Pythagoras, His Formula and a Teacher Who Didn’t Teach


So a simple lesson today. 

A segment on a grid and asked students to find the length of it. Yep, most sketched in their right triangles and pulled out the Pythagorean Theorem.  But what if we don’t have a grid? How can you find the distance between the two points without graph paper? Or if one of your points is (543, 97)? 


After their sharing, while practicing, some wondered, “Is it okay to use the slope if its in lowest terms?”

Good question.  Does it matter?  What could you do to determine if it matters?

And their suggestion:


…with their finding.  Makes me smile when they answer their own questions.

Best part of lesson today?  Their INB notes.  A post by @justinaion made me wonder how I could be more purposeful in student notes.  Today’s notes…after completing the lesson, students put their whiteboards away, and created their own notes.  Some had step by step instructions.  Others had pictures drawn, paragraphs with a couple of examples.  But in the end, they wrote what was important to them. 

I loved the question a student asked while walking out the room.  “How am I supposed to find the distance with three coordinates in space?”

My response, How are you supposed to find the distance with three coordinates in space?  A smile with an a-ha look on her face…you just…yes, child, you knew how all along.

A day when I didn’t teach a thing but my students left knowing something new (well, except for the kid who sulled up because I wouldn’t TELL them ‘the formula’, use your device) …its been a good day.

Even better, a FB post from a former student-


One response »

  1. I like this a bunch! I’m always afraid to do the “Here’s a thing! Figure it out!” because it’s WAY outside of my comfort zone, but I will do it and channel my courage from you. 🙂

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