Friday, April 13, 2012

Pythagoras, O Pythagoras!

I think I mentioned earlier that one of the concepts I miss teaching now that I've switched from 8th grade to 6th grade is The Pythagorean Theorem.

I decided to covered this with the students headed to Algebra next year prior to teaching surface area and volume of cones and rectangular pyramids so that I can incorporate some multi-step problems where they have to find the slant height or the height prior to finding the other measurements.

Here is what I gave each kiddo:

They need both because one is taped down to the composition book and the other is cut and used to prove the theorem.

In order to prove the theorem, we labeled the dimensions of the triangle and the squares and color coded each square.

From there, we cut out one of the pictures along the perimeter and we cut the other picture so that the largest square was still attached to the triangle, but the other two squares were separated. Then, we glued the squares with the triangle intact into our math 'textbook' attaching the triangle only to the paper. From there I showed the kids how one of the remaining smaller squares fit into the larger square and by trial and problem solving, we discovered how the remaining square could be cut to cover the remaining area of the largest square, thus proving the Pythagorean Theorem. I was sure to explain that this is ONE of many proofs, but I really like how the notes became the proof in this case!


  1. This is great! Hope you post it on Math Monday:

    I had to send you this link as well. Your students might enjoy. :)

  2. This is really awesome! We started teaching AG1 with a high school textbook for our 8th graders. So the kids go from 7th grade math to high school algebra. With the additional transition to common core some of our kids are really struggling. I am thankful that I find wonderful teachers with wonderful helps like this that I can use with my kids!

  3. Do you have a copy of the foldable sheet you would be able to share?

  4. You can download here: