Why Is It Called a Square Root?

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Take a radical look at square roots. The presentation examines square roots as the lengths of the sides of a square with a given area on the coordinate plane. Using this method, it is clear why the square root of a number can be positive or negative. This interpretations shows why in the real numbers, there is no square root of a negative number.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Use the areas of squares to determine the first 20 perfect squares
  • Lead a brainstorming session on how to determine the square root of a non-perfect square using areas of squares
Classroom Considerations

  • The class should know what it means to square a number

  • Includes a graphical display of 4-D to show it is hard to imagine
  • Contains closed captioning

  • None
Common Core