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Lesson

8th grade math - Pythagorean Theorem

Clip 2/5: lesson part 2

Overview

Patty’s students give advice to their peers about perseverance and strategies they can use to help themselves in an upcoming [MARS performance assessment task](http://www.insidemathematics.org/performance-assessment-tasks). She asks “What do you do when you’re stuck? What strategies should you try?” Students think, write, then share their strategies with each other. They identify strategies using anchor charts and calculators, drawing pictures, consulting a peer, taking their time, double-checking their work, and ensuring that it makes sense.

Teacher Commentary

This goes back to the beginning of the year, where they finally have developed belief in themselves. They don’t always have it, but they’ve realized they’ve gotten smarter, and a lot of it is from that pushing in the beginning of the year that you will get smarter in here.

I think it goes back to that belief, like, “Kid, listen to me, trust me, you can do this.” It’s having someone that’s always going to cheer them on and push them to do better than they thought they could do. It doesn’t matter if sometimes I am harder on them and sometimes I can be nice and sweet to them. I can do all of those things, but they know what to expect from me. I just think instilling that in them from day one, they not necessarily believe it right away but at this point in March, they believe me, they get it.

I have that academic language in my head, and I have that expectation of their learning. I think a lot of using the strategies is having them go back and talk to that partner or asking deeper questions, not letting just surface teaching and learning go on. It’s more having that opportunity for them to talk about their strategies and use others to deepen their understanding.