Pi Day and Albert Einstein

“Wherever there is number, there is beauty.” – Proclus (410-485 A.D.)
Today, March 14, is Pi Day! It’s a notable event that is celebrated all around the world. Pi is a Greek letter and symbol that represents the famed irrational number 3.14 – the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.
March 14 also happens to be the birth date of Albert Einstein, one of the most renowned physicists and mathematicians in history. Because pi is 3.14159…, many math lovers begin their Pi Day celebrations at exactly 1:59 p.m. You can make the day an extra special one by planning math challenges and creating math fun with your children. Here are some activities to help celebrate Pi Day.
Don’t forget to make your favorite pie (or pizza pie) in celebration of this special day!


Be creative in your lesson work by creating graphs to show your findings!images-1
Graphs can add strength to your research papers by displaying the information you find in an easy to understand image. There are many different types of graphs. Bar graphs, pie charts, line graphs and area graphs can be colorful ways to show facts and information that you’ve found. Each type of graph displays your information differently.
Bar graphs are really good for showing big changes over a period of time. For instance, if you wanted to visually show how much total snowfall there was in New Hampshire every five years between 1960 and 1980, then a bar graph would be perfect! A pie chart is very good for showing percentages of a whole. For instance, if you were doing some research on what percentage of cars sold in Vermont are electric, which are hybrid, and which are gas fueled, a pie chart would give a really nice picture of the percentages.
The website Create a Graph explains graphing really well and you can make some of your own. In your next research report, try using a graph to support your opinions and facts!

The Science Behind Leap Years…


Leap Year Poem

Thirty days hath September,

April, June and November.

All the rest have thirty-one,

Excepting for February alone,

And that has twenty-eight days clear,

And twenty-nine in each leap year.

1leapdaybtn01Today is Leap Year Day! Do you know the science behind leap year, and how it relates to history and math? Check out Geography For Kids, The Study of Our Earth to learn more about this day. Or you can visit Kids Page to learn even more about Leap Year Day and to engage in some activities that help to celebrate this special event that occurs every four years.

What Happened?

images-1This week my father turned 91 years old. (Happy Birthday, Dad!) We always enjoy birthday parties with my Dad! We have a tradition of having him tell us what he was doing at the present age of each member of the family. This year the youngest among us was a great grandson just 13 months old. It was fun to hear my father speak about what he was doing when he was 13 months old! The oldest at the party was 68 years and that too was amusing!
We decided this year to list many of the things that had been invented since our father (grandfather or great grandfather) was born. Each family member brought a description of the invention to the party. Wow! He has certainly seen many, many inventions in his lifetime!
I think we take for granted some of the inventions he saw in his lifetime, such as the color TV or the black box flight recorder. Lithium batteries and the pocket calculator surprised all of us as just being invented in the 1970s.
All this talk about past inventions got me wondering what is being invented (and patented) right now! I found out about The Lemelson-MIT Program which strives to celebrate  “outstanding inventors and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention.” It is so interesting to read about the most recent inventions that are being awarded!
Do you have something that you are working on that will one day be an invention that will benefit us all? Join an inventor’s club! Here’s a list of them by state: http://www.freeinventorshelp.com/Organizations.html#states
Good luck!

Summer Reading

Great news!
Now you can have some summer reading books right at your fingertips on any device! Just click on StarWalk Kids Free 2015 Summer Library and choose a book to read!
It’s that easy and you can start reading on July 1st.
Enjoy!books images

Exploring Symmetry

imagesOver the weekend we went on a long walk through the woods. Somehow through all the chatter as we walked (there were five of us) we came up with the idea to look for things along the way that were symmetrical. We only looked for items that had reflection symmetry. This is the type of symmetry where one half is a reflection of the other half. When we found something we thought was symmetrical, we took a picture of it. When we got home, we printed the pictures and cut them so that each half was a reflection of the other. After pasting one half to a piece of paper, we could draw the other half. The challenge was to make it look as exact a reflection as we could. It was lots of fun!
I was thinking that this would also be a fun activity for a lazy day at home. Instead of using photographs from nature, one could use old magazine pictures. Cut out pictures, then cut them along the line of symmetry, and attempt to draw the reflection. images-2
Try this activity!

3.1415 Celebrate Pi Day!


Pi Day is coming soon! All around the world pi day will be celebrated!

Pi (?) is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. To honor this never ending number, people all over the world celebrate it!
Get your pi cake ready, because the big celebration is coming!! images
When? March 14, 2015
March (3rd month) 14 (day) 15 (year) = 3.1415
The Exploratorium in San Francisco originated the celebration of Pi Day and there are lots of activities scheduled there for their celebration. You can visit their website at http://www.exploratorium.edu/pi/ to find activities for your own celebration! Here is one activity from their website that I thought was fun:
Internet access
To Do and Notice:
Pick a number sequence that’s special to you—perhaps your birth date.
Go to the Pi-Search Page and type your sequence in the search box at the top of the page. This web site will search the first 200 million digits of pi in a fraction of a second. (See “How it works” on the Pi-Search Page to find out how this is accomplished.) If it finds your sequence, it will tell you at what position in pi your sequence begins and will display your sequence along with surrounding digits.
No result? Try another sequence. The shorter the sequence, the better the odds of finding it.


I’m sending you an infinite number of smiles for your celebration!


Make Stuff!

“Welcome to my odd, little world of paper toys, holiday cards, valentines, sun boxes,

baskets and bags, origami and ephemera… all for you to make.

My goal is to help grownups and kids spend time together making things.

It is my wish to amuse and delight.


Marilyn Waters”

Marilyn Waters has created some wonderful things and it’s all free at THE TOYMAKER

If you love making things, you will love the paper creations from the Toy Maker! The woman that creates the items is so artistic and she generously offers her creations for free. We are planning to use some of her creative items at the Oak Meadow Open House. Drop by and try one out!

Wild Time!


From Project Wild Thing:

Wild Time is what we call time spent outside.
It’s free time to be spontaneous, for exploring, playing, imagining and creating.
There’s no plugs outside . And you won’t need batteries.
But we promise you’ll find a deeper connection.
It’s also free!
No cash is really needed.
Wild Time is great for building confidence, creativity and independence.
It’s also healthy, good for the mind and the body.
And there’s also lots of other life out there to discover and connect with. If you just look up, listen and start to notice.
Wild Time can be taken on any doorstep, anywhere from the middle of the city to the remotest rural countryside.
There’s all kinds of Wild Times to be had, from a few minutes to hours and days.
You can search the Wild Times here for ideas or share your own ideas to help others.

Keep it Wild!

Crossword puzzles!

I’ve just discovered the New York Times “The Learning Network” for students ages 13 and older. It’s a blog with lots of news to read, but also has a great crossword section! If you like crossword puzzles, you can do them online, or you can print them out to use with a pencil. I like to print out a puzzle so that I can carry it around with me, set it down, and then go back to it when I feel like it without having to go onto the computer. There are many topics to choose from. I tried the “Life in Colonial America” topic and was stumped at 25 down. What would the two-word answer be for “outfit worn by colonial Americans on horseback?”