Friday, April 18, 2014

Perfect squares and square roots

     In a previous post I shared the flash cards that I had students make to memorize their perfect squares and square roots to 25.


Click here to see flash cards for perfect squares and square roots (make sure to download the document to see square roots as well) and the previous post.

     In the past I have had limited success with this because some of the kids would not take home or look at their flash cards to study. Well this year I tried something different. Even though I only have my students for 45 minutes a day, I have them pull out their flash cards and take the first 4 minutes of class to study them individually. Then they work with their partners for 3 minutes each quizzing each other on their facts.   Then they put their flashcards away and we orally recite the facts. I say 1 squared they say 1 and so on. This 10 minutes a day has helped them tremendously. We are working on Pythagorean Theorem and the kids are seeing the benefit of knowing their perfect squares by heart.
     Some of my lower level students forget their cards, I think because they don't know them and are embarrassed to work with their partners. I work with them in a small group during that 10 minutes. It has helped them to have the individual attention and we go over some of the square roots orally together. They really like doing this and they are learning some of these facts.
      Next week I will be calling each students aside and checking to see how many they know. The students who have them all memorized, so far about 8 out of 87 Pre-Algebra students will have their name put on the wall of perfect square masters. I will have to find something else for them to memorize during our 10 minute period. And as if I am not nerdy enough, I am teaching the students this song to the tune, "We will,  We will, Rock you."  They clear off their desks and do the:
pound, pound, clap -
pound, pound, clap -
on their desks to the song.

Here are the lyrics:

I know my squares
up to 25,
and I'm going to say them,
for you right now,
and if you think I can't,
that's a BIG MISTAKE!
we're squaring numbers,
all over the place.

Refrain:
We will, we will, square them!
We will, we will, square them!

Me:   Ready, set, 1, 2, 3, go:  1 squared
Kids: 1
Me: 2 squared
kids: 4
Me 3 squared
kids 9
... do this to 10 squared.

Refrain:
We will, we will, square them!
We will, we will, square them!

Me:   Ready, set, 1, 2, 3, go:
Me: 11 squared
kids: 121
Me 12 squared
kids: 144
... through 15 squared.

Refrain:
We will, we will, square them!
We will, we will, square them!

Me:   Ready, set, 1, 2, 3, go:
... squares through 20.

Refrain:
We will, we will, square them!
We will, we will, square them!

Me:   Ready, set, 1, 2, 3, go:
squares through 25

I know my squares up to 25,
I just said them for you right now,
I told you I could,
I made no mistakes,
we're squaring numbers,
all over the place.

Refrain:
We will, we will, square them!
We will, we will, square them!

     I am here to tell you that the kids love this and come in everyday asking if we can do the song. Everyone is exhausted by the end of the song and shaking their hands, but they are all smiles. I do have to talk to the teachers in the rooms near me to see if they are testing because we make a lot of noise. My students who need movement have had their sensory input for the next couple of hours and my visual and auditory learners have used their senses as well. A win, win situation. I do lead the pound, pound, clap - at the front of the room to keep the beat the same. Maybe one of these days I will actually be able to record a class doing this.

                                                  Til next time,

                                                        Jan


2 comments:

  1. You are awesome! I adore the song!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Sarah. I made the lyrics to the song one night when I couldn't sleep. I've been using it for several years so it was worth one sleepless night :D

    ReplyDelete

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