Patty Ferrant has taught mathematics at Pollicita Middle School in Daly City since 2000 — seven years in special education and nine years in mathematics in 7th and 8th grade. The student population at her school is predominantly Latino and Filipino, and most students are English language learners.

This lesson was part of a unit on linear relationships and systems of equations. It focused on developing her students’ understanding of the Pythagorean Theorem and deepening their understanding of the relationships among the different sides and angles in a right triangle — beyond memorizing the formula a^{2}+b^{2}=c^{2}.

The previous week, students had taken a formative assessment on which some of them did very well, and some of them were still struggling.

Patty framed this lesson around examining student work and asking students probing questions to encourage them to articulate and defend their thinking.

This lesson was recorded as part of a yearlong process to document Patty’s teaching and develop practitioner guides for developing strong practices in teaching and learning mathematics.

Taught by: Patricia Ferrant, Thomas R. Pollicita Middle School, Jefferson Elementary School District, Daly City, California

Mathematical Strand:

- Geometry (Elementary)