Building Blocks to Develop Students’ Spatial Visualisation Ability

The title of this research is On Developing Students’ Spatial Visualisation Ability. The research has been done by Dwi Afrini Risma, graduate student of IMPOME, in 2013. Together with Ratu Ilma Indra Putri and Yusuf Hartono as her consultants, researcher published it in International Education Studies, volume 6, nomor 9.

The aims of this research is to support the development of students’ spatial visualisation ability and to study about how students visualise and interprete the building blocks. It is very important because spatial visualisation ability that is taught in geometry topic is one of important abilities is needed in students’ life.  Unfortunatally, many students cannot visualise three-dimensional objects in a two-dimensional perspective.

This research involved 39 students of 3rd grade of Elementary Students of 117 Palembang and a 3rd grade classroom teacher. The learning activities was done in 70 minutes-long meeting. Because of some technical problems, researcher splited the activity became two meetings. During learning in this activity, the students were grouped into some small groups of 3 or 4 students. In the building block activity, the students had to solve three problems. First two problems were solved in the first meeting and the last problem was solved in the second meeting.

Meeting 1

  • Introducing the context
  • Solved the first problem.

Students were asked to construct a building blocks from a small wooden cubes as shown in figure 1 and then draw its side views and top view.

block 1

  • Solved the second problem

The students hd to construct their own building blocks that consist of 5 wooden cubes and then draw its side views and top vies.

Meeting 2

  • Classroom discussion
  • Solved the last problem

Individually, students were asked to construct their own building blocks from four wooden cubes and draw its side view and top view.

As the result, researcher can see that the student interprete and visualise views of the building blocks in a various way. In discussion, researcher has seen how the teacher supported the student by giving some important question and giving important instruction in observing. Furthermore, the teacher also gave space for the students to think and visualise the left view of the building blocks by playing dummies.

In conclution, there is no students represent the building blocks as a three-dimensional drawing after experiencing the building block activity, indicates that the students develop their spatial visualisation ability. Based on analysis of students’ working, researcher categorise the way students interpret and visualize the side view of building blocks into three general ways :

  1. Students visualise the side view of the building blocks as the squares, regardless it has an goes-out part or goes-into part
  2. Students visualise the goes-into and goes-out part in a three-dimensional drawing
  3. Students visualise the building blocks as three-dimensional drawing

Moreover, researcher categorise students’ interpretation and visualisation on top view into two general categories namely :

  1. Students interpret the top view part of the cubes that is located on the top layer
  2. Students interpret the top view as how the cubes arrays are visible if we see it fro the top

Beside that, the role of the teacher by giving some important questions and instructions is to facilitate the development of students thinking and to gave space on students’ creation.

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