The Isometric Drawing Tool is one of many online tools and activities from the site Illuminations-Resources for Teaching Math from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. It is part of the Verizon Thinkfinity program. Use this interactive tool to create dynamic drawings on isometric dot paper. Draw figures using edges, faces, or cubes. You can shift, rotate, color, decompose, and view in 2‑D or 3‑D. Instructions for getting started, an exploratory problem, and six standard-based math education lessons (grades 3-12) that incorporate the Isometric Drawing Tool are provided. There are links at the top that take the user to the larger Illuminations site where there are more activities, lessons, standards, and web links addressing the many aspects of math education.
Type of Material:
teaching the concepts of 2D and 3D, spatial awareness development, applications in geometry, visual literacy skills, problem solving skills
Flash/Java enabled browser, internet connection. This tool itself does not work on an iPad, although, the lessons and other resources are available.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The goal of Illuminations from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and, in particular, the Isometric Drawing Tool is more and better mathematics for all students.
Individual goals would be set by the professor or teacher, but the site allows users to explore geometric concepts like rotation and reflection.
Target Student Population:
Junior and senior high school students, 4-12 math and art teachers and student teachers
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
None, however some basic concept development in height, width, length would help.
This learning object presents educationally significant math concepts and models that support math and spatial awareness development. The tool supports pre-requisite knowledge and application development for more advanced concepts in math education and visual literacy, such as geometry and drafting. The lessons that accompany this tool provide alignment to national math standards, can be used with this tool by other educators, and demonstrate a variety of ways to use this tool.
Users need to realize that this is one item within a much larger site. If you leave this site you will find all sorts of wonderful math activities, but they will not be about the Isometric Drawing Tool.
Without focus, students may not get the most out of this experience.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The strength in this tool is that it directly promotes critical and creative problem solving by allowing students to see and apply math concepts and skills. This tool can readily be integrated into math curriculum as a demonstration tool, a tool for completing an assignment, or for independent work by students. The tools allow students to construct, rotate, compare, and analyze objects from the front, top, and right. The lessons offer direction for curriculum development with this tool using volume vs. surface area, isometric drawing vs. mat plans, and how artist M.C. Escher used isometric drawing to construct impossible images.
The material provides an easy way for students who might have eye-hand coordination issues or who are unable to draw using paper and pencils to create materials that can be used in art and mathematics classrooms.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
This site is part of a larger site. It is organized and well labeled for finding the information needed to use and explore the tool as well as investigate the supporting lessons from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The overall Illuminations site is well maintained and updated regularly. The tool has been available for several years online and is clearly serving a purpose. Users are able to send comments about any page they use.
There is no direct link to return to the Isometric Drawing Tool once the user clicks on the lessons. Users can do a quick search of isometric and it will come up, but it would be better to have return links from each of the six lessons that accompany the tool.
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