Friday, March 12, 2010

International Pi Day

We celebrated International Pi Day a little early today - it should be on Sunday but we'll be busy. (Given that it doesn't really work in Australian date format anyway - its 3/14 in American format but 14/3 in Australian, I wasn't too concerned lol).

We started off the day by me telling him it was Pi Day and that pi was a cool number that had something to do with circles. So we had pancakes for breakfast :)

When we settled down to explore more about it, I explained to Billy that pi was a special number and we used a symbol from the Greek alphabet for it. I recapped the term radius, and introduced the terms diameter and circumference (he was able to recognise that the diameter was twice the length of the radius - yay!). We used this worksheet from Enchanted Learning as the basis as measuring some circles with a piece of string and working out the circumference / diameter ratio. Due to some rather haphazard measuring, especially since the small circles were rather tricky for small fingers, our numbers weren't very consistent - but at least they all started with 3!

(We had a brief interruption with some silliness from Master B and a bit of a tantrum from me but after we got that out of our system, we continued - see, that's the bit of homeschooling blogs you usually don't read lol).

We looked at how to get pi up on the calculator (which went down well! - he loves my old scientific calculator) and used that to work out what the circumference of the circles should have been.

I pulled the "Think of a Number" book off the shelf and we looked at some significant times in history for pi. I explained that it was an irrational number and what that meant and we read the first 30-odd digits - he got a kick out of that too :)

Think of a Number

We took a break with some round Tick-Tock biscuits, and watched an episode of Cyberchase dealing with Pi (Series 6, Episode 10).

He wanted his Mountain bread cut into a circle for lunch, so I did and then made him measure the diameter and tell me what the circumference was lol.

After lunch he told Pete what he'd learnt about pi and they did some "boy examples" - eg if the diameter of the SCG is x metres, what would be the circumference?

We watched the featured Brainpop video on Pi and then decided enough was enough. Hopefully he'll have an idea that at least pi has something to do with circles, even if he doesn't remember all the details!

Oh, and of course, we had pizza for tea :)


karisma said...

Now if the "poor" boy went to school, he would probably not have learned any of that for years yet! LOL

Kez said...

I was trying to remember what year they teach pi in - I think it was at least high school before we did anything like that! Yet at its basics, a 7yo is more than capable of understanding! Ties in with your last post on artificial stages!