Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Geometer's Sketchpad - Perfect Square Practice

When using the Geometer's Sketchpad it is often better to "start from sketch, not from scratch". That is, give students a premade sketch rather having them build something from nothing (as many textbooks would have you do). One of the advantages of doing this is that the bulk of the time spent on the software is actually doing math rather than building something. 

In this sketch students can practice recognizing perfect squares up to 144. It is a very simple sketch not meant to take much time but to just familiarize students with the first 12 perfect squares as well as to remind them that perfect squares can also be defined by physical squares.

  • Gr7NS1.6 - represent perfect squares and square roots, using a variety of tools (e.g., geoboards, connecting cubes, grid paper);
  • Gr8 - could be used as review or see our square root guesser sketch instead
  • All that is needed is the electronic download (below)
  • Note that this really works well on an iPad using the Sketchpad Explorer App (which is free)
  • You can also use this on any web based computer (or Chromebook) with this Web sketch
This sketch randomly selects a number under 150 and asks students whether it is a perfect square. They can make a mental guess and check their answer. Or, before the check their answer,  if they want to test it out they can try to create a square that has area equal to the given number. Once done they can generate another random number and try again. The hope is that this will help them become familiar with the first 12 perfect squares. Watch this video to see a demonstration of how it works.

Did you use this activity? Do you have a way to make it better? If so tell us in the comment section. Thanks

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