This week I begin Pythagorean Theorem with my grade 8 students. I intend to use many of the same applets as last year (see Fun with Applets), with a few new additions.

Illuminations Proof without Words – This is similar to Puzzle 1 from the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives. The difference here is that this applet runs for you and asks you to figure out the proof from what you see. In the NLVM applet, you manipulate the pieces yourself. I still prefer the NLVM applet, but this is a nice alternative.

IES Applet – This is similar to their applet that I shared last year. In this applet, one of the squares gets transferred whole, while the other one is broken into pieces. The whole square and the pieces must fit into square “c”.

Learning Math – This site from learner.org has some features that I like. In Part A, students are led through some inquiries and then the theorem is explained. Part B then leads students through a few different proofs. Part C and the Homework section have some interesting questions to solve.

Wolfram Math World – This site has some of the proofs already mentioned on other applets and sites, they are all just put together in the same place.

I plan on showing my students a few of the proofs, and then providing them with the websites so that they can explore. They will need to choose one that makes sense to them, and then find a way to display it with reference to a real-world problem of their choosing. In the past, students have used foam board or bristle board and made pieces that they could move around and fit with Velcro. Other students created their own digital demonstrations of one of the proofs. Some simply created diagrams. Again, I will leave it up to them to choose a method they can work with.

I can’t wait for the fun to begin.

Have a great week.

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