Q&A #2002


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From: Shelly Berman
To: Teacher2Teacher Service
Date: Sep 13, 1999 at 12:05:04
Subject: Re: Symmetry

I think transparency film is also a powerful tool for use with pattern blocks.
For example, you could draw the perpendicular axes on the film and move it
around over the blocks. You can trace pattern fragments onto a film to be
manipulated (relative to axes, or rotated by 'pinning' down a point as a
center of rotation, or you can literally flip the film, representing a 
reflection, etc.).

After introductory presentation on cyclic (or dihedral, or linear or planar)
patterns, students were to create their own patterns. These were exhibited in
a gallery, and were used as samples for identifying classification codes. I've
adopted the codification used by Kevin Lee in KaleidoMania! software from Key
Curriculum Press.

I also have students create Sketchpad scripts for the classic pattern block
shapes, then use their scripts to generate virtual versions of patterns they
create with the concrete manipulative.

I am wondering how many teachers really teach transformations beyond the
simplest level of reflection over a single mirror, or rotation about a

What do you think?

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