Recently I have been working on transformations with my Year 7 class. We have been doing Reflections, Rotations and Translations (with vector notation), and we spent a couple of lessons in the IT rooms playing around with the various activities on transformations to get their heads round what happens in each case.
We had finished in the previous lesson, so in our single last thing on a friday, I decided to use the Find Them All activity with them, to consolidate their learning by working together.
We started the lesson by recapping what we need to describe each of the transformations, and then I split them into pairs, giving each pair a copy of the poster sheet (which I printed and then photocopied together into one A3 sheet for them). With this in hand, they hand 20 minutes to find as many single transformations as they possibly could on the grid.
It didn't take them long to realise that there were multiple possible transformations available for some of the pairs (as we had done Which Transformation earlier in the week). What was interesting though was the order in which they approached the activity.
Mostly they used a fairly systematic way to identify as many as they could, and the methods varied: find all the translations, then reflections, then rotations; pick a pair, and find all the transformations possible in both directions; pick a starting shape, and identify which other shapes can be achieved by a single transformation. I was really impressed with their systematic approach to to this activity, and it was something we discussed in the plenary.
Once the 20 minutes were up, I gave each pair a Post-It note, and they moved to look at another groups sheet. They were then given 5 minutes to check as many of the transformations the other pair had stated to see if they agreed with them. On their post-it they could make any comments they deemed appropriate (at most one improvement). Some of these included a comment on the wrong notation for vectors (they did it like coordinates), something about missing information (no direction for a rotation) and lots of well done's and good methods.
For the plenary, we discussed the different approaches different groups used to ensure they found as many as they could, as well as which were the easiest to spot, and which required more work.
Overall, a great activity, that had the whole class engaged and thinking about transformations for a full 30 minutes. Definitely one that I will use again!
I am a maths teacher looking to share good ideas for use in the classroom, with a current interest in integrating educational research into my practice.