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The most important writing lesson I learned in 6th grade maths class

My elementary school

"What is a square?", my maths teacher would ask.

"A square has four equal sides at right angles and its surface area is a*a", a pupil would answer. Happy they got all the facts right.

"But what is a square? Those are just its properties."

"Errr ... a square is a ... shape? ... that has four equal sides at right angles?"

"That's right. A square is a shape, the rest are just properties."

Every single one of us got that wrong. Every single time. Didn't matter if you were a straight A pupil or barely scraping by, everyone forgot to answer the question.

The story repeated itself a year later with geometric objects.

If there's one important lesson about writing I ever learned, it's that a square is a shape.

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Published on June 13th, 2013 in Education, Mathematics, Student, Teacher, Uncategorized

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