## 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.

Today 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.

## 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!
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:
Materials:
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!

## February 2nd is Groundhog Day!

Today is the traditional Groundhog Day that arrives every year on February 2nd. It began as a European tradition that was brought to the United States in the 1880’s. It has been celebrated every year since then! How is the weather in your area today? It is sunny or cloudy? Will spring come early or late? Now, let’s do some Monday Magic Math with a calendar. Whether we have six more weeks of winter or six more weeks until spring, what month of the year and what day of the week is spring predicted to arrive?
In Oak Meadow’s second grade course book, science lesson 13 (with the focus on animal characteristics) suggests making a card game to teach children about familiar animals. On one side of the card, the student writes a question about a particular animal’s character qualities. The name of the animal is written and illustrated on the other side of the card. Since the groundhog is not included in the science lesson’s list of animals, you could add a new card for the groundhog with questions, such as: What animal is also known as the land-beaver, marmot, whistle-pig or woodchuck? or What mammal hibernates in the winter and is famously known as the prognosticator or weather forecaster?
To learn more about the history of this furry rodent, CBS news offers a wealth of information in the article, Groundhog Day Tradition Casts a Shadow Back to Medieval Europe. It includes a “Groundhog Day Expert” quiz and a “Fun Facts Interactive”. Canadians also celebrate Groundhog Day with their special furry friend, named Wiarton Willie. I discovered a delightful National Geographic Kids production video on Kids Love Groundhog Day that you and your family might enjoy.

Happy Groundhog Day!

## St. Patrick's Day – Crack the Code!

Every year, on March 17th, thousands of people don their greenest garb, search for four-leaf clovers, eat corn beef and cabbage, dance the Irish jig, march in parades, and search for the leprechaun. Whether you are Irish or not, it can be a joyful occasion for the young and the old.

There are many famous Irish sayings and blessings that come to mind. One of my favorites Irish blessings is:

“May you always walk in sunshine.

May you never want for more.

May Irish angels rest their wings right beside your door.”

As a child, my favorite part of this celebration was wearing a bit of green (so I wouldn’t get pinched). I also delighted in imagining how a leprechaun might appear.
Here’s a leprechaun’s message for you!

Use some letter and number magic to crack the code and figure out the message below.

CODE: 1 = A, 2 = B, 3 = C, etc.

__  __  __       __  __  __       __  __  __  __       __  __

13   1   25       20   8    5        12  21   3   11        2    5

__  __  __  __       __  __  __ !

23   9   20   8        25  15  21

__  __ __       __  __  __       __ __ __ __       __

13   1  25       25  15  21        6   9  14  4         1

__  __  __       __  __       __  __  __  __

16  15  20       15   6         7   15  12   4

__ __       __  __  __       __  __  __       __  __

1  20       20   8   5          5   14   4        15   6

__  __  __  __  __        __  __  __  __  __  __  __ !

5  22   5   18   25         18   1    9   14   2   15  23

^