Today’s guest blogger is Micha Nandaraj. Micha serves with City Year New York on the PS 154X team in the South Bronx.
Yesterday in schools around the country, students celebrated the much anticipated math holiday known as Pi Day! At P.S. 154X, our City Year Team decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to get our students excited about math in preparation for their state tests next month.
In anticipation of our celebration, we taught our after school students how the formula for pi is derived. Students divided into small groups and measured the circumference and diameter of circles of varying sizes. Each of the numbers was recorded on the board and then as a group we divided the circumference by the diameter for each circle. The numbers we ended up with were all close to 3.14, and we explained to our students that this was because pi is a constant ratio for all circles.
In order to engage the rest of the school in our pi related festivities, we invited students and their families from the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade to bring a pie and join our after school program for a Pi Day Pie Festival. The event served over 60 students and their families at our school and featured several activities, including jeopardy, a pi memorizing competition, and of course pie eating! Jeopardy included categories such as circle vocabulary, pi facts, pie facts, and third through fifth grade math problems. Through this activity, students were able to proudly demonstrate to their parents the knowledge they had retained from the lesson on pi earlier that week.
For our pi memorizing competition, students were provided with worksheets containing over 40 digits of pi at the beginning of the week. During our celebration students were invited to come up to our Pi Booth and share what they had memorized. We had many students try their hand at reciting digits. Our winner was a fourth grader who memorized 42 digits of pi. When asked about the win, she replied, “I felt happy and excited because I won and I learned all the numbers that day.”
The best part of our Pi Festival for students, families, and Corps Members alike was all of the pies we were able to share. From apple pies to pizza pies, parents and Corps Members came together to make this event a hugely delicious success for all of the students in attendance!