## Pi Day Lesson Freebies!

Recently I told you my plans for teaching a Pi Day lesson.  I am pleased to tell you it went very well!  I am going to share a few things with you that may help your future Pi Day go well.

First of all, I explained to students how Pi was determined.  In case you don’t know, pi is the number that you get when you take the circumference of a circle and divide it by the diameter.  Next, I talked to the students about how some people try to break records with how many digits of pi they have memorized.  I showed them this website with a million digits of pi and scrolled down a bit so they could see all of the digits of pi.  Students were amazed when I showed them this website and highlighted the names of people who have broken records with memorizing digits of pi. I gave students a paper with as many digits of pi as would fit on it front and back and had them highlight any numbers that meant something to them.  These numbers could be ages, birthdays, lunch numbers, addresses, zip codes, etc.  By the end of the week, I had one student coming up to me and spouting off the first 40 digits of pi she had memorized.  Students seemed slightly obsessed with memorizing digits of pi.

Then I gave students a box of several objects that were circle shaped to choose from.  I just had these items around my classroom.  Now, you must understand that I tend to collect recyclable items and always have a few on hand.  This helped quite a bit with this project.  At this time, no lie, I have about thirty toilet paper rolls in my backseat.  They have been there for several weeks just waiting to go into the school and be a part of some project. 🙂

I also borrowed some hula hoops from the PE teacher for an extra fun challenge!

I told students that they had to measure a smaller item before they measured the large hula hoops.  This seemed to work best for students to manage their time more wisely.

I showed students how to measure around an object with some thin wire that I had.  I chose wire instead of string because string seems to stretch too much, thereby giving inaccurate measurements.  With the wire, students were able to bend it to mark off a point to show where to stop measuring on a ruler.

I had students to measure with the metric side of the ruler and I showed them how to convert the marks between the centimeters into fractional tenths of a centimeter.  For example, a length that measures 5 cm and 2 mm could be written as the decimal 5.2.

I did allow students to use calculators for this activity because I really wanted them to be able to have several decimal places after the decimal.  Not all of my students had been taught division with decimals yet.

At the end we discussed how the measurements didn’t come out to be 3.14 exactly and why that happened.  We discussed the possible use of wire, human error, and so forth.  Students used words like precision to describe their measurements if they weren’t 3.14.  Another topic of closing discussion was looking at papers that had decimals that weren’t preceded by a 3.  We talked about why that may have happened as well.

I would teach this lesson again.  The students were engaged the entire time and really seemed to enjoy this change of pace.

Download the Activity Sheets here if you would like them.

## Stock Market Game Freebies

If you are playing the stock market game in your classroom, you may have noticed the need for some sheets to go along with the students’ trades.  Let me save you the trouble.  I have made some here and you are welcome to use them.  The first one is a page which is for students to make a simple trade.  There are no specific math formulas.  This is the one I used with the students first.  Click the blue links to download the pages.

StockMarketGameJournalPage

This second page I used for a math support because a lot of students were confused with the math calculations for brokerage fees.  This page allows for a step by step process to figuring out how to calculate the total cost of a trade.

StockMarketGameJournalPageMath

Next, I made this page for students to sign an agreement that they wouldn’t trade without their partners’ permission.  I ended up not using it because I felt that the Journal Pages required students to agree without this additional page, but some of you may find it of use.

I hope I just made your life easier! 🙂

## Why Do We Do That? 3 Traditional Algorithms with Decimals

I went to one of the most beneficial decimal and fraction professional developments I have ever been to this summer.  I want to share what I learned with you so you can share it with your children.

1.  Traditionally adding and subtracting decimals:  Just line up the decimals to add or subtract.  Then just add and subtract like normal.  You may have to add zeros to the end of the decimal number on top if you have additional numbers on the bottom.  Why does this work?

Lining up the decimals is like adding like denominators. See:

2. Traditionally multiplying decimals:  Multiply the numbers like there is no decimal point.  Then count the places behind the decimal.  The number of decimal places in the numbers you multiplied is the number of decimal places in the product when you count from the back of the number.  Why does this work?

This works because you are counting the powers of ten in the denominator.  That is why there are three places behind the decimal!  See:

3.  Traditionally dividing decimals:  If their is a decimal in the divisor, move the decimal to the back of the number.  Then move the decimal that many places back in the dividend number.  Divide normally.  Then place the decimal on top of the “house” above where the decimal is in the dividend.  Why does this work?

Well, if you, again, turn the decimals into fractions, you can see what is happening.  If you divide straight across the fractions, you get the resulting 25 tenths.  Like with multiplication, this works the same.  You count the zeros OR powers of ten to know how many decimal places to include in the quotient.  See:

## Free Fraction Cards for Tonight Only!!!

I just finished these fraction cards per request to go with a Decimal Wall Number Line I have in my TPT store.  The cards include halves, fourths, thirds, fifths, sixths, eighths, tenths, and hundredths.  They are free for tonight only.  They are pointy so that they can precisely point to a number on the Decimal Number Line.  Just click the picture to be taken to the freebie.

Below is a sample of the Decimal Number Line that I made the cards to match…

## Use This to Build a Foundation with Decimals

After trudging through decimal teaching the last two years, I decided that students needed a stronger visual to help them see the patterns within decimal numbers…after all when students count to 20 in kindergarten, we have pictures of 1-20 plastered everywhere with visual models for students to see.  Because students need to see a longer set of decimal numbers to see patterns, I created this decimal number line (and a few other items).  The number line has numbers from 0.001-1 on it counting by thousandths.  On numbers where the zeros occur at the end of the decimal number the zeros are printed very lightly to remind students that these do not change the value of the decimal number and can be left off.  There are picture and number representations of each decimal and optional word cards that can be added by the teacher with the students through class discussion.

Below are the first few numbers on the number line…

and the last set of numbers on the number line…

the word cards…

To top this all off, you can find the Wall Decimal Number Line on sale for 50% off through Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014.  Scoop it up while the sale lasts.

You may also like…

Decimal Pocket Chart Number Cards

or Fill in Decimal Number Charts …

## Use These to Help Students Formulate Understanding of Decimals

What does a day out of school equal?  A finished product for Teachers Pay Teachers!  Here is a little something I have been working on that I was able to complete today since we got a surprising day off from work due to the icy weather.

Because decimals seem abstract to students–especially when the zeros fall off the ends, I created these decimal pocket chart number cards.  The zeros are grayed out so that students begin to make the connection that the zeros don’t necessarily have to be on the end of a decimal number.  The number cards are great for 4th graders just beginning to make the connection that the zeros have no value.

The cards come in 3 different color variations–red backgrounds with white numbers…

white backgrounds with red numbers….

and white backgrounds with black numbers.  The black numbers offer a host of variations if printed on colored card stock.  The pattern possibilities using colored card stock are endless.

The numbers also come in two different variations–without the whole number 1 and with the whole number 1.  This will aid in giving students the understanding that decimal numbers may or may not have whole numbers in front of them.

Come by my store to check these out!