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 SLIDE takes place when a shape moves in one direction from one place to another. When you watch the shape move, it appears to be sliding. Often you will see an arrow underneath the shape to show what direction it is moving in.
Click on the play button above to watch the letter H slide, or translate. Click on the rewind button to watch it again.
Look at the two H's above. Imagine you had not seen the slide take place and I told you that this was an example of a flip (reflection). Would this be true or false? (Click one of the buttons below)
A letter can also SLIDE at an angle away from its original position. When you watch the W move, it appears to be sliding down and to the right. Notice it still looks exactly the same, just in a different position.
Click on the play button above to watch the letter W slide, or translate. Click on the rewind button to watch it again.
Create Your Own Transformations
with the Symmetry Tool