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Properties of shapes matching: TES Maths Resource of the Week

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What is it?
Properties of shapes is an interesting topic. It is first encountered in primary schools when students are introduced to the wonderful world of quadrilaterals and triangles. It is then likely revisited in Key Stage 3. But after that it tends to become “assumed knowledge”, that may be given (at best) cursory coverage during a complex problem. But the issue is, when you think about it, a sound knowledge of shapes and their properties is integral to success at GCSE maths. This knowledge sneaks its way into topics like area, ratio, angles and lots of geometric algebra, and if students are not secure in this knowledge then it can prevent access to these more complex problems. Fortunately this resource, from the King of Resources, is here to help. It is a PowerPoint where each slide considers a shape, presents a series of statements, and asks us to consider if each one is Always, Sometimes or Never true.

How can it be used?
I love Always, Sometimes and Never activites. When done well they provoke fascinating debate, discussion and questions from students. And this one certainly is done very well indeed. Take a right-angled triangle and consider the statements “has two acute angles”, “has two equal sides” and “contains a line of symmetry”. Are those always, sometimes or never true? I like to project these up on the board, give students adequate time to consider them on their own in silence (armed with pencils, paper and rulers), and then compare their answers with their neighbour. We can then have the class discussion, which may require firing up GeoGebra to dive into some of the concepts deeper. A superb resource.

Thanks so much for sharing
Craig Barton

Download: Properties of shapes matching
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