Objects and Our Place Among Them

Terminology

Positional words and phrases

Language describing location, placement, or arrangement in relation to other objects

Attributes

Qualities (usually used with geometry) of a figure. Includes sides, size, angles, etc.

Spatial relations

Relationships of objects in space. This includes the relationship of these objects to one another and their relationship to ourselves

Representation

A wide variety of ways to capture mathematical concepts or relationships. Can be mental images as well as physical and written

Orientation

The relative physical position or direction of something

Transformation

A change in a shape that may result in a different position, orientation, or size

Tangram

An ancient Chinese puzzle made from a square cut into seven pieces: two large triangles, one medium-sized triangle, two small triangles, one square, and one parallelogram 

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This article shows how different aspects of shape and space are fundamental to children’s lives. Educators can use many different activities and approaches, including intentional teaching, to foster learning of spatial relations. 

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