For the first student blog I am writing about a maths lesson that I had this week on surds.

In my maths lesson today we learnt about ‘surds’. I had never heard of them before but by the end of the lesson I was quite confident about what they are and how to calculate them. We started the lesson with a starter sheet, on this sheet we had to decide whether the surds were true or false. Then after completing the sheet we looked at the answers as a class on the interactive whiteboard so that everyone could see how to work them out correctly. In total there were 8 true surds and 3 false ones. The next thing we looked at was the rules around surds, here are some of them below.

– Roots of a rational number that cannot be expressed as a rational number are called surds.

– When the exam question says ‘give your answer as an exact number’ it generally means leave it in surd form.

– You can only add or subtract if the number in the square root sign is the same in both numbers, e.g. 3sqrt4 + 5sqrt4 because they both have 4 within the square root sign.

Later on in the lesson we looked at the definitions of some of the terms we were using. In particular we were looking at rational and irrational numbers.

– Rational number – numbers that can be written as a fraction where the numerator and the denominator are integers (whole number) but the denominator can not be 0.

– Irrational number – can not be a fraction. They are square roots of non square numbers and cube roots of non cube numbers.

After we had grasped the basics and were feeling confident about surds we worked from textbooks and completed questions that got progressively harder. We were also given the option of a worksheet with a variety of questions ranging in difficulty if we had finished the bookwork.

To finish the lesson we reflected on the definitions of the words we had learnt that lesson.

Megan