The word transform means "to change." In geometry, a transformation changes the position of a shape on a coordinate plane. What that really means is that a shape is moving from one place to another. There are three basic transformations:
Being able to visualize the movement of a shape is very important. The SMARTBoard mini-movies below show a letter, or a polygon (after all, block letters are really just polygons), in their original positions before being transformed. By clicking the play button, we are able to watch the path the letter takes while being transformed and see their ending positions after the slide, flip, or turn has taken place.
A FLIP takes place when a shape is flipped across a line and faces the opposite direction. Because the shape ends up facing the opposite direction, it appears to be reflected, as in a mirror. Hence the name REFLECTION.
Click on the play button above to watch the letter N flip, or reflect. Click on the play button to watch it again.
A FLIP can also take place across a line in an up and down direction. In fact, a flip can take place in any direction. All you need to remember is the shape ends up facing the opposite direction and it appears to be reflected, as in a mirror. Hence the name REFLECTION.
Click on the play button above to watch the letter T flip, or reflect. Click on the play button to watch it again.
Create Your Own Transformations
with the Symmetry Tool