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From: Peggy <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion Date: 2005121510:25:40 Subject: Re: Re: Re: Manipulatives for square roots Here's what I did--I am not a math teacher, just a desparate parent. I needed to help my son "see" the square root thing, to understand how the square root of 12 is a number somewhere between 3 (the square root of 9) and 4 (the square root of 16) on a number line. I used a bunch of cut out squares, giving him numbers of squares to make squares with (9, 16, 25) and showed him that the square root was the number of squares in one side of the big square. Then I gave him 12 squares to make a square with. When he got stuck I showed him that if he used 9 to make a square and then a pair of scissors to cut up the remaining three he would be able to piece together a square made up of 12 squares--and that he could count or measure that in between number--more than three, less than four, that was the number of squares in one side. Don't know if this is the best way--but it did help with homework on that night.
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