Template supplied in storage wallet with drawing ideas poster
After 21 years of producing Mathomat templates with a 360 degree protractor as their centre piece we have decided to make a radical change.
The new Mathomat V5 geometry template has an extra large 180 degree protractor as its central design feature. This is in recognition of our research of teacher opinion which tells us that many mathematics teachers prefer to work with 180 degree protractors. Why we think this is important, and how we think this change may be working in terms of student learning, is explained in the design rationale statement at the end of this page, by the author of this website; John Lawton, publisher at OLM.
Like the the new Mathomat V3 and V4 templates, the Mathomat V5 is the same shape as the current Mathomat V2 design but it is 22% larger in area. Mathomat V5 has the same great selection of shapes, arranged in a user friendly hierarchical pattern around its central protractor that you would expect in a Mathomat. The larger Mathomat V5 size makes the following improvements possible;
An oversized 180 degree protractor
The really large 180-degree protractor in Mathomat V5 has a new design, with radius guides that are designed to simplify its appearance, making it look as much like a traditional 180 degree protractor as possible. The larger, 120mm diameter, for the protractor in V5 creates more space between degree lines, allowing students to understand its structure more easily. Why we think this is important is explained in the design rationale statement below. In addition the twin degree scales in the V5 protractor, running in opposite directions from the positive and negative X-Axis replicates what we think is the most common protractor design in use at grade five for introduction of degrees as a measure of angle.
An important feature in the new Mathomat V5 template is that it offers students 360 degree protractors to work with when using degrees and radians. These are important for conceptualising reflex angles and the unit circle in trigonometry.
Future development work on the Mathomat V5 template protractors
There is a further improvement that we plan to make to the design of the protractors in the V5 template. Having degree lines in a 360 degree protractor that extend from the origin to the circumference are important for students when they are learning to connect physical rotation with static concepts of angle. How we do this in the V5 design is still the subject of discussion with teachers, and we plan to introduce the change once we have completed this evaluation and review process.
Larger shapes to draw with
In the Mathomat V5 template the side length of the larger group of polygons has been increased to 20mm (from 15mm in the Mathomat V2 template). This allows for drawing useful sized nets to construct polyhedra and other 3-D shapes and for the drawing of larger 2-D patterns such as tessellation designs. An additional feature in the Mathomat V5 template is a special expansion scale for increasing regular polygon drawings to a 50mm radius to allow for creation of giant polyhedra models.
A useful feature of the Mathomat V5 template is that its larger regular polygons can be used in usefully sized Make'N'Draw activities in which students create designs using physical pattern blocks, and are then challenged to redraw their design using their Mathomat templates. This drawing challenge deepens student understanding by asking them to reconstruct their original block design.
Pattern blocks are used extensively in primary school, but they also have powerful applications at a middle school level. The new student manuals for Mathomat V5 will explore this potential, and extend from it using the soon to be released Math'O'Block range that will include all of the Mathomat template shapes as well as tangram, magic egg shapes, and shapes that are needed for construction of the Penrose Tiling
The Mathomat V5 template includes a new arc builder scale for drawing large diameter circles and arcs, as well as a new Tangram Tool. The tangram tool assists students in the creation of usefully sized tangram puzzle designs, either by creation of tangram shapes or by directly drawing their designs from the template itself.
The usual great range of Mathomat shapes and scales
The Mathomat V5 template has all of the great range of shape stencils such as usefully graduated circles, ellipses, regular polygons, quadrilaterals and graphing curves that you would expect. Mathomat V5 template also has the same rich collection of number lines as before, such as a linear radian scale, millimeter and centimetre scale and 1:20,000 street directory scale.as well as isometric and parallel lines for technical drawing.