In celebration of Square Root Day on March 3, 2009, here are my picks for pre-algebra students learning about square roots. Square Root day is celebrated whenever the day and the month are both the square root of the last two digits of the year. Enjoy it while you can, because you won't get another chance until April 4, 2016.
Because math practice is so vital to learning, this online flashcard game is a sure hit. Each quiz offers ten perfect square roots to solve, randomly choosing radicands (the number under the square root symbol) from 1 to 144. Because the problems are randomized, you can play this game as many times as you like. For more math games, look in both the Flashcards and Games sections.
Dr. Math explains two methods fo finding a square root by hand. The first includes three steps: guess, divide and average. Of course depending on your guess in step one, steps two and three might need repeating. Dr. Math demonstrates by showings all the steps involved in finding the square root of twelve assuming your first guess was two. The second method uses the Binomial Theorem and infinite series, and is probably not for most middle school students.
Eureka! We've found the mother lode of printable square root problem sheets with this worksheet generator from Homeschool Math. When creating your worksheet and answer key, make choices such as only perfect squares, the number of decimals to round the answers to, the range of radicands, and the number of problems on the page. When you've found the combination you like, you can simply reload your worksheet to generate another one with the same specs. To make it even easier, six sample worksheets are provided.
"Finding the square root of a number is the inverse operation of squaring that number. Remember, the square of a number is that number times itself." In four pages (called steps one through four) Math.com introduces perfect squares and how to use estimation to calculate the square root for numbers that are not perfect squares. The last step is an interactive quiz which worked for me in Internet Explorer, but not Firefox or Safari.
Math is Fun starts with the concept of squares. "To square a number, just multiply it by itself." Then introduces square roots, perfect squares, and the radical sign. " This is the special symbol that means â€˜square root', it is sort of like a tick, and actually started hundreds of years ago as a dot with a flick upwards. It is called the radical, and always makes math look important!" The lesson includes lots of examples and illustrations, and concludes by explaining the guess, divide and average method of solving square roots without a calculator.