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Don't they teach Pythagoras any more?

(98 Posts)
Dancergirl Fri 10-May-13 22:54:14

I was having a chat with dd1 tonight who's in Year 7. She had never heard of Pythagoras, it wasn't taught in primary school and so far, not in Year 7.

I remember learning it in Year 6. I know teaching maths has changed a lot over the years but surely this is fundamental?

BooksandaCuppa Sat 11-May-13 08:45:32

I used it in real life just the other day - to work out whether in the corner of our soon-to-be new living room there was enough width for bookcases to go at 90¤ to one another or not...

CecilyP Sat 11-May-13 08:50:03

No, I used it recently to work out whether I could turn my large bed round in my small bedroom without taking out my large chest of drawers - I could!

mrz Sat 11-May-13 09:11:18

Did you really use Pythagoras to check if bookcases would fit in a corner?

Dancergirl Sat 11-May-13 09:23:32

stuffez that sounds wonderful, shame there aren't more schools like yours.

May I ask where abouts in the country you are?

RustyBear Sat 11-May-13 09:26:51

I do remember the top set doing Pythagoras at the school I work at, but that was years ago, before the National Curriculum for Maths was introduced, and I think it was an extension activity for the ablest children. I only remember it because I took in the Pythagoras patchwork cushion my mum made to show them. I found the cushion cover in my Dad's loft after he died last autumn - it's in a very bad state, as you can see in the photo, and my sister is trying to restore it, but it must be twenty years old now.

spanieleyes Sat 11-May-13 09:27:45

This year my top set are obsessed with algebra ( last year it was geometry!) They've been solving quadratic equations this week. Heaven knows where we will end up next year!

ReadytoOrderSir Sat 11-May-13 09:45:38

Stuffez Thank you for the link - love those animations! I was planning on giving them some 3,4,5 triangles, some squared paper and just about enough instructions to start them off on working it out for themselves.

Rusty That cushion is gorgeous! What a talented mum and a very special memento.

I'm now imagining a huge quilt of a fraction wall...

Boski Sat 11-May-13 09:54:40

DS2 did Pythagoras last term and he's in Y6.

StuffezLaYoni Sat 11-May-13 10:54:14

Dancergirl - I'm in the North East. Our school is not perfect (whose is?) but I have never enjoyed teaching so much as I have this year.

Ready - you're welcome. The animations are really helpful aren't they? They loved working out the hypotenuse then measuring it,and were always amazed that it actually works!

BooksandaCuppa Sat 11-May-13 12:39:53

mrz - I genuinely did. I bet dh I could figure it out on paper before he could move them around in real life. I won. Although it was slightly academic because we're not in the new house yet and don't know where the light switches are...

mrz Sat 11-May-13 12:56:24

Sorry B&C I'm not doubting that you did, I'm just not sure why you needed Pythagoras confused

lljkk Sat 11-May-13 12:57:15

About age 13-14 for me, too. 1981-ish.
OP, Was there really a standard national curriculum when you were in yr6?

My yr4 child is a whiz at working out angles, if that's any consolation.

SquirrelNuts Sat 11-May-13 13:06:42

I did Pythagoras in year 8, maybe she hasn't got to it yet? That was in 2001/2 and I was in the top class grin

BooksandaCuppa Sat 11-May-13 13:24:08

Ok I thought my original post might have been confusing. I needed to know whether I could a slim bookcase in between two other cases at right angles to one another. We know whe width of the corner unit but not how much it takes up when it's at the 45¤ to go across the corner. So it becomes the hypotenuse, you use Pythagoras to work out the new 'width' it takes up...i think I've explained that better now.

Apologies to all on thread for most boring post ever...

BooksandaCuppa Sat 11-May-13 13:26:53

Grr, is this clearer? To work out how much wall space a certain width item takes up when it's at 45¤ instead of flat to the wall I used Pythagoras...

TwllBach Sat 11-May-13 13:37:33

I started secondary school in 1999 and definitely didn't do Pythagorus before then, if that helps!

quip Sat 11-May-13 18:20:54

Hmmm. I taught ds1 this for fun a month or so ago. He got it, and used a formula to generate pythagorean triples, so he could test it worked. To be fair I didn't teach him the proof of the theorem, just presented it as an interesting property of right-angled triangles. Is this really L7? Ds1 is in y2!!

BooksandaCuppa Sat 11-May-13 18:29:36

Well, I think it's easier than l7 but otoh not sure your average 7 year old can understand squares and square roots so he's a little maths star, quip!

Iamnotminterested Sat 11-May-13 18:33:11

DD said she did it recently, she's in the top group and her and a few others do extension work on this kind of thing, "For fun" in her words; they've done Napier's bones for multiplying, Fibonacci sequences, that kind of thing. She is year 4.

pointythings Sat 11-May-13 18:35:28

DD1 did it earlier this year - she's in YR7 but top set and doing L7 work so that fits.

DD2 is in Yr5 and did Fibonacci in Yr4, but no Pythagoras yet. I've taught her basic quadratic equations at home because she asked, but school hasn't touched on it yet (she's also top set).

I did Pythagoras in the first year of secondary in Holland, that was in 1982.

mrz Sat 11-May-13 18:45:47

ImTooHecsyForYourParty in primary children have to identify/recognise right angled triangles they don't have to apply Pythagoras

almapudden Sat 11-May-13 18:49:26

We did it when I was in Y7 at my very bog standard middle school, in 1997.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Sat 11-May-13 19:00:05

shockconfused We did Pythagoras aged 9. Am foreign though.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sat 11-May-13 20:07:53

Nope, I'm fairly sure we had to add the squares to find the answer. As far as I recall, adding the two sides to find the third is all the damned thing is. I remember having to count squares hmm It was 30 years ago though, and as with most of what I learned at school, it's never been used or needed since, so it is always possible that I've got it confused.

mrz Sat 11-May-13 20:15:08

So pre National Curriculum

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