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Teaching Pythagoras

This is a Teachers’ TV programme from the series Classroom Observation with Bayley. In this episode John Bayley observes an AST mathematics teacher as he turns the challenge of teaching Pythagoras's theorem into a fun and engaging lesson for Key Stage Three.

Discarding lesson objectives, former Teacher of the Year, Dan Walton, engages the Year Eight students in a series of activities which lead them to discover the formula of Pythagoras for themselves. Dan uses golf to explore right-angled triangles, introducing the hypotenuse by solving a dog-leg hole in one. By playing games with numbers the children discover a numerical solution to their problem.

The students' new-found knowledge is then put into practice as the class compete to solve a murder using the answers to a series of Pythagoras problems. Dan keeps the momentum going using praise, games and even the student’s mobile phones to ensure the class is engrossed to the end.

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