Saturday, March 17, 2012

Pi Day Review

This was a crazy busy week: preparing for Pi Day, executing Pi Day activities, and then some family happenings. Overall it was a great week!

I thought I'd briefly share how well my Pi Day activities. I was strongly motivated to make a 3Act lesson (a la Dan Meyer). Well, I didn't make just one, I made two. Let me tell you, the response from my students was overwhelmingly positive and engaging. Furthermore, I invited my administration to check out the lessons and they were highly engaged and excited to see what was going on in my math class.

Activity 1: Filling a cylindrical vase with water. Water Vase - Act 1 can be found here.
I did this lesson with 4 classes. The students asked great questions after the first act and on we went to answer the question: How long will it take to fill the vase with water? Act 2 helped give necessary information via video and my Promethean Flipchart. Act 3 revealed the time/solution and we were close (4 second discrepancy).  The best part: our discussion throughout the lesson and most importantly, at the end?
I asked my class:

  • What could have caused inaccuracy or inconsistency with your calculated answer and the practical answer?
The discussion that ensued was not only flattering, but very telling that students enjoy discussing errors, conflicts, mistakes, and of course the thrill of being really close to the answer.

Activity 2: Filling a cylindrical vase with scoops of sand. Sand Vase - Act 1 can be found here.
I did this lesson with two classes and was just as engaging and discussion based as the other activity. Act 3 reveals that there is a 2 scoop discrepancy between our calculated answer and practical answer. Again, the discussion that followed by asking the same above question was very stimulating. 

I'm so excited to do more 3Act learning this year and spend time over the summer preparing for next year. 

If you want any of the Promethean flipcharts, PDFs, PowerPoints, to accompany the videos, email me.


Graphic Organizer that went along with the lesson:

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