Pi Day! Einsteins’ Birthday! And a St. Pat’s Story about Pickle the Green Bulldog, too!
This is Special Pi Day! Edition of our Activities Newsletter.
Every other week (mostly on Wednesdays), we post selections from our vast archive of Early Math & Early Childhood Ed activities.
Please tell your friends, colleagues, librarians & parents. Thank you!
Who doesn’t love a Math Party? Since 1988, when a physicist named Larry Shaw came up with the idea and the Exploratorium in San Francisco held the first celebration, March 14 has been Pi Day. It is also Albert Einstein’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Albert!
In math, the symbol π (pronounced “pie”; the 16th letter in the Greek alphabet) represents a ratio describing the area of a circle:
π = C (circumference) ÷ D (diameter).
That number is a constant, which means that it is true for every circle.
Pi is approximately 3.14, which is why March 14 (3/14) is Pi Day!
Circles, triangles and rectangles (a square is rectangle where the sides are all equal), are the basic shapes all around us. Circles are everywhere! Bubbles. Soup cans. Sippy cups. Cakes. Flower pots. Wheels. Where do you see circles? Make a list!
Now, let’s have some fun with Pi Day Activities!
Related MathStart Books
Mathstart is a series of 63 storybooks organized into three levels for Pre-K through Grade 4. Each story teaches a different mathematical skill.
LEVEL 1: Pre-K / KINDERGARTEN
• Circus Shapes (recognizing shapes, geometry)
• The Best Bug Parade (comparing sizes, measurement)
• A House for Birdie (capacity, comparing sizes)
LEVEL 2: GRADES 1 - 2
• Racing Around (perimeter, measurement)
• Bigger, Better, Best! (area, measurement)
• Captain Invincible and the Space Shapes (three-dimensional shapes, geometry)
LEVEL 3: GRADES 2 - 4
• Treasure Map (mapping, measurement, proportion, scale)
• Lemonade for Sale (bar graphs, comparing numbers)
• Betcha! (estimating, comparing numbers)
A ST. PATRICK’S DAY EXCLUSIVE “I SEE I LEARN” BACKSTORY!
I See I Learn is a Pre-K/Kindergarten series of 16 stories that teach social, emotional, health & safety, and cognitive skills.
No one knows for sure why Pickle is green—you don’t see very many green dogs! But according to Emma’s grandpa, a very very long time ago, Pickle’s great-great-great-great-great grandma Gherkin lived with a family of leprechauns in Ireland. Gherkin loved her leprechauns as much as Pickle loves Emma, wagging her tail often and barking a happy “Woof!”
Gherkin really really wanted to be green just like her leprechauns and one day, using some very special magic, they turned her green, too!
You can imagine the surprise in the village to see a green dog! Then Gherkin’s puppies were green. And her puppies’ puppies were green…all the way down to Pickle.
If you ever wondered whether there might be a bit of magic to Pickle, wonder no more.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Everybody!
— O'Stuart, the O'Ready Set Pre-K kids, O’Miss Cathy and, of course, O’Pickle!
BONUS PI DAY FACTS!
• The exact number for Pi has been calculated to an astonishing 100 trillion digits, but even that is still an approximation.
• With Pi, we can figure out the area of a circle: Pi times the radius squared (A = π r²). The radius of a circle is half the diameter.
• People have been using Pi for thousands of years for everything from designing buildings to charting trajectories of spacecraft.