Patio Predicament

This Patio Predicament lesson plan also includes:

Young builders and architects get to try their hand at the estimations of building in this quick, but unique, activity. The first part really drives home the connections between square numbers and square areas. The second part is a great way to remind learners that square roots are calculations with physical interpretations, not just funny buttons on the calculator. Bringing in cost considerations really rounds out this activity, making for a fun set of application problems.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Reformulate and revisit these problems as formulas for different areas that are introduced (circle, pentagon, hexagon, etc.)
  • Try assigning different groups different ways to estimate the square root in part II, then come together to compare results and accuracy
  • Consider combining the activity with a hands-on mosaic project, either in this class or in art class
Classroom Considerations

  • The preview of the lesson does not include all the math symbols and results in the teaching resources, but the downloadable .docx does
  • In the very last question, the learners calculate construction value, leaving out a number of broken tiles in the cost. This might require some discussion as to whether this is a fair and accurate calculation (i.e. Wouldn't the price of real life construction include the cost of the broken tiles?)
  • Part II might require more guidance or time than is indicated in the teaching notes, if the class has not yet learned explicit ways to estimate square roots
Pros

  • The unique approach to leading learners through estimating square roots makes abstract calculations concrete
  • Multiple approaches to the estimation problem allows for multiple pupil learning styles
Cons

  • Activity is missing the Environmental Team student worksheet including the dimensions of the described garden.
  • Part I is impossible to complete without reverse-engineering a similar diagram from the teacher key information
Common Core