What is a coordinates system?

By | August 22, 2011

This is the first in the series of posts about teaching mathematics and Geogebra tools at the same time. I’m starting with the most basic of the tools in GeoGebra, the point tool. What would be a better context for this than in learning about the coordinate system. Teacher can use the following introduction about geographic coordinates system and the idea of number line as introduction to this activity.

A coordinates system is a system which uses one or more numbers, or coordinates, to uniquely determine the position of a point or other geometric elements. An understanding of coordinate system is very important. For example, a geographic coordinate system enables every location on the Earth to be specified by a set of numbers. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represent vertical position, and two or three of the numbers represent horizontal position. A common choice of coordinates is latitude and longitude. Sometimes, a third coordinate, the elevation is included. For example:

Philippine Islands are located within the latitude and longitude of 13° 00 N, 122° 00 E. Manila, the capital city of Philippines is 14° 35′ N, 121º 00 E’.

In mathematics we study coordinates systems in order to describe location of points, lines and other geometric elements. The numberline is an example of a coordinates system which describe the location of a point using one number. The coordinates of a point on a numberline tells us the location of a point from zero. But what if the point is not on the line but above of below it? How can we describe exactly the location of that point? This is what this activity is about: how to describe the position of points on a plane.

You would need to familiarize your students first about the GeoGebra window shown below before asking them to work on the GeoGebra worksheet.

Click here to go the GeoGebra worksheet – What are coordinates of points?

 

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2 thoughts on “What is a coordinates system?

  1. Pingback: Teaching mathematics with GeoGebra - Mathematics for Teaching

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