Teaching mathematics

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

# Thinking holistically

In their early school years, learners have typically been presented with shapes and they have learned their names (Figure 1). However, they will also have learned some implicit things about these shapes. One of these is orientation or ‘right way up-ness’.

Figure 1 The common presentation of four basic shapes

It is common for children in early years schooling to be presented with shapes which are upright, in the case of squares and rectangles, and for triangles to sit on a horizontal base. So, quite often, learners decide that the orientation of the shapes is an important property and do not accept shapes in orientations which are unusual. As an example of this, consider the two squares in Figure 2 below, which are presented in different orientations.

Figure 2 A square in two different orientations

It is common for the first of these two shapes to be perceived as a square, whereas the second shape is perceived as a ‘diamond’ because it sits on its corner.

One way of dealing with this is to suggest that the learner turns the paper round, so that they can see the shape ‘the right way up’. This is more difficult if the shape cannot be turned round, but the suggestion can be to turn the head so as to look at the shape ‘the right way up’.

TM_1

### Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371