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Pi Day Math Stations for Middle School

Pi Day was awesome this year ūüôā

A few weeks before Pi Day I realized I had a LOT of options for what to do in class, and that many of them tied in well with history, science, english, music, PE, etc.  So I emailed all the other teachers to ask if they wanted to join the Pi Day celebration.  About half of them did.

In science they talked about Einstein (who was born on Pi Day).

In English they read Sir Cumference and the 1st Round Table.  They also did Pi poetry.  (first word has three letters, 2nd has 1, third has 4, etc.)

In history they learned about the history of the number pi.

I was planning to as parents to bring pie, but the PTO offered to get pie for everyone! ¬†They got the “cutie pies” that are just individual servings already pre-packaged and everyone got one at lunch. ¬†Easiest way to serve Pi day pie ever!

In math I had 7 stations set up.

Stations 1-3 were from Yummy Math! If you teach math you really need a subscription to their lesson plans.  My students love them, and the subscription is cheap.  Lots of good lesson plans out there, but many are way too pricey for me.  Not these ones!

The Yummy Math Pi Day lessons included:

1) Archimedes method for calculating pi

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2) Comparing some of the more common approximations of pi

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3) Finding pi by measuring circumference and diameter of circular objects (keep lids from your food!), then dividing circumference by diameter.

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My other stations included:

4) 50 fun facts about pi, read them and tell me your favorite one

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5) Read a Sir Cumference book (the rest of the series, other than the one I lent to the English teacher) and tell me what you learned

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5) reflecting pi – 3.14 backwards looks like the word pie!

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7) Buffon’s needle experiment. ¬†I put lines on a large¬†piece¬†of butcher’s paper for this one. ¬†The lines were exactly as far apart as a popsicle stick. ¬†They dropped about 15 at a time.

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I used these stations with 6th-9th grade and it worked great for all of them.  For 6th-8th they could pick any station to work at as long as they were working the whole time.  I encouraged them to try at least 3, but if they were really excited about one of the stations, they could stay there.  9th grade had to do station #6 (reflecting 3.14 over a diagonal line) then could pick anything else.

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Online Math Centers

Sunday FundayThank you Julie
for Sunday Funday ūüôā ¬†Helps keep me blogging when someone else comes up with the ideas for what to write about! ¬†This week’s topic: Math Centers!

I use standards based grading for my 9th grade class and every once in a while it seems like they all just need a day to catch up on something – but it’s a different something for each of them.

Twelve different math centers wouldn’t work so well with¬†traditional¬†centers ūüôā So I set up links on the class blog and reserve the mobile lab for the day. ¬†They look up any goals they are missing or have a low score on, then go to the links on the class blog for that particular goal.

The links include tutorials, practice problems, videos, games. ¬†Whatever I can find online that might help them with that goal if they didn’t already “get it” when we worked on it in class. ¬†(or, more likely, if they weren’t here that day or chose not to participate that day.) ¬†Sometimes I will also scan in relevant homework with worked out solutions and notes from in class.

It’s a good way to give everyone time to work on whatever it is that they need to do. ¬†Some students don’t need a catch up day, but almost all of them will have one thing they could work on. ¬†Even students who have perfect scores on all the assessments can still use the game links, Or can help other students.

I want to do something similar to this for my math lab class… but haven’t had time to organize it yet. ¬†This could also be done without computers by having activities/notes/practice in hanging folders. ¬†I also want to get a stock pile of games made for my math lab class. Things like scrabble with math, tarsia sets, math dominoes, math go fish or memory, card matches, etc. ¬†That might happen over spring break ūüôā

 

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