Seems like a great opportunity for some 'ruler math'. I kept the rulers on my desk until after the bell because spring break starts after today and I know how middle schoolers can we with unstructured time and these tools...The sum of any two sides in a triangle must be greater than the third side.

In anticipating the pacing to be different for each student I made the activity as a Google presentation and provided students the link, instructing them to do their work on paper and answer completely any questions asked of them in the activity--noting that I would be breaking in periodically to the whole class and facilitating some discussion.

My favorite part was #4 of the first drawing where many of them grew frustrated with not being able to construct a 1 cm, 2 cm, 5 cm triangle--thinking it was something they were doing wrong. Kind of a fun way to watch them squirm and I know I'm not the first math teacher to have ever done this.

I had some awesome conversations with students while they were working. One student changed what he said mid-sentence. He went from saying

I asked him why he changed his wording and he explained the difference between the two correctly. Pretty cool--I made sure to highlight that to the class in our whole group time. This kind of mathematics is so much more fun to teach than the traditional "do this, copy me, don't think" style. I overheard the same student above before leaving say to his neighbor"The two lengths need to beat leastthe length of the third...The two lengths need to bemore thanthe third length..."

I told him I will take that as a compliment."Math is my hardest class because you can't just memorize stuff and copy it down. You actually have to understand the concepts to do well."

I am not expecting all students to go here but I am hoping that some make some connections to they pythagorean theorem and how it relates to acute and obtuse triangles in the last slide.

I've already made some revisions to the activity since teaching it one period and I wouldn't be surprised if it changed a little more as the day goes on. As always I'm open to other ideas or revisions to make it a better experience for my students.

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