Integers, powers and roots
In this spreadsheet-based activity, pupils record their attempts to find the square root of a number, and the spreadsheet will indicate whether the estimate is high or low. The discussion between groups of pupils is important, and there would be less value in the activity if it were a solitary one. Pupils might also like to investigate how to write similar spreadsheets.

Year 9 objectives covered include:
  • Use ICT to estimate square roots and cube roots
  • Use rounding to make estimates and to give solutions to an appropriate degree of accuracy
This is a straightforward use of ICT that will help pupils to refine trial and improvement methods as well as revising comparing and ordering decimal numbers.

Pupils can be challenged to justify their choices. For example, when finding the square root of 200, two previous estimates might have been 14 and 15. A pupil choosing 14.2 might be asked to explain why she chose a number closer to 14 than 15.

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