Pythagoras and Dyscalculia

This approach:

  • Uses a calculator.
  • Uses just one single approach for all problems (long side or short)
  • Reduces the number of steps by rooting and adding in the same step.
  • Keeps to an absolute minimum, the need to compare sizes, because Dyscalculia makes this challenging.
  • Uses a mnemonic to recall the steps.


Normally in a problem involving Pythagoras, you are given 2 of the sides of a right angled triangle and asked to find the third. You need to Root the Add of the Squares (R.A.S, end of PythagoRAS). Always key in the larger number first….wpid-20150422_133239.jpg

This will give the answer 8.0622..

but Perhaps You Takeaway (PYThagoras) so mouse back to the plus (+) and change it to a take away (-)… and this gives  5.7445..

Now it’s decision time – using the picture, which answer looks most sensible, 8.0622 or 5.7445? The length of the 3rd side in this example is clearly longer than 7 so the correct answer is 8.0622.


#Mathscpdchat about #dyscalculia this evening September 2nd 2014

This event has been organised by the NCETM. It is a regular discussion hour for Maths Teachers but this topic is bound to attract parents, sufferers, and other interested Tweeters – they are welcome too. Teachers don’t have a monopoly on good ideas!

Can I take part?

Yes. If you tweet between 7 and 8 this evening using the tag #mathscpdchat then your tweet will automatically form part of the discussion. Sign into twitter then click here to take part.

Can I listen in, without being a Twitter user?

Yes you are welcome. The window below will display the tweets in real time. (But joining twitter is really easy – why not create your own ID and join us?)

More about the NCETM discussions – click here to read more

The discussion – a window on twitter