Saturday, March 15, 2014

Slice - Celebrate a Math-tastic Day


Yesterday was March 14th. For anyone who teaches math, you probably know the drill.

It's PI DAY!

I've had wonderful Pi celebrations in past years. We've eaten pi (can't do that anymore due to students with a variety of food related allergies or other issues). We've memorized digits of pi. We've sung pi songs and presented pi information. This year, I'm a bit behind schedule, and we won't get to our circle lessons until later next week.

(Darn you, snow and nasty ice storms!)

Still, I promised my students we would get to watch a video about pi as long as we managed to squeak through the material we needed to cover for Monday's quiz (please, no snow Sunday night.. please?). I had just the perfect one, a brand new video from Vi Hart's YouTube channel.

Not to burst your bubble - all you Pi celebrators - but Pi just isn't as unique and cool as you think.




We laughed along with Vi's unique style, and were introduced to a few new math concepts along the way. My students are only fifth graders, so some of it went right over their head. That's bad, right?

Nope. Now they are curious.  "What IS pi, exactly?" they wonder. "What are 'irrational numbers'?" they ponder. Some of these concepts they won't really understand until late middle school, at best. But for four minutes they sat - transfixed by the beauty of numbers. I call that time well spent.

Watching her videos reminds me that not all doodling in math class is bad. That it takes many kinds of minds to explore the fascinating world around us. That's a great lesson for me, too.


I’m participating in a writing community at Two Writing Teachers. We write about a little "slice of our life" each Tuesday. In March - we attempt to write a slice EVERY day! Head over to their blog for the link up.

If you stop by and have written your own slice, please leave the link in the comments so I can easily find your post!

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