Education Technology

The Matrix Part 1

Activity Overview

The focus of this activity is to help build conceptual understanding of transformations. This activity includes three video tutorial links, an interactive TI-nspire file, student questions, teacher answers, notes and recommendations. Students build an intuitive understanding of transforming points, a plane and ultimately simple functions all through a very visual and numeric environment. Students then use matrices and build understanding of the importance of the determinant. 


The aim of this activity is to build student understanding through intuition, courtesy of a series of introductory videos and a powerful interactive TI-Nspire file. 


  • Transformation
  • Translation
  • Dilation
  • Rotation
  • Vector
  • Matrix
  • Determinant

About the Lesson

Evidence suggests that students struggle to understand this topic. This activity is designed to avoiding confusion associated with wire-frames and algebra in preference to a very visual and numeric approach. Students build understanding of how the cartesian plane is transformed using 'vectors'. Students can manipulate these vectors and observe how points on the plane are transformed accordingly. The vectors are represented using matrices which are then used to check the results of the transformations and intuitively compute inverse transformations.