3.14159265368979...That's as far as I can get, but, it should be noted, not as far as some of the Elms and Tamaracks can get. Pi Day, March 14 (3-14) has become an important tradition at Prairie Creek. This year, students could memorize pi, listen to pi as a song in which they set the notes for each digit, listen to Pi Diddy's "Loose Yourself in the Digits," find pi in a lot of different circumferences and diameters, cooperatively make a pi chain, and graph the digits of pi. (More activities can be found at our Pi Day Site.)

The most popular activity was a large circle that Sarah created in the gym. Students paced its
circumference and diameter then divided the two to see how close they could get to pi. It was a fantastic way to re-enforce the concept of pi as a ratio. Students paced again and again to hone their accuracy. They also experimented with skips, runs and hops to see if they got the same ratio results.

Students are fascinated by the idea of a number that goes on forever without ever repeating. How could that be? Their amazement is the reason that activities like Pi Day are important -- along with a strong computational and problem solving foundation, students need to know that mathematics has a lot of mystery, a lot of things that haven't been discovered. There is beauty in the mathematical world that they just might be the first to discover. Happy Pi Day.

I like the idea of pacing a giant circle!

I'm working with adults at a community college (beginning algebra), and trying to get them to see math differently. I've asked them to measure circumference and diameter of various circles, and we're going to plot those in a graph.

(You've got a 6 where a 5 should be. 3.141592653589...)

Posted by: Sue VanHattum | September 19, 2010 at 12:15 PM