Happy Pi Day! To celebrate, we are going to explore the idea of Pi and story telling. Can the infinite sequence of the number Pi tell a story? Am I nuts to even think this?
noun: the sixteenth letter of the Greek alphabet ( Π, π ), transliterated as ‘p.’
symbol: the numerical value of pi.
Newbery award winner Clare Vanderpool’s Navigating Early tells a story with Pi. And Vi Hart has a take on Pi and Shakespeare. So It Can Be Done! Let’s explore the stories that Pi tells.
Scratch is a free programming language and online community where you can create your own interactive stories, games, and animations. It’s created by MIT. I had heard of it years ago from the founder of the company who created my first PragmaticMom blog template. His young son was using it to create games. My son was just a toddler then, so I filed it away in the back of my head for later.
Fast forward to now. My 9-year-old son is a serious gamer and in on screens from the minute he wakes up until I yell at him at night to get off screens. It’s very tough to keep him off screens because he floats from the computer to the iPad to his DSi to the TV and back again. Sometimes he even multi-tasks watching TV WHILE eating WHILE playing a game on the computer. Don’t even get me started about the keyboard to that computer. It’s covered in crumbs and barely works; it’s so gunked up.
At the end of second grade my son started learning his multiplication facts along with a few division facts. He had been using a free math site his 2nd grade teacher recommended called Xtra Math and after finishing addition and subtraction facts, moved on to multiplication. Though the site was effective in teaching him math facts, it stressed him out to the point of tears.
Xtra Math has this feature that makes you “Race the Teacher.” If you don’t answer the problem correctly in about two seconds, you get dinged. He hated that portion of the questions but you had to complete it before the site said that you were done.
I like using math gaming apps to get my son to practice his math facts. He will only play each game twice so we need a lot of sites to keep him engaged. That really motivates me to find more fun math sites for him.
What is your favorite math site or game to learn multiplication facts?
Fun and FREE Multiplication Games
Here’s a few that he likes:
Grand Prix: Race other kids in a car racing game that is fueled by how quickly and accurately you can solve multiplication math fact problems. You can also race the computer, and adjust the questions to focus on a particular math fact set.
Meteor Multiplication: Shoot down meteors by correctly solving multiplication problems. You shoot from the product, and have to identify the two factors. Read more…
As the school year starts to wind down, I’m longing for summer even though the school year is in full force and quite hectic this time of year. Every summer, I bribe my kids to do some math review so I’m also starting to think about what workbooks to buy. Some moms I know manage to do math review in a fun, gaming kind of way. It makes me think that summer math can and should be fun.
Since this is not my forte, I’m thrilled to introduce Karla Valenti of Tot Thoughts, who created a list of 25 fun and free math skills games to play with kids.
Are you thinking of doing summer math with your kids? What resources and games will you using? Please share. I could use the help!
25 Fun and Easy Math Skills Games
So, your child struggles with math?
They pay attention, they work hard, they do their homework and yet… those tricky math concepts simply refuse to sink in.
You bring in tutors, you practice flash cards, you spend hours going over worksheets, drilling your child in the car or at the breakfast table.
You tell yourself that if your kid just keeps at it, one day, it’ll “click.” But deep down, you’re worried that they’re falling further and further behind. Your child’s teacher is worried too.
And your child is starting to think they’re not smart. Worse, you’re starting to wonder if that might not be true. Read more…
What is Pi?
Today is Pi day!
3.14. March 14th. 3/14.
Yes, a math joke!
I wanted to celebrate Pi day by showing the relationship of math to the world around us including circles, pyramids and great works of art!
p.s. I have a post on the math of spirals if you want more math in nature.
Pi is a name given to the ratio of the circumference of a circle to the diameter. That means, for any circle, you can divide the circumference (the distance around the circle) by the diameter and always get exactly the same number. It doesn’t matter how big or small the circle is, Pi remains the same. Pi is often written using the symbol and is pronounced “pie”, just like the dessert. from Math.com
Another way to think of Pi. You can measure Pi by constructing a physical wheel and rolling it out. Read more…
2nd Grade Math Facts: Addition and Subtraction
I thought my son was pretty good at his addition and subtraction math facts. We had used math fact triangles as part of his math homework, and he plays math apps (when forced between no screen time and math app screen time). We worked on math all summer with Rising 2nd Grade Daily Math Problems assigned by his school.
His teacher was excited to introduce a free program called XtraMath. It tracks what problems your child gets correct and serves up the facts you need to work on. You need to get the facts correct within 3 seconds per problem to pass. It turns out that he had more to learn in order to get his math facts 100% correct within 3 seconds per problem. We never limited the time before and that made a huge difference. Read more…
Best Science and Math (STEM) Toys
Science oriented kids need two things: to ask questions and to find answers. These toys let kids do both in the guise of games or experiments. Science in school is often too memorization-oriented and I think letting kids get their hands dirty is crucial to making science interesting, particularly for girls. Read more…
Fraction Games for Kids
Please welcome my guest author, Nerd Math Mom Fun! I met her on Twitter and I’m thrilled that she is writing on fractions. I have to confess that I made my son (2nd grade) play math apps yesterday while we were waiting at the soccer field because he had too much screen time playing games yet we had a hour to kill while his sister warmed up before her game. Read more…