Geometry Through Art

Norman Shapiro

Using the 360 Degree Circle

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On to Color Mapping || Back to the Percentage Circle || Table of Contents
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While younger children may find the Percentage Circle easier to use, older children will be learning that there are 360 degrees in a circle, 180 degrees in a half-circle, and so forth. Making the switch from a percentage circle to a degree circle should not be difficult. Norman Shapiro writes:
"The tool I've found most effective with young children is the percentage circle. When they first encounter it, teachers tend to look askance, but they quickly see that the 200 points on the circumference numbered at intervals of 5 are a lot easier on them than having to contend with 360 marks. Also, the factoring of 100 allows for an easy access to the regular pentagon.

"What I tell teachers who worry about the probability of children being confused is this: There are all kinds of units of measure. There are inches and there are meters. Different units of measure work better for certain things than others.

"I tell teachers that it is best to repect children's flexibility and intelligence. Use what will give them the best access to the incribed polygons and regular patterns. Once they get the hang of percentages, we give them the degree circle. This usually means gifted students in middle school and all students in high school. Both kinds of circle are available to high school students."


Here are pictures of 360 Degree Circles for you to view or print out. In addition to degrees at regular intervals, points for making pentagons and hexagons are labeled.
On to Color Mapping Patterns

Copyright 1995 Norman Shapiro

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Norman Shapiro
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Web page design by Sarah Seastone
4 November 1995