Happy Pi Day and Happy Birthday Albert Einstein! March 14th is a day in which we take time to acknowledge andrecognize the importance of math and how it relates to so many things in the world. Also, we celebrate the birthday of Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist who played a major role and influence on the philosophy of science.
Pi Day is becoming one of the most celebrated non-holidays around the world. A day originally celebrated in schools is now celebrated in recreation centers, malls, shopping centers, libraries, grocery stores and more. Even amusement parks, and places such as Chuck E. Cheese, and Dave & Busters celebrate Pi Day, by adding math related games to their venues. Teaching students, the importance of Pi in fun ways can help nurture their passion for math.
Here at Bethune Elementary School, we will be hosting a Pi Day event, not only for the students but also for the friends and families. We believe that support, involvement, and encouragement at home and in the community, can lead to more success in the classroom. At this event students, will engage in hands on math activities such as math twister, multiplication Jenga, “3.14” bracelet making, and our predicted student favorite “Multiply to Pi a CY.” Multiply to Pi a CY gives the students a chance to pie any City Year corps member of their choice. However to do so students must correctly answer a multiplication problem in five seconds. Multiplication twister, is set up like a twister game board with numbers instead of colors.. Upon spinning the wheel students will multiply the two numbers the spinner lands on.
Various other activities will be rolled out, those are just two of my favorite. Taliyah in Ms. Taylor’s fifth grade class even came up with a game, like multiplication twister, but with a “Price is Right” game show theme. We also plan to have an Albert Einstein face cut out picture booth, where students are dressed in the latest science gear! Throughout the event we will be hosting math and science trivia questions, as well as posting fun facts around the gym.
City Year corps member, Mr. Oscar, who is the team’s math coordinator “wants students to become comfortable with new concepts they might encounter in mathematics class, instead of being scared.” Mr. Oscar also wants students to understand that you can apply math principles to the real world in your everyday life, and not just in the classroom.
Teaching students in fun ways is ideal to keeping them engaged and wanting to learn more. This is one of the biggest reasons we are hosting a Pi Day event. Giving students a fun day rewards them for their hard work, but also teaches them while they have fun. While planning for Pi Day, I asked City Year corps member, Ms. Christina, why multiplication is a focus for Pi Day. She said, “The PSSAs are right around the corner and as the students prepare for it, we can help by integrating multiplication, into this event.”
Pi Day is the perfect mixture of fun and academics and is a non-stressful way for children to learn. The games and activities that are involved with Pi Day create an aura of excitement and the children will forget they are learning and will subconsciously learn foundational math skills that will benefit them the rest of their lives.
Written by City Year Philadelphia AmeriCorps Member, Omari Colson serving at Bethune Mary Mcleod Elementary School Team. The work of Omari and his team is made possible by Team Sponsor, Ballard Spahr.