## Wednesday, March 26, 2014

### THE PYTHAGOREAN THEOREM

okay.  I am a nerd.  I know it, and I embrace it.  I LOVE the Pythagorean Theorem.

When I was in high school, I had an amazing Geometry teacher who made us memorize the Pythagorean Theorem.  We were warned; he would be stopping us in the hallway, in the cafeteria, at after-school activities and we would be expected to recite it back to him.  As a result, I can state the Pythagorean Theorem with incredible speed and accuracy, bound to amaze students everywhere.

"In any right triangle, the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides."  BAM.

After discovering an awesome "Properties of a Circle" foldable that was actually shaped like a circle, I decided it was time to create a Pythagorean Theorem foldable that was actually shaped like a triangle.  ...because I was crunched for time, rather than thinking through how to create it on the computer so that it would print front-to-back and fold the way I had in mind, I went to work with a a piece of printer paper and a sharpie.

I started by creating a square on which I wrote out four practice problems that would be folded into the inside of the foldable.  Some of those practice problems require the students to solve for the hypotenuse, but others force them to solve for a side length.

Then, I folded along the diagonal to create a right triangle and used sharpie to draw blanks where students would label important information.  As we made our foldables, we filled in that important information and color-coded the legs and hypotenuse.

Next, I folded the acute angles of the triangle up to the right angle to hide the triangle and create a square where students can write the definition of the Pythagorean Theorem.

Finally, fold along the diagonal and add a title to the front.

When I worked through this process with my lovely 7th graders, we did all the folding first.   Then we started with the title on the front and worked our way to the center of the foldable where the practice problems were located.  Foldables are nothing new to my students, so while this process may seem complicated, they folded and labeled like pros.

Before walking out of my classroom, students glued them into their Fantastic Math Cheat Sheet Organizers.  (Click [here] for more information on this stroke of brilliance...)

As if I didn't already love the Pythagorean Theorem, now I have a fabulous, colorful, triangular foldable to use when I teach my favorite theorem.