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Rotations Math. How to rotate a shape 90, 180 or 270 degrees clockwise or anticlockwise.

Updated on March 27, 2013

Rotating Shapes On Coordinate Grids Video

If you are asked to rotate a shape then you need to turn the shape around. In most questions the rotations will be:

¼ turn or 90⁰ turn

½ turn or 180⁰ turn

¾ turn or 270⁰ turn

Also make sure that the shape is turned the correct way (either clockwise or anticlockwise).

The easiest way to rotate a shape is to use tracing paper. Make sure when you trace the shape that the tracing paper is level with you page (not on a slant). One you have traced the shape rotate the shape by placing your pencil on the centre of rotation, and turn it until you have reached the required angle. All you need to do now is draw the rotated shape on the coordinate grid. Do this by going over the shape on your tracing paper and this will leave an impression on your page, or look underneath the tracing paper and mark the vertices onto your page.

Example 1

Rotate the shape 180⁰ about the centre of the rotation (-2, 1).

First of all mark on the centre of rotation.

Next trace your shape and turn the tracing paper ½ a turn placing your pencil on the centre of rotation. It doesn’t matter if you go clockwise or anticlockwise as you are carrying out a 180⁰ rotation and both will give the same answer.

Finally, mark out your rotated shape on your coordinate grid.

Example 2

Rotate the shape 90⁰ anticlockwise about the origin.

First of all mark on the centre of rotation.

Next trace your shape and turn the tracing paper 1/4 turn anticlockwise by placing your pencil on the origin (the origin is the centre of the coordinate grid with coordinate (0,0)).

Finally, mark out your rotated shape on your coordinate grid.


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