Square Thinkers

Miss Pie

Miss Pie thinks of a number
then squares it.


Thag thinks of a different
number and squares it.

Russ realises that his number squared is equal to the other two square numbers added together.

What numbers did
these people think of?


A Mathematics Lesson Starter Of The Day

Pythagorean Triple

Topics: Starter | Arithmetic | Pythagoras

  • Transum,
  • What methods did your pupils use to work on this starter. Were they confident enough to figure out solutions in their heads or did they use pen and paper. What strategies did they employ to work through the different possible combinations? Did you allow them to use a calculator?
    For those with access to computers did a spreadsheet prove to be a useful tool for this activity? If anyone wrote a simple computer program looping through all of the combinations we would be interested to see their code.
  • Transum,
  • Thanks to Scott C from Normanton who wrote a Scratch program for solving this problem. A link to his program can be found in the Answers section below for those signed in.

How did you use this starter? Can you suggest how teachers could present or develop this resource? Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive feedback and helps make this free resource even more useful for Maths teachers anywhere in the world.
Click here to enter your comments.

Previous Day | This starter is for 5 December | Next Day



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Laptops In Lessons

Teacher, do your students have access to computers such as tablets, iPads or Laptops?  This page was really designed for projection on a whiteboard but if you really want the students to have access to it here is a concise URL for a version of this page without the comments:


However it would be better to assign one of the student interactive activities below.

Laptops In Lessons

Here is the URL which will take them to a related student activity.


Student Activity



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