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Reflection

Honestly, the experience of proving the formulae for area of polygons help me in
understanding mathematics more meaningfully. Before that, I always find mathematics is very
difficult because I have trouble learning and understanding mathematics formula. A lot of
confusion occurs in mathematics especially in certain topic such as geometry, algebra and so
on because of the way it is written. It often happens that we think we know and understand a
formula and then when we see it written in another way which make us blank.

Through this practical experience of proving a few formulae regarding area of some
polygons, I finally can understand the real concept of area for polygons instead just memorize
the formulae. Besides, I realise that proving the formulae can also enhance my conceptual
understanding. For example, when I proof the formula for area of a parallelogram based on
the formula for the area of a rectangle, I actually recall and apply my old knowledge. Learning
new concepts depends on what you already know, and for student advance, new concepts
will increasingly depend on old conceptual knowledge. This biggest problem is when students
fail to gain conceptual understanding, it will become harder and harder to catch up, as new
conceptual knowledge depends on the old. Students will become more and more likely to
simply memorise formula and apply them without understanding.

Moreover, this practical experience gives me a chance to learn and apply


representational reasoning effectively. I manage to try many types of method includes mental
image and different diagrams to concretise my thinking and then relate the formula for area of
rectangle to others polygon. After I successfully experience the foundations behind the
formulas, I am able to recall these formulas more readily, apply them more accurately as well
as be able to perform similar experiences when discovering something new. From my point of
view, these kind of initiatives had made the learning and understanding process more
interesting as well as meaningful.

On the other hand, I also gain a lot of inputs through my observation and manage to
find out the connections between the area of parallelogram, triangle, trapezoid and regular
polygon. After proving, I found out that the area of these polygons are actually related to the
area of rectangle. This is because I can convert or even change any of them by using different
initiative so that they can become a rectangle. For instance, I can cut and rearrange the
parallelogram, triangle, trapezoid and regular polygon into a rectangle. Indirectly, the formula
for the area of a rectangle with length l and width w: l x w became the basic knowledge for
people understand and derive the formula for the area of others more complicated polygons.
From this angle of view, we can master the concept of area more easily.
In addition, I can implement the method of proving the formulae to derive the area of a
circle using the area of a regular polygon. A circle is a 2-dimensional shape made by drawing
a curve that is always the same distance from a centre. Below is a circle of radius r. The
distance around a circle is called the circumference. The circumference can be calculated
using the formula C = 2r, where is the irrational constant approximately equal to 3.14.

Actually, all regular polygons are able to inscribe in a circle. This is because every
regular polygon has their constituent centre and apothem. Apothem refers to the line segment
drawn from the centre of regular polygon to the midpoint of one of its sides.

To derive the formula of circle, the first step is to inscribe a regular polygon in the circle
and split up the polygon into congruent isosceles triangles. In this case, if we increase the
number of sides to infinity or a very big number, it will produce n-gon which is a regular polygon
which number of sides is a big number and it will almost look like a circle.
After increasing the sides of regular polygon, it will make the perimeter of the will almost
be the same as the perimeter of the circle. From here, I can assume that the closer the
perimeter of the polygon is to the circle, the closer the area of the polygon is to the area of the
circle. Then, we can derive the formula for area of the circle using the area of regular polygon.
Derivation can be done as it is reasonable to substitute the apothem as the radius of circle
and the perimeter of polygon with the circumference.

Area of a circle

=Area of regular polygon formed

= x aP

= x (r) x ( 2 r )

= r2

At the same time, I can actually cut a circle into a few equal sectors, for example 12
sectors. Then, I rearrange the sectors into a shape which are resemble to a rectangle.
After that, I can interpret the area from the rectangle formed. The width of the rectangle
is actually the radius of circle and the length of rectangle is actually half of the circumference
of the circle.

Circumference = 2 radius

Half the Circumference = radius

Area of a circle

=Area of rectangle formed

= length x width

= r x r

= r2

Conclusion

In short, area is one of the most important part in geometry as well as daily life. The
area of a polygon measures the size of the region enclosed by the polygon and they can be
derived or proven through many methods. At last, I also realise the connectedness of
mathematical ideas can actually be better illustrated with the connections of all of these
formulas to a simpler concept. However, the most significant point is we must understand the
real and whole concept correctly instead of memorize the formula blindly so that we can
implement it in everything we done.