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What is symmetry? It's when two or more parts of an object are the same. The Maths curriculum in Irish schools introduces the idea of symmetry in third class - from about the age of 8.
The easiest type of symmetry to understand is bilateral symmetry, sometimes called reflection or mirror symmetry. If you find the line of symmetry you can fold one half exactly over the other half. Think about butterflies - one side of a butterfly matches the other side if it is folded vertically down the middle. The human face is another object that is a bilaterally symmetrical. Have a look together at the capital letters of the alphabet. How many of them are bilaterally symmetrical? In the case of the capital letters, sometimes that line of symmetry is vertical, and sometimes horizontal.
Have fun checking it out with a small straight edged mirror placed along the line of symmetry.
Another type of symmetry is rotational symmetry. If you rotate an object it will look exactly the same. For instance, if you rotate a square shape by 90 degrees it will look the same.
Look at this youtube video song about symmetry - it might help.
Everyday activities, like shopping and taking journeys provide a great opportunity for your child to practise maths skills by recognising patterns, counting out amounts, working out the best value, weighing and understanding money or understanding timetables and estimating your time of arrival!
Estimating is a very useful maths skill for everyday life – helping you decide if you have enough money to pay for a number of items or enough paint to paint a room. Encourage your child to estimate, for example, how many potatoes you will need for dinner or how much money to buy the shopping.
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