Tomorrow is Pi Day! This year, we get to celebrate this delightfully well-rounded mathematical constant with the knowledge that for the first (and probably only) time in our lifetimes, we will be experiencing something more than just an average, run-of-the-mill Pi Day. Tomorrow is a SUPER Pi Day! Because tomorrow at 9:26 AM, we will briefly experience a representation of pi to the seventh digit: 3/14/15 9:26. Beautiful, isn’t it?
In commemoration of this singular event, and in celebration of reading across the curriculum, I’ve gathered several books from the Brain Hive collection that deal with mathematical concepts – specifically geometry principles. Here, you’ll find stories about adventurers who rely on mathematical principles and geometrical problem-solving to help them save the day. The stories are engaging and fun, and they are rich with geometrical word play. Students working to grasp the abstract nature of math will benefit from the exposure to these stories’ concrete examples of everyday mathematical applications, and the stories’ narratives can serve as models for students trying to “show their work” in demonstrating their understanding through verbal or written explanation of the principles they use to solve math problems (a skill heavily emphasized in the Common Core standards).
- Explore what “pi” really means in geometry by reading Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi: A Math Adventure (Charlesbridge), written by Cindy Neuschwander and illustrated by Wayne Geehan.
- Looking for ways to demonstrate to your students how the Pythagorean theorem can be useful in everyday situations? Direct them toward What’s Your Angle, Pythagoras?: A Math Adventure (Charlesbridge) written by Julie Ellis and illustrated by Phyllis Hornung.
- Toads and Tessellations: A Math Adventure (Charlesbridge), written by Sharon Morrisette and illustrated by Philomena O’Neill, introduces readers to tessellations, demonstrating how they can be used not only to create interesting patterns, but also to help solve everyday problems.
- Sam’s Sneaker Squares (Kane Press), written by Nat Gabriel and illustrated by Ron Fritz, shows that understanding how to find the area of shapes is a helpful (and profitable!) skill to have.
So even though you won’t be able to authentically experience this year’s SUPER Pi Day with your students, at least you’ll have some fun titles you can have at the ready to supplement your classes’ geometrical adventures! Happy reading, and Happy Pi Day!
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