Pi stuff, and Are YOU Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

piWith Pi Day a little more than a month away, planning is underway for our annual celebration. Our celebration has been quite large some years with a pipivariety of contests that students can enter and prizes donated by local businesses. This year, our celebration will be confined to my own classes with activities specifically designed for our particular content. I will post the particular activities for my Advanced Algebra, Pre Calculus, and AP Calculus classes soon.

During my search for new activities, I have come across a few resources that might help you plan your own Pi Day celebration or just have a little fun with the Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? theme. Enjoy!

Pam has taken pi-related math questions and put them into a PowerPoint with the format of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?  She has 2 editions of the game available.

She has kindly built a web site at GeoCities (and a mirror Google site) to share these files and asks that you keep a couple of things in mind:

  1. Storage and hourly transfer size on the site are very limited.
    So if you have trouble with the site, try again a little later. She did put up the second site to help with this problem.
  2. She is a relative newbie at website construction, so there may be problems or errors; if you find any, please let her know.
  3. She would love to hear from you if you use any of her materials, just to see how much interest there is and how you might use the materials.
  4. She would appreciate your sharing any of your ideas for Pi Day.

Pam also has some links for Pi Day and other math resources on her portaportal page.  Go to www.portaportal.com and type in pburke for the guest name. By the way, if you aren’t familiar with portaportal, it is a free online bookmark site. It’s easy to set up your own portal and access your favorites from any computer with internet access.

I received this one in an email from one of my students.

The Problem:

There are 7 girls on a bus.
Each girl has 7 backpacks.
In each backpack, there are 7 big cats.
For every big cat there are 7 little cats.
How many legs are there inside the bus?

The number of legs is the password to unlock this Excel sheet. If you can open the spreadsheet, you’ll see it’s a very small list of people who have gotten the correct number. If you open it, please add your name and send it on to see who else can unlock it. You will notice that there are only a few names; interestingly, one of those names is Willy Nelson! Please leave a comment to let me know if you’ve solved it, but please don’t post the answer. 


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