Reflection: High Quality Task Pythagorean Triples and Special Right Triangles - Section 3: Polygon Partners Differentiated Activity


The Polygon Partners Problems are non-routine problems that require students to apply their knowledge and understanding of the Pythagorean Theorem in new ways.  Because students tend to find these problems challenging, I was happy with my decision to let students choose whether to work individually or with others.  Given this structure, I was able to circulate the room to continuously assess students’ understanding and to work one-on-one with individuals who needed targeted help in a way that did not draw unnecessary attention towards these students. 

This year, I decided to post answer keys for each problem so that students could check their work.  I did this for two reasons: (1) I knew students would need time to work through these problems during class; by honoring this need, student were able to engage in rich conceptual conversations they could not have individually at home; (2) I wanted students to be able to engage in self-assessment so they could identify what they are doing well and what they need to improve upon.  While classroom presentations can help students check their work, I found that giving students time to closely look through the answer key helped them to better understand their ideas and make connections between different ways of thinking about the problem.

  Raising the Bar
  High Quality Task: Raising the Bar
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Pythagorean Triples and Special Right Triangles

Unit 11: The Pythagorean Theorem
Lesson 3 of 6

Objective: Students will be able to apply the Pythagorean Theorem to solve novel problems.

Big Idea: In a differentiated task, "Polygon Partners," students will choose how they will work on a menu of problems and check their reasoning with their polygon partners.

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Math, Geometry, Pythagorean Theorem
  107 minutes
polygon partner
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