Mathematics, in part, are built upon constants. One of the most well known and fundamental constants is the Pythagorean theorem.
We all know it and a lot of us teach it every year. Although educators and even parents are pretty familiar with this, our students don’t always grasp it as easily.
We know that the uses for this theorem are practically limitless; from astronomy, geography, physics to engineering and more. The Pythagorean theorem is a constant in our lives.
And in this day and age of interactivity or press of a button knowledge (AKA: Google), it is important to teach on a more hands-on level.
This collection offers 4 different approaches for discovering the ins and outs of the Pythagorean Theorem.
Why Bother Taking the Time to Go Hands-On?
It’s actually pretty simple. As Judy Dodge author of 25 Quick Formative Assessments for a Differentiated Classroom states "The more parts of your brain you use, the more likely you are to retain information, if you're only listening, you're only activating one part of the brain," she says, "but if you're drawing and explaining to a peer, then you're making connections in the brain."
That’s why things like doodle notes and hands on activities are so important. Activities like these are easy to implement and immensely beneficial to the students.
1. Cut & Paste
Then have your students arrange them on paper and scotch tape them down to create the original, then re-number and write/tweak the actual question (save time drawing the diagram or model yourself).
Here is a great example of a hands-on pythagorean classroom activity from Kyle Krafka.
This origami-style activity will help your students see and remember how the theorem actually applies. The great part is that it is a general proof that works for different right triangles, and you can actually fold further to get different versions.
3. Project: Create a 3-d Model
4. Concept-Based Doodle Notes
Taking concepts such as the Pythagorean Theorem out of the text (beyond just memorizing a formula) and into our hands is a wonderful way learn. Do you have any tips or tricks you use in your classroom? Let us know what you do in the comments below!
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