Tuesday, April 16, 2013

For the Love of Pi

Hey guys sorry its a day late but this week for Maniac Math Monday I want to discuss calculating with circles and pi. When I student taught last year circumference was a huge topic. One of the hardest concepts when discussing circumference or the area of circle is pi. Pi is such an abstract concept for students. Most just don’t understand why we have to use a random 3.14…blah blah… number to find the area or circumference of a circle. Well we did an activity that showed students why pi was “3…and a little”.
Students were given circular objects and given yarn. The students then had to take yarn and place it around the round edge of a circular object and cut it so that is it exactly the length of the outside edge of the circle. Then the students had to find the diameter of the round object with a ruler. Once finding the diameter the students take their yarn and measure off the diameter and cut the yarn into however many “diameters” they can. If done properly all students will get “three and a little” (pi = 3.14) to show why we use pi for calculations with circles.
I enjoyed doing this activity with my students. It helps pi make a bit more sense and helps them remember what number pi is.
Have you done an activity similar to this? 


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