Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Geometer's Sketchpad - Practice the Pythagorean Theorem

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). 
In this activity students can download a GSP sketch that allows them to practice determining the hypotenuse (on the first page) or a leg (on the second page). The sketch will generate an infinite number of questions and give a full solution for each.
Note: Although Pythagorean Theorem is introduced in grade 8, it is only supposed to be relating more to the area model so these practice problems may not fit that. 

  • MPM1D, MFM1P: D, C2.2 - solve problems using the Pythagorean theorem, as required in applications
  • MPM2D, MFM2P: C,A2.2 - determine the measures of the sides and angles in right triangles, using the primary trigonometric ratios and the Pythagorean theorem;  
  • All that is needed are the electronic downloads (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
Watch the video below to see how to use the sketch. The first page can be used for determining the hypotenuse and the second page can be used for determining a leg. Both will randomly generate an infinite number of problems.

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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