Roberta's Blog

Archive for the ‘Lesson Ideas’ Category

1. Interactivate: Translations, Reflections, and Rotations

I thought this site could be very helpful for teachers who are not comfortable with using technology for instructing translations, reflections and rotations. The site provides a very detailed explanation of what the teacher should be discussing, guided practice, independent practice and how to close the lesson. I really thought the Transmographer site ( ) would be a great for teachers to use as a demonstration tool. I also think that students could then go back and use the site to further develop their understanding of the topics.

2. MathsNet: Transformations

This site intrigued me. It provides the student with the opportunity to observe the characteristics of the transformation, understand how the properties function, explore the characteristics in guided format and use the newly acquired knowledge to construct meaning. I would use this site as an inquiry site for the student to explore prior to the introduction of the unit.


This site provides a very basic definition for all of the transformation geometry terms. I can see this site being a resource for students who are absent when the topics are discussed in class. The definitions are very easy to understand and the illustrations are very easy for students to understand.

4. Transformation Golf  Post the Shapes

These two sites caught my attention because they allow students to use what they know about transformations to complete an activity. I have been to some sites that are supposed to reinforce a skill in a game like environment but the students spend more time playing than actually using the newly acquired skill. This appeared to be different. The student must understand the properties of the different types of transformations in order to complete the activity. This site may be too easy for some students but I still think they would enjoy it. This site would be great for a day when a lot of students are out of the classroom (sickness, pictures, field trips, early dismissal prior to a holiday, etc.).   

5. Pilot Math 7: Transformations

This is a short video that could be used as an introduction when starting the unit on transformation. I am not sure if junior high students would like it or not but I think that sixth grade students would enjoy it. I thought it was cute and to the point.


Eggs in the Basket (

It is difficult for me to tell you how I solved this problem because I have done it before in another situation. I do know that with students I would probably tell them if they are struggling that they should think outside of the box. Sometimes we tend to try and make situations harder to solve than they need to be.

Manhole Cover  (

The problem made me think more about shapes. At first I thought the circle due to the fact that it would be faster to take off and replace. Without corners the shape would fit easier, doesn’t require turning or aligning sides. I also thought about ease of moving, rolling. Once I looked at the answer I felt foolish for not even thinking about the lid falling into the hole.

I think the “Manhole Cover” question is at the analysis level. Analysis requires that the person uses problem solving skills to determine the answer or solution to the situation. I also see this problem as an application. In order to solve the problem you must apply information that is known about the shapes (circle and square). It can also be synthesis because a unique solution may be expressed in verbal form or with a physical object.

When presenting this problem to my students I would present it while we were in a geometry unit. I would make sure that we had already discussed the fact that the diagonal of a square is longer than the sides. Once I know that we have covered all of these concepts I would feel comfortable giving the problem to the students. I would give the students a few minutes to work on the problem individually and then I would allow them to partner up and discuss the problem. As the students are discussing the problem I would walk around to listen to their conversations. As I am listening to their conversations I would ask questions such as

1) Prove to me that the _________ is the best solution.

2)  Compare the traits/characteristics of the two shapes.

After an allotted amount of time I would ask for someone to share their response as long as they explain mathematically why their solution is correct. Once the solution has been given I would allow the other students to ask questions for their own clarification. If time allows I might ask them to 3) Create a list of other shapes that would and would not be appropriate for manhole covers.


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  • Judy: Roberta, The Transformational Golf is a new site for me. I haven't seen this one and can't wait to share it with others. Many students struggle w
  • bkgeary: I like the idea of letting the student pick the material. Students never fail to amaze me with the great ideas that they come up with. I think that
  • joshbeals: I love puzzles too! I liked your comments about quilting patterns. It's awesome when we see math in the things we choose to do with our free time.