Spatial Reasoning

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Consider the following examples

You are planting trees in a straight path of your backyard.  You plant a tree and then every 10 metres along the path plant another.  If the path is 40 metres, how many trees will you need to plant?

How will you pack all those different sized boxes in the van so you only need to make one trip?

That couch you noticed in the store is perfect for the basement family room but, will it fit down the stairs?

Now ask yourself:  what skills do I need to solve the problems?  What do I see or visualize helping me in solving the problems? 

This is the first of a two part series that will highlight what spatial reasoning is and why it is important.

What is Spatial Reasoning? 

Spatial thinking, or reasoning, involves understanding and remembering the location and movement of objects and ourselves, either mentally or physically, in space. There are a number of sub skills and concepts that are interrelated among each other. It also includes being able to show and communicate thinking in a variety of ways.

Visualization is the ability to see images in your mind and to remember what you see when it is out of view (visual memory).  Spatial Visualization involves using our imagination to rotate, change, create, organize, and retrieve mental images.
Both of these concepts are important in the development of spatial reasoning.

Why is Spatial Reasoning Important?
Research has shown strength in spatial reasoning abilities is related to success in mathematics. Spatial Reasoning, although it is an important part of geometry, is a process that enhances learning and communication across all math strands and all grades.