## Saturday, November 19, 2016

### Pythagorean Short Stacks

Last year I taught an 8th grade collababorative math class. My class consisted of 12 special education students with IEP's, 4 students with 504 plans and 12 general education students who scored between 2nd and 4th grade level in math. I also had a special education teacher and teacher assistant to help in the classroom. This was truly the most challenging class I have ever taught. Trying to cover the standards with such a diverse group took lots and lots of planning.

My favorite unit with this class was Pythagorean Theorem. They really understood  it! In my Algebra and Pre-Algebra classes I used my Pythagorean Stack activity. See my previous post on Pythagorean Stacks  I knew this would be too difficult for my collab class to do so I adapted it and created my Pythagorean Short Stack activity for this group. It has less problems and they still have to find missing sides which makes both of these activities so much fun. All of the answers are integers just like the Pythagorean Stack Activity so you can tell the students there are no decimals or fractions. They loved this project and did a great job. The room was buzzing with activity as they worked in their groups helping each other.

I did add in numbers for each of the triangles to make it easier to grade. On the other activiy if they didn't number the triangles it was difficult to follow. I know a black and white version would print better but the colors cover up a multitude of mistakes on my diagram. Believe it or not I used Word to make this. My son just looks and me and rolls his eyes and says, "Mom why don't you use paint for that?" I guess I'm just old school. What can I say.

This year I plan on using both activities with my Pre-Algebra as I have many struggling students in these classes as well.

My Pythagorean Stack post is one of my most popular posts so I'm hoping that many of you will find this to be fun to use in your classes as well. Enjoy!