Saturday, December 5, 2015

Teaching Square Roots (Radicals) For Deep Understanding

The square root of nine can be shown visually
with chart paper and blocks.

Whenever possible, the visual form of math concepts should be shown.  Often times, blocks and diagrams are used at the lower grade levels.  Using diagrams, hands-on examples, and manipulatives can be useful for older students as well.

This method works only with perfect squares.  
To  teach square roots in a visual way,
 have students place their blocks in equal rows starting from the corner
of the page.  A total of 9 blocks will be added to this diagram.

Students can "see" the square root of  9 is 3.
Students can determine that the square root 
is one side of a square times itself.

Drawing a square within a radical sign is also helpful.
Students found the square root of 4 in the top math problem.
The square root of 3 was determined in the second math problem.

Additional Resources

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