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Exploring Transformations with the Graphing Calculator

Published on 04/29/2009

Activity Overview

After an overview of coordinate notation, students explore transformations including translation, reflection, rotation, and dilation in a coordinate plane. The graphing calculator uses the list editor and functions with lists including the augment command and line graphs of familiar objects, a broken heart (half a heart) and a flower petal or feather.

Before the Activity

Students should already be familiar with transformations and dilations. This activity is a way for students to solidify the concept of how data points change as they are transformed. You will need to have a class set of TI-83 or TI-84 Plus graphing calculators. The data lists that need to be entered are short enough that students can enter them at the beginning of the activity themselves and therefore they do not need to be downloaded ahead of time, but you could do that if you wish. The attached Transformation Handout should be duplicated for each student as they are asked to draw the graphs as they are created on the graphing calculator.

During the Activity

A display device is very helpful, whether it is a TI-Navigator or TI SmartView. Begin by reviewing the different types of transformations and dilations and the associated coordinate notation. Be sure students prepare their calculators as described on page 1. This activity may be divided up into parts and completed all on one day, or on several days. Introduction to Transformations - p.1. Broken Heart with 2 Reflections - p.2 w/ p.3 and 4. Flower Petal/Feather with a Translation - p.5 w/ p.6. Flower Petal/Feather with a Dilation - p.5 w/ p.7. Flower Petal/Feather with 3 Rotations - p.5 w/ p.8, 9, and 10. During the Reflections discuss with students why L1 and L3 need to be combined and why L2 needs to be repeated twice so that the list dimensions match. In the second Reflection, if students only get half the heart below the x-axis, they probably didn't have the augment command while L4 and L5 were highlighted at the very top. Have them repeat the directions in the 3rd paragraph more slowly and carefully.

After the Activity

Check the graphs that students drew on the handout as they created each transformation and dilation on the graphing calculator.