I stumbled upon the “root” of this activity late in the school year after I had already taught the unit on radicals and their approximate values to my Grade 9s. I modified its purpose, but the original framework is credited to John Scammell. (@scamdog) I found the concept to be a fairly easy one for the students to grasp once the identity of a root was explored. Students know what a square root is. In fact, I was challenged by a 7 year old boy who I was babysitting just the other day. His older sister–an 8 year old genius–was obviously giving him a crash course in radical mathematics. She had explained to him that square roots can be presented as a problem. He challenged me with this:

“What is the Square Root of 3? I mean, what is the square root of 9?”