Spatial reasoning is a basic skill in geometry, and the relation between early spatial thinking and later mathematical developments has been recorded for decades. This knowledge should be developed in children at the earliest possible age. The American National Research Council (National Research Council, 2006) considers spatial thinking as a basic skill that can be learned and formally taught to all students using well-designed tools, technologies, and curricula. It is observed that children are able to exceed their programme expectations if they have adequate opportunities to learn.
There is a need to introduce young children to tasks that relate to a more dynamic and transformational approach to geometry. The advent of technology gives teachers an excellent opportunity to present geometry in a more dynamic way than ever before.
As teachers, we should use modern methods, including information technology and computer software. Children are currently exposed to a wide range of technological devices, such as:
- Several electronic games and other softwares that are intended for both entertainment and information.
The use of technology to teach young children seems to be an obvious solution in which learning geometry could be pleasant for children. In that sense, a child should work and cooperate with other children and teachers, while also teaching should cover a wide range of approaches, including playing.
To achieve that goal NeoTrie appears to meet all these conditions!
NeoTrie was tested as a part of math lessons at the Primary School in Żernica (Poland) in the academic years 2017-18. For the academic year 2018-19, new implemented tools were used, shared and tested in schools in Spain, Netherlands, France, and other countries within the Scientix pilot project, in cooperation with didactics and mathematics researchers from the University of Almería.
The first step was to prepare the NeoTrie lessons. The second was already during the lesson to keep some important information, such as:
- The date;
- The topic of the lesson;
- Number and age of the pupils;
- Activities performed using NeoTrie description;
- Necessary tools;
- The advantages and disadvantages;
These recommendations provide guidelines and suggestions on how to organize a lesson using NeoTrie in the most effective way. This article presents lessons on triangles, segments in a prism, as well as lessons introducing the concept of fractions, comparing and adding fractions.
It was observed that during the lessons with the use of NeoTrie the pupils were: focused, disciplined, mobilized to work and satisfied with the tasks successfully performed. It clearly seems that they found classes with NeoTrie more attractive than those with the use of the other didactic methods.
You will find more information about the program and its use during lessons in the article published in “Psychology, Society & Education“.
Did you try the activities with your students? Share your experiences in the comments! You can also find examples in the attached files.
Author: Grazyna Morga
Official page of NeoTrie VR: https://sites.google.com/ual.es/neotrie-forum/
The project on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/neotrie/
National Research Council (2006). Learning to think spatially: GIS as a support system in the K-12 curriculum. Washington, DC: National Academy Press