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Pythagorean Theorem and Distance Formula Notes

This two-page set of notes has students compare two methods of finding the distance between two points on the coordinate plane: the pythagorean theorem and the distance formula. It is designed for Pre-Calculus students who have seen both methods taught in previous courses.

pythagorean theorem and distance formula notes in binder

In my many years of teaching pre-calculus, I have found that students think they have to use the distance formula to find the distance between two points on the coordinate plane, but they do not have the formula memorized.

The pythagorean theorem, on the other hand, is something they seem to know by heart by the time they get to my precalculus class. I love showing them that they can use their much beloved pythagorean theorem to solve the distance questions instead of the distance formula.