Reflection: Checks for Understanding Square Root Solutions (Part 1 of 2) - Section 3: CLOSURE

Students demonstrated the following misconceptions:

Question 1:

• Students found the square root of 169. Yet instead of finding the square root of 20, they squared 20.
• Some students answered 10 when taking the square root of 20:

Question 2:

• For part a, some students wrote 4 as an answer (the square root of 16) and in part b they again wrote 4, being right this time.

Possible origin of misconceptions:

• I believe students are tempted to take the square root when the number is either large (like 169) and when it is a familiar and easy number to take the square root of, like 16. They carelessly go forth without analyzing what is being asked, like in question 2a, which is asking the area, given a side of 16. this is probably more a careless mistake than a misconception.
• In 1a, when finding the square root of 20, student took half of 20. I believe they do this because students remember that a square root is related to the number 2, so they divide by 2.  The connection between squaring and taking a square root, is not fully grasped when they do this.

Student Misconceptions
Checks for Understanding: Student Misconceptions

Square Root Solutions (Part 1 of 2)

Unit 4: Powers and Exponents
Lesson 7 of 16

Big Idea: Square roots are so much more common than any other root. A good grasp of the concept of square roots will facilitate understanding of subsequent lessons a great deal.

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45 minutes

Mauricio Beltre

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