This week is featuring some ideas to help you prepare for PiDay (March 14th). Did you know that PiDay is also Einstein’s birthday? Think of the connections possibilities! (Talk to your science teachers for ideas…and see below for how to connect PiDay with Phys.Ed. too!)
Focus Area #1: Engagement
PiDay Songs: Lots are out there – to get you started, this website highlights some lyrics to traditional caroling tunes as well as a converted Eminem song:
“Ring the Bells” (tune of Jingle Bells) lyrics are great for the younger students (gr.2-7);
“Ludolph the Mathematician” (tune of Rudolph Red-Nosed Reindeer) is great for older students, and a good jumping-off point for a research/history/math connections project (gr.7-12);
“Lose Yourself in the Digits” link is really for senior students (gr.10-12), as it’s a video based on an Eminem song (no worries, language is appropriate in the video but caution is that it may bring out some other Eminem lyrics in your class if you’re not prepared!) Website includes video link as well as lyrics.
Focus Area #2: Critical Thinking
Pi Across America: There’s a great collection of Pi related SY level word problems at “Pi Across America” website. All of these problems carry some deep thinking with them, and answers are in the “Teacher Only” area of the site. All of these problems layer in real world connections. I love the “Chalking 5 Olympic Rings in Beijing” and “Ferris Wheel Night Lighting”. (The Ferris Wheel problem would be great for MY gifted students!)
If you want excellent activities for MY level students, check out this collection. My favourites are the Chain of Pi and the Round vs. Square/Rectangular activities.
Focus Area #3: Connections
PiDay5K (and 1K Diameter Dash): Connect Phys.Ed. with Maths! Connect the entire school with Maths! Here’s a great activity for any grade level – or for entire school involvement – that involves connecting PiDay to healthy living. Don’t default to eating pizza and pie on this day…why not connect Maths Teachers and PE Teachers and organize a PiDay5K (3.14miles) and a 1K Diameter Dash? Check out this website for an example of this, and have students and staff walk or run on PiDay!
Focus Area #4: Professional Learning
Grade 7/8 Divisional Maths PLC: This Tuesday is the first of four sessions for fifteen teachers of grades 7&8 maths. Looking forward to facilitating this PLC – a reminder to participants to bring curriculum guides, mobile learning devices (BB, iProducts, androids, laptops, whatever!), and your passion for maths!
21st Century Maths Learners, Guided Math Grades 5-8, & MY Maths Learners Divisional Workshops: Not this week, but next week (March 3-9) will have all three of these workshops begin! Registration is still open for these workshops – last reminder to sign up before registration closes this Friday!
For the Love of Maths: Want to hang out with a bunch of people who love math? Want to share something cool/neat/interesting you found or are doing? Winnipeg has a “MathsJam” meetup the second-last Tuesday of every month! Check out this link for more details! (Don’t know what “MathsJam” is? Check out the main page for details!)
Focus Area #5: Current Research
“Teachers need to provide students with multiple opportunities and alternatives for developing learning strategies based on the surface and deep levels of learning….Students need to be involved in determining success criteria, setting higher expectations, and being open to experiences relating to differing ways of knowing and problem solving.”
(Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement, John Hattie, Routledge 2009, pp.36-37)
Hattie’s book was ground-breaking upon its release, as it summarized 30 years of research to show what the most effective things were that teachers, schools, administrators, and parents could do to improve student learning. This is your last quote from this book – next month brings a new book focus and new quotes.
Focus Area #6: Ressources en Francais
Pi Day en Francais: This website is complete with histoire, mathematiciens, Pi-Day ressources en francais plus much more beyond Pi Day. The site does, however, have quite a few links that redirect the ‘net surfer to sites en anglais.
La Presse “Le Blues du Secondaire la Motivation au plus bas”: A February 22nd article from La Presse Online shares some interesting statistics about high school students and engagement, homework, studying, mental health. Besides being a fascinating article, it can be a jumping off point for statistics discussion and research.