2+2 != Maths

March 14, 2012

Pi Day

Filed under: teaching — Numbat @ 20:46
Tags: , ,


this year was the first time I’ve partaken in Pi Day activities. I enjoyed it, and so did my students, even if they now think I’m even stranger than before. Many of them don’t understand how I can be passionate about numbers and Math but hopefully some of that will rub off on them.

For today’s activity I had my Year 7 students calculate Pi. We measured the circumference and diameter of a dozen different circular objects and then calculated out the Pi ratio.

I was happy enough with the results, and the students were definitely engaged in the activity. What continues to amaze me, however, is how little my students understand the actual process of measuring. We used dressmaking (or tailor’s) tapes and quite a few of the students had issues. Which end of the tape to measure, what the numbers actually mean, how to read the measurement off the tape. I will put that down to failure on my part – assuming that something so basic an action would be understood by all.

I was very happy with the way they went about the task, and many of them chose to use a spreadsheet to store the results rather than pen and paper – yet another example of giving the students choice providing a surprising result.

I still need to get much better at my follow-up and debriefing from these types of activities but the more I do the more I am becoming far more confident. I still worry the students won’t engage and will go haywire but that worry is reducing with every success. I suppose the inevitable fall is just around the corner but I shall face that when it arrives.



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