Recently I had two of my classes **represent visually the idea of “squaring” a number: namely, that a number times itself is literally the area of a square with side length of that beginning number**. The students cut squares from centimetre grid paper representing 10 x 10, 9 x 9, … 1 x 1 and them glued them onto construction paper. To each square they added the multiplication fact represented, as well as showing the exponential form of the number. Square numbers show up quite a bit in secondary mathematics, and helping students understand these numbers (as well as memorizing the sequence of them!) is beneficial for them as they move on.

I am always looking for math ideas to display on a bulletin board, and I think this is a good one!

Mathematically yours,

Carollee

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Love it! For which grade did you intend the lesson? I teach fifth.

I used the lesson with a class of grade 5 students, Shawnah, but it is appropriate at any point that students are dealing with area (in different provinces, states, or countries that may be introduced into the curriculum at different grade levels). Actually, once students understand the area model of multiplication it is a useful lesson as well. I remember someone telling me the story of a university professor who was a bit surprised at the picture of square number — he was used to thinking of the concept on in symbolic form and had never visualized the fact that it actually can be shown to be a literal square. We are getting better at helping students to visualize in mathematics, and I think this is a good addition to our visual tools!