Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Pi Day photos

Yesterday’s Pi Day was a success.  The old pi-reciting record was broken twice—233 digits by Saaya (grade 6) and 252 by returning champion Sung Min (grade 8).  Sung Min’s prize was to throw a pie (actually three) at TIS Director Mrs. Myna Anderson.  While six other students participated in the pi-reciting contest, all middle schoolers took part in a variety of math- and pi-themed activities, including a break for mini-apple pies.

Pi Day article

For those who may not be sure what Pi Day is, here is an article from yesterday's Time magazine.  It also has a little device at the bottom for finding where your birthday is in the first million digits of pi.


Monday, March 13, 2017

3.14: It's today!

Middle school students at TIS are going to be celebrating pi and math for half the day today.  A number of different activities have been planned by the math department.  

In preparation, my math students explored the relationship between circumference and diameter in class by measuring a variety of circles.

Check back later for photos from this afternoon's pi-reciting contest.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Grade 6: Another Roman numeral resource

This is a website page that has a very complete explanation of the Roman system. It also has a converter where you can enter a Roman number and get its Hindu-Arabic equivalent. The site also has a link to worksheets that you can print off for more practice it you want. http://www.dadsworksheets.com/roman-numeral-converter.html

If you look further around this website you can find a variety of other basic math review materials, including for multiplication and division. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Grade 7: What are the chances?

This week, the seventh graders began a unit on probability.  It is one of my favorite units to teach because we get to play games and try to understand that sometimes there are ways to increase one’s chances or to see that sometimes a game or situation is going to be a losing proposition, no matter what.

We started off by thinking about what we might already know, what we think we know, and some questions about what we might want to know.

In the coming weeks, students will be making predictions and testing them out.  They will learn some methods of organizing results, such as with lists and tree diagrams.  These activities should lead to a better sense of what is “fair” and what is not.

Grade 6: Roman numbers

Sixth graders have been gaining a better understanding of the Roman numeral system.  Time has been spent in class practicing and reviewing.  However, most students should continue practicing at home.  All sixth graders have made number cards that they can use.  Parents can call out a number under 4,000 and their son or daughter should then make it with the cards—or parents can build a number with the cards and the sixth grader can tell what its value is in our system.

Below are some other ways that you sixth graders can prepare for next Friday’s quiz.

This is a website that reviews the rules and also has some practice questions at the very bottom of it.

Here is a website that has lots of practice quizzes (and it says you can take them over and over and they are different).  There are also number charts, a calculator, and some videos (one is really for university students but you should understand it, and the other is a music video—you can be entertained while you review!).

Textbook: Pp. 12-14 goes over how to use Roman numerals. I don’t think their explanations are as easy to understand as the first website, but there are some good practice problems.

IXL:  Try A6 on the Fifth Grade page or A4 on the Sixth Grade page.

You also have the apps that you loaded on your iPads.

Pi Day countdown!

The countdown has begun.  Pi Day is almost here!  On Tuesday (3.14), students will attend classes as normal for the first two periods.  They will then be put into mixed groups of sixth, seventh, and eighth graders and take part in a variety of different math activities.

To help the students of 6I prepare for the celebration, they looked at circles they brought in today and measured their diameters and circumferences.  They then looked at the ratios between those measurements.  Pi?  The seventh graders and 6T will give it a try on Monday.

Middle schoolers in all three grades have also been preparing by looking for strategies for remembering a large number of digits.  We will find out on Tuesday if anyone can beat the TIS record of 225!

Finally, here is something for parents and students.  As we all know, the digits of pi do not have an end (that we know of) and do not have a pattern.  With all those random digits, it seems that almost every combination is in there somewhere.  I have found a website that you can use to find out where your birthday, your phone number, or any other personal number is located.  It will look through the first 200 million digits and tell you where to find it.  The website is not very pretty, but it works!  Try it!