Day 120: Square Areas

In Geometry we skipped The Pythagorean Theorem and Special Right Triangles sections a couple months back so so 30-60-90 triangles would make more sense to students after equipped with trig. Today we came back around to those.

My students could regurgitate the Pythagorean Theorem for days. However, I don’t think any of them could explain where it comes from or write out a proof for it.

Today’s goal was to change that.

A few years back in college, we went through an activity using dot paper to find the area of certain squares. After much digging, I found a very similar activity.

I asked students to work through the square areas S-1 independently for 10 minutes or so. Then Instant Classroom broke ’em into groups where they discussed their progress.

Students who used the Pythagorean Theorem right off the bat were challenged to find another approach.

They struggled.

And struggled.

For a good 20 minutes.

Then the bell rang.

Darn. It was kind of an awkward place to end. On their way out I asked them to think about how they could find the area of a 3/y square and come back tomorrow with some progress.

The most interesting piece I observed today were students hesitant in trusting the math to work out. A majority of students had a correct expression set up which only needed to be simplified and were second guessing themselves. My money phrase today was “Trust the math”.

More on this tomorrow!


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