|Re: Pi day|
Message #6 Posted by Don Shepherd on 11 Mar 2007, 8:43 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by Valentin Albillo
Gosh, as much as I would like to use "Pi^e" on Wednesday, my sixth-graders won't know what e is. In fact, they may not learn that until high school (9th grade here). Most of them have heard of Pi, and many will know that it is (approximately) 3.14, but I know that few of them know its relationship to a circle's diameter and circumference. So I'm going to bring in a bunch of round objects and let them measure diameter and circumference and see how close they get to 3.14.
My goal is for them to learn that diameter and circumference are related, no matter how big the circle, and that relationship is pi.
Interestingly, some web sites (www.brainpop.com in particular) claim that 22/7 is not a valid approximation for pi (presumably because, being irrational, pi cannot be expressed as the ratio of two integers), but 3.14 is. If a sixth-grader can come to understand that pi relates circumference to diameter, I don't think it is important whether he/she uses 22/7 or 3.14 or 3.14159.