The following is a guest post by Todd Flory, Buncee Ambassador and fourth-grade teacher at Andover School District. Follow him on Twitter, and check out his bio below!
March 14 has unofficially become known as Pi Day, the date that represents the first three digits of the number Pi, 3.14, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Many schools do activities related to Pi Day, and with the versatility and intuitiveness of Buncee, the two are a perfect match. Here are a few activity examples that classes can do using Buncee to help learn about and celebrate Pi Day!
History of Pi Day
Students can research the history behind Pi Day, the mathematical relevance of the number, or how Pi shows up and is applied in the real-world. With their findings, students can create a Buncee to show their knowledge. They can even create quizzes within Buncee to test and share with classmates using the multiple-choice and open-response question functions. Students could even create a video or song explaining Pi and its importance in our world and upload it to their Buncee.
Pi Day Storytelling
To introduce and hook the students on the concept of Pi, teachers can read a picture book about Pi, such as Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi by Cindy Neuschwander. This book is a great balance between teaching about the number and engaging the students in an enchanting story. Students could use Buncee to retell part of the story from a different point-of-view, or they could rewrite the ending of the story with a different twist. Even without reading a story about Pi, students could use their research and knowledge about the number to create their own fictional story about Pi. Each slide in Buncee could represent a page in the story, complete with a background, pictures, and text.
I spy Pi! A Scavenger Hunt.
An activity to help students get up and moving would be for students to create a scavenger hunt using the digits of Pi. In a Buncee, students can create a scavenger hunt using the digits of Pi as clues and directions for classmates. This can be done inside a classroom or using the school or playground. For instance, on a Buncee slide, students could write “take 3 steps South.” The next direction might be, “Go forward 141 centimeters.” Then, “make a 59 degree turn counter-clockwise.” Each new set of directions would have to use the next set of digits of Pi. When planning the scavenger hunt, students would have to have a goal in mind for others to reach and then create a set of directions for people to follow in order to end in the correct destination.
Pi Around The World: A Global Lesson
If a teacher is feeling global, he or she can create a Buncee with the digits of Pi representing various area codes in the country. Students would have to look up the area code represented in that chunk of Pi, and add pictures and facts of that location to their own Buncee creation. Or, a teacher may give clues in a Buncee assignment for students to look up a location around the world that is a specific number of miles away from their school and is represented by a certain number of digits of Pi. For example, the first three digits of Pi are 314, so students may have to look up a location that is about that many miles away from their town, and create a Buncee slide showing that location. The next slide could be a location 1,592 miles away from their town or city. Students would have a choice in which direction they went on a map when finding a location. After each number of miles, students would add a slide in their Buncee with a picture and fact about that location. The teacher could then schedule Skype calls to some of those places for the students to share their facts and do a cultural exchange.
Regardless of what Pi Day activities are held in classrooms across the world, Buncee can help turn those activities into dynamic, collaborative, and interactive lessons that students will remember long past March 14.
Todd Flory is a 4th grade teacher in Andover, Kansas. He is also a Skype Master Teacher and a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert. As an educator, Todd focuses on providing global collaboration and real-life, problem- and passion-based learning experiences for his students. He has spoken extensively on these topics at state and national education conferences, as well as with other educational media outlets. Todd believes that teachers need to create global citizens in a global classroom to empower students to shape their future and the world’s. You can follow Todd on Twitter at @Todd_Flory