I was struggling to get my young men especially my special needs young men to engage more than a few minutes with my Pythagorean Theorem lessons and activities. In my class, this topic is a review for some and fairly new for others, so it is difficult to come up with something that will engage them all!
I was at my wits end when I found a video of the New England Patriots' player Ben Watson making a miraculous save from what most would call impossible position on the field. I was thinking I would use it as a brain break that would inspire my students to put in a little extra effort, but then right triangles started dancing in my head. It was model right on the screen in all its glory!
I found another video link from NBC that actually pulls the concept all together. This was my answer! My kids, boys and girls alike, all loved the real-world connection. For a little more drama I added the NFL Theme and video they play before the games on TV to get the fans revved up. I let that play for a little bit and all the kids were wondering what I was up to again!
The problems start with players on the sidelines which is a little awkward since that is not always the case, but as the students get the hang of it, you may start the players anywhere on the field. They will be begging to move players to more "real" positions on the field even though it makes the problems more difficult! Yea!! I find that even my weakest students want to make the problems "harder".
The file contains a power point with guided notes for each student and a short practice sheet I sometimes use for homework.
* Pythagorean Theorem
* Parts of a right triangle (legs & hypotenuse)
* Squares and Square roots
* Word Problems (Common Core)
* Writing and Explaining