Middle School Math Help: Sixth Grade Square Roots

Learning square roots can be tricky at first, because it's different from all the math you've learned so far. However, with some practice and review, you can master this concept, too. Keep reading to learn more.

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What You Need to Know about Square Roots

Square Roots

The first time your teacher explains square roots in class, the idea may sound confusing. If the lesson left you unsure, don't worry because you're not alone. Many students struggle with square roots at first. The following is a simple explanation to help you remember the key points of this unit: the square of a number is that number multiplied by itself (3^2 = 3 x 3 = 9). Therefore, the square root of a number is the amount you need to square to find the number you are currently working with. For instance, the (square root of 9) = 3.

Perfect Squares

Another concept you will learn in sixth grade math is perfect squares. Perfect squares are the squares of whole numbers (1, 4, 9, 16, 25, etc.). The following are the square roots of all of the perfect squares from 1 to 100:

(square root of 1) = 1
(square root of 4) = 2
(square root of 9) = 3
(square root of 16) = 4
(square root of 25) = 5
(square root of 36) = 6
(square root of 49) = 7
(square root of 64) = 8
(square root of 81) = 9
(square root of 100) = 10

Create a chart with these perfect squares to help you learn them. Once you've memorized 10 square roots, the concept will be less intimidating and chances are you'll have the confidence you need to find square roots that are more difficult.

Finding Square Roots

If you're asked to estimate the square root of a number that is not a perfect square (without the aid of a calculator) there are some simple steps you can take to find an answer. First, you can estimate to get as close as you can with the aid of two perfect square roots that the number is between. Next, divide the number you're trying to find the square root of by one of the perfect square roots. After finding this amount, average the result with the perfect square root you chose. This will give you a number that is close to the correct answer.

Ask for Help

If you try the techniques above and are still having difficulties, don't be ashamed to ask for help. A parent, friend or your math teacher may be able and willing to help. Even if they can't answer your specific math questions, they may be able to help you find a tutor or someone to sit with and go over the units that you're struggling with.

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