Monday, March 14, 2011

Pi day!! - book picks, activities and other mathy fun.

(eeek! had to come and amend this post. because i just saw THIS!!! - a musical equivalent of pi. this will forever seal my status as a complete math geek... but it was so worth it. watchwatchwatch!!)

it's PI day everybody!! woo hoo!
the number pi (written like this: π ) is equal to (approximately) 3.14. (it goes on forever, but this estimate is good enough in most cases). and not to bore you with math this sunny monday morning, we'll suffice to say that it's the ratio of any Euclidean plane circle's circumference to its diameter. (this is the same value as the ratio of a circle's area to the square of its radius. :) brings back 10th grade geometry, doesn't it!)

we're fans of math around here, and science and all the cool things that happen when you put the two together, so on this 14th of march (or... 3.14 ... see how that works!) we like to celebrate all things logical and euclidian. do this while eating pi(e) and the goodness quotient burgeons by a factor of 10 at least.

naturally, our books for today are all math and science related. 

for the little ones, Ten Apples up on Top by none other than Dr. Seuss, is a fun look at counting.

follow these three crazy animals in their contest to see who can balance the most apples on their heads. 

it is also the perfect setup for a super-fun activity to see which of your kids can balance the most things on their heads. 

we started easy. with beanbags. everybody can do three beanbags. 



even naomi with strawberry stains all over her face.

so we upped the bar, and tried it with blocks. 

naomi managed three, 

annika got up to seven, 

and owen made it all the way to ten! 

and then had to challenge mom... 

all that counting helped to drive home the concept of numeration for the little ones, and by the end of it, even naomi was counting to ten with us.


balancing stuff on your head is fun for all ages, but your older kids might appreciate some more age-appropriate reading material. our middle-sized kids LOVE the DK Eyewitness Books

this series has nonfiction books on every subject imaginable, from weather, and volcanoes to martial arts and China. we're currently reading this one about astronomy. warmer weather is permitting us to do a little stargazing at night. the boys are so excited to learn and identify the various constellations and planets we see.


and a math book for grown-ups?? really??? ... oh yeah. but this one doesn't involve word problems or require a graphing calculator. today's book is Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman.

this one has been on my 'to read' list for way to long. i heard about it right as i was diving into my study list, and haven't had time for much not-required reading (boo). but i can't wait to dig into this beautifully written account of the life and world of albert einstein, just as soon as i can squeeze it in.

read it first, and let me know what you think!

have a slice of pi(e) today, and contemplate the elegance of the wedge, the diameter to circumference constant that is pi, and the simple, profound mathematical laws that govern our amazing universe. (we'll be contemplating over strawberry pi(e) at our house. :) 

3.14 on 3.14 

  linking up with Childhood 101. click over and see what everyone else is playing with today!

We Play


SquiggleMum said...

I loved reading this post because of your passion for sharing the wonder of maths/science with kids. Aren't the DK books great?

quiverfull said...

they are amazing. they have sparked my kids' curiosity numberless times, and even encouraged them to READ (gasp).
and if you're a mathy kind of gal, i had to amend the post after i saw an amazing video on the music of pi. i wish i had seen it before i posted, but... it's worth a look. math is so beautiful!
thanks for stopping by!

Kelly said...

HA! Love the balancing pictures!