## Pi Day Songs

Only 3 more shopping days until Pi day.

In case you were seeking some music for your celebration:

Happy Pi Day

Happy Pi day to you,
Happy Pi day to you,
Happy Pi day everybody,
Happy Pi day to you.

(to the tune of “Happy Birthday”)

And there are more at this Pi day website. Be sure to check out all the mathematics and science songs at Greg Crowther’s site.

You missed the shipping date this year, but who says there’s a “season” for Pi shirts and aprons?

(Image via flickr user myklroventine)

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## Number Strings as a Math Warm-Up…

…or cool down, or any time a teacher wants to get students working mental math.

Number strings are short mental math activities designed so that students work several calculations in their head then provide the answer in chorus, either verbally, with whiteboards, fingers or pencil and paper. Have students write their answer on their personal whiteboard and place it upside down on their desks. (To avoid excessive drawing, remind students that you want to hear their marker “click”.)

When directed, students will show their answer to the teacher, who immediately checks for comprehension and enthusiastically provides an answer to each student (“I challenge your answer” or “Yes!”).

In addition to providing a teacher with instant formative assessment, number strings offer the opportunity to integrate mathematics throughout the curriculum. Use the following samples or write your own!

Begin with the number of legs on a cat. (4)
Add the number of wheels on a bicycle (4 + 2 = 6)
Subtract the number of teachers in the classroom right now (6 – ?)

When I say: “Show me the answer”, I want you to raise the same number of fingers in the air as your answer.

Triple that number. (2 x 3 = 6)
Add the number of sides on a rectangle (6 + 4 = 10)

Begin with the number of legs on an ant. (6)
Multiply by the number of legs on a spider. (6 x 8 = 48)
Divide by the number of legs on a human. (48 ÷ 2 = 24)
Subtract the number of legs on a horse. (24 – 4 = 20)

Begin with the number of days in a leap year. (366)
Subtract the number of months in a year. (366 – 12 = 354)
Subtract the number of days in May. (354 – 30 = 324)
Add the number of days in a week. (324 + 7 = 331)

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## Happy Square Root Day!

From Yahoo news:

Dust off the slide rules and recharge the calculators. Square Root Day is upon us.

The math-buffs’ holiday, which only occurs nine times each century, falls on Tuesday — 3/3/09 (for the mathematically challenged, three is the square root of nine).

“These days are like calendar comets, you wait and wait and wait for them, then they brighten up your day — and poof — they’re gone,” said Ron Gordon, a Redwood City teacher who started a contest meant to get people excited about the event.

Be sure to get your fill of square carrots and radishes, there are only 6 left in this century:

1/1/01
2/2/04
3/3/09
4/4/16
5/5/25
6/6/36
7/7/49
8/8/64
9/9/81

Image via flickr user denaldo

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## World Maths Day 2009

This annual event will be held on March 4th, 2009 and will last as long as it is March 4th somewhere in the world. From the World Maths Day website:

Unite with students and schools from around the world to set a new world record! The Challenge – to correctly answer more than 182,445,169 questions in 48 hours.

Students play against each other in real time playing mental math games.  Each game lasts for 60 seconds, students can play as many games as they wish. The questions are appropriately leveled for different ages and abilities and cover basic math facts. Of course, this is a free program, but time to register is running short. Teachers register their teams and are provided with a unique login and password for each student. When students login, they watch on a map as they are connected with students around the world to compete against.

Have fun and keep an eye out for students from a certain Math Club in Colorado.

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## Teaching Primary School Mathematics update

I recently noticed that the fabulous resource, Teaching Primary School Mathematics: A Resource Book has been updated for a second edition. The preface states that the second edition has been updated to:

be in line with the latest 2007 syllabus…The major difference in the 2007 syllabus at the primary school level is the introduction of the use of hand-held calculators at the Primary 5 and 6 levels.

Going page by page through the book, the only difference is in one sentence on page 26 regarding the use of calculators for Primary 5 and 6 levels now being encouraged by the CPDD (Curriculum Planning and Development Division) as opposed to being encouraged by the author.

If you are teaching the Singapore Math curriculum at your school, you should have a copy of this book. Having reviewed them both, I can now advise you, it doesn’t matter which edition.

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