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Teaching Pythagoras

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Summary

John Bayley observes as an AST maths teacher turns the challenge of teaching Pythagoras's theorem into a fun and engaging lesson for Key Stage 3.

Discarding lesson objectives, former Teacher of the Year, Dan Walton, engages the Year 8 students in a series of activities which lead them to discover the formula of Pythagoras for themselves.

Dan uses golf to explore right-angled triangles, introducing the hypotenuse by solving a dog-leg hole in one. By playing games with numbers the children discover a numerical solution to their problem.

Next their new-found knowledge is put into practice as the class compete to solve a murder using the answers to a series of Pythagoras problems.

Dan keeps the momentum going using praise, games and even the children?s mobile phones to ensure the class is engrossed to the end.

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