Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Teacher's Lab
Space and GeometryIntroductionAbout ShapeAbout Space

Geometry is the mathematics of shape and space. It's about the properties of objects (their angles and surfaces, for instance) and the consequences of how these objects are positioned (where their shadows fall, how people must move around them).

When adults think about geometry, they usually remember a course in the second year of high school—one loaded with proofs about isosceles triangles and vertical angles. For many of us, the geometry course sounded the death knell for our progress—and interest—in mathematics.

Here's a chance to put those memories to rest, to experience geometry anew. At its roots, geometry is not abstract. Rather, it's fun and colorful, instructive and practical. Geometry is about real things: how big they are, whether they fit, how to find them, what they look like in a mirror. Geometry is naturally concrete.

This lab divides activities into two broad categories. Activities about shape center on identifying properties of various shapes and measuring their dimensions. Activities about space focus on moving objects—or yourself—around in your imagination, and visualizing how things will look.

Simply put, geometry is important to real life. Before you start the activities, read this background to find out why.


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