneficial to my students because, not only do they provide students with a visual of how and why the theorem works, but they also incorporate technology and transformations (rotations),  and they require students to engage in critical thinking.  I like how the puzzles diagram the dimensions of each side; thus, meaningful discussions could be generated about the theorem, in addition to using the activity to make a connection to finding the area of an irregular polygons.  Furthermore, most of my students wouldn’t necessarily consider the activity a lesson in geometry.  Rather, they would merely consider it a game or puzzle; therefore, I think they would exert more effort and thinking in an attempt to “win” and complete the puzzle.

When I solved puzzle #1, I found the puzzle on the right to be easier.  For example, when I analyzed the white area, prior to rotating the figures, I knew that the square couldn’t fit in the lower right-hand corner.  Thus, once I inserted the two triangles, everything else fell into place rather easily, because there was only one option left for placing the square.  To the contrary, however, the puzzle on the right took a little bit more time; it was more difficult than the other.  For example, since the square could fit into any one of the four corners, I spent more time deciding where to place the square.  I realized that, when I placed the square in one of the four corners, the triangles didn’t extend the full length of the square box.  Thus, I quickly realized that I needed to somehow rotate the square and place it somewhere other than one of  the corners.  This process took trial and error.

Fortunately, puzzle #2 didn’t give me any trouble at all.  For example, the puzzle on the right was a carbon copy of  the previous puzzle, and the one on the left was also pretty much the same.  I enjoyed using the virtual manipulative; however, as a teacher, I prefer having my students use hands-on manipulatives.  For instance, hands-on manipulatives allow students to create multiple examples at one time.  Therefore, students can visualize more than one example/option at a time.  In addition to this, students are given hands-on manipulatives on their standardized test.  Thus, I think it’s best that they have more exposure and experience with the hands-on manipulatives, than the virtual manipulatives.  Besides, hands-on manipulatives are more accessible; every teacher doesn’t have easy access to technology for an entire class.

Virtual manipulatives, on the other hand, break up the monotony of having students sit at a desk for the entire class, and they do a create job of incorporating technology into the lesson.  Unlike hands-on manipulatives, you can often alter the shape, size and color of virtual manipulatives, in addition to having access to a wider array of manipulative options.  However, as mentioned above, without access to technology, all of the advantages associated with virtual manipulatives are a mute point, although another added benefit is that they extend the class-time, since there’s no clean-up process.

Exploring Dilations

If I were to use this activity with my students, I would take all of the questions from the activity sheet and infuse them into various components of my lesson.  For example, I would provide students with a coordinate grid, and have them plot the pre-images and images for the triangle and pentagon. I think this would be a great question to start the class prior to beginning a full lesson on dilations; therefore, I would use this question as the Problem of the Day.

Once the P.O.D is complete, I would have a student re-plot the images on my drop-down coordinate grid so the entire class can see the answer and check their work.  Subsequently, I would engage students in a class discussion about Question #3.  Based on student’s answers to Question #3, I would then ask the folowing questions:

Teacher: What do you notice about the size of the images?

Student Response: One is bigger than the other.

Teacher: Why do you think one is bigger than the other?

Student Respone: Because we had to multiply each coordinate by two.

Teacher:  What do you think would happen if we multiplied each coordinate by .2?

Student Response:  The image would probably get smaller.

Teacher: Why? 

Student Response: Because we’re not multiplying by a whole number.

Teacher:  Take a look at the angles, the distance, and orientation of the figures.  Have they changed?

Student Response: The angles and the orientation are the same, but the distance is not the same.

Student Question: Why does it look like the images have been translated?

Teacher Response: Because with a diliation, the distance is not the same, but the points are enlarged or contracted on the same path of motion.

Student Question: So, is a dilation a transformation?

Teacher Response: Yes, a dilation is a type of transformation, but the dilated image is either smaller or larger than the original.

Post-Discussion Classwork/Reflection

Students will complete Question #5 in class to re-inforce their understanding of the lesson.  Subsequently, they will answer Question#4 in their journals.

Learning Activity 5-B-1

I enjoyed engaging in the refelcti0nal symmetry activity; it was very similar to the reflection activities my students complete in class.  I particularly liked the open-ended question at the bottom of the page.  For example, usually my students complete exercises that require them to reflect over the X and the Y axis.  However, I liked how this activity had students reflect over the Y-Axis first, then engage in higher-order thinking to consider what would happen if they reflected over the  X-axis.

A nice extension of this lesson would require students to identify the new coordinates after completing their reflections.  It would be a nice way to assess student’s understanding of reading coordinates.  Additionally, assuming they write the new coordinates correctly, they could compare and contrast the coordinates to discover the rules for reflecting over the X & Y axis.  This is a lesson I would definitely incorporate into my class.  However, I would modify it even further, and have students write the open-ended response in the journals, prior to reflecting the images over the X-axis.