In Pre-algebra we continued discovering the distance formula. Yesterday I stretched the students a bit too much, thinking they would catch on quicker than what they did. It’s my first time teaching the topic and today was much better. While their discovery of the formula was more teacher led, it was to their benefit.

I created a SMART board lesson and walked them through this problem:

I then gave them four problems as a handout and guided them through the first problem.

Some were still confused by which coordinates to use so I added a table with headers for them to keep track.

By the last problem the kids were sailing on their own, without the aid of the coordinate plane. Their ticket out the door was to find the distance of (1, 3) (5, 8). Only one student struggled.

The standard classes today reviewed their one step equations (add/subtract) assessment. I was pleased with the results for most of the students, but I want to add more problems with simplifying and solving. I’m looking forward to next week where we’ll be doing more complex problems.

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Love the SMART Board approach. Did you have them progress to picking their own points? That might be an interesting twist. Did you intentionally not use ‘nice’ triples for the right triangles?

I love the idea of picking their own points. Fridays are not blocked so I didn’t have enough time to get further into the lesson, but the next time I see them I’ll definitely have the kids create their own distance problems, solve them, then swap with a partner. With respect to triples, perhaps it would have been better to have connected the distance formula with triple problems, we previously had used to discover the Pythagorean theorem, but my intent was to reinforce to the students that solutions to problems don’t always result in whole numbers. Maybe I should have saved that “lesson” for later. Do you think I muddied the learning waters?