2D Position
Describing Movement
Direction and Distance
Where to go
Continuing on from description of Movement in the early years we need to make learning of this topic more formal and structured for advancement.
This is achieved by thinking in a plan view.
Plan View: Technical Drawing, Buildings, Maps, Coordinates, Latitude and Longitude.
Superimposed on this plan view of the world we place a grid based on the idea of squared paper. This grid has two fundamental orientations at right angles to each other. These orientations are called axes and given the titles X and Y.
In the early years, working with squared paper, children should have had plenty of familiarisation with squared paper, particularly in being able to replicate the position of points. This concept becomes structured when we introduce coordinates based on the two axes. These coordinates define position relative to an origin. Once grasped the idea of coordinates is a simple and powerful tool for the Mathematician.
A nice way to begin with coordinates is to have coordinate pictures. This allows a bit of fun, giving children a way of drawing the same picture even though their drawing skills may be immature.
In terms of direction, the X-axis can represent East and West, the Y-axis can represent North and South. This gives a useful tool for putting the world into mathematical terms. This can be applied to problems regarding distance, area, speed, as well as position.
Treasure hunts can also engage children with maps and plans to guide.
Knowledge of coordinates can also help solve harder problems involving space and shape.
One of my favourite resources in this topic is GeoGebra.