Happy Ultimate Pi Day!

Ultimate Pi Day
Only once a century do we experience Ultimate Pi Day: On March 14, XX15 at 9:26:53 (a.m. and p.m.) the date and time line up to 3.141592653  Awesome!

Pi in the Sky  I can’t let Ultimate Pi Day go by without giving a shout out to a book by one of my favorite authors, Wendy Mass.  Her novel Pi in the Sky takes us to outer space for a funny and informative science fiction adventure.  With pie!

In Wendy’s own words:

“The germ of the idea for Pi in the Sky came from a quote a middle-schooler gave me. It was by astronomer Carl Sagan: ‘If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.’ My brain just started churning that quote over and over until a story started to form. I’ve always loved reading science fiction—starting with Ray Bradbury when I was younger—and I felt ready to take on the challenge.”

She actually started her career writing nonfiction for kids, so she’s no stranger to researching science and math.  It actually took her three years to do the research for this book before she felt ready to write about astronomy, evolution, and astrophysics on a level that students could understand.

Learn more about the book:

And here’s a link to some classroom resources for Pi Day.

I’ll leave you with the Pi Episode of Math Bites with Danica McKellar.

It’s true this is the only Ultimate Pi Day we’ll see in our lifetime (the next one will be on March 14, 2115) but Pi Day is celebrated every year on March 14.

Do you know of any other good Pi books or resources?  Please share them in the comments!

 

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WWW: International Dot Day Website

 

This week’s WWW (Weekly Wednesday Website) is….

dot day logo

The International Dot Day website!

http://www.thedotclub.org/dotday/

Monday, September 15, is International Dot Day, inspired by the book The Dot by Peter Reynolds!

In Peter’s words: “In this book, we meet a girl named Vashti who has convinced herself she can not draw. Her teacher dares her to make a mark. Vashti makes one little dot on her sheet of paper… which turns out to be the beginning of her creative journey!  But The Dot is more than a book about art. It is a book that encourages us to be brave about expressing ourselves. It gently reminds us to start small and explore the IDEA. It is also a tribute to great teachers who know how to use humor, “off-the-path” approaches, and who have the vision to see the possibilities in EVERY student. The book ends off with Vashti sharing this gift with others, beginning a ripple of inspiration.”

If you want to use Dot Day to inspire your students, you can…

  • Click here to download a copy of the Dot Day Educator’s Handbook
  • Share the book with your students via Tumblebooks  (I’m sharing it with 4th and 5th grade during related arts this week.)
  • Schedule a class visit to the library next week for a Dot Day story time or art activity
 p.s. A link to this week’s WWW is posted at http://www.netvibes.com/weeklyweb, along with all of the previous WWW websites.
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Amazon Prime: Free Trial for College Students!

Just wanted to pass along the information on this Student Prime deal from Amazon for those of you who are enrolled in college or graduate school:  You can get a six-month FREE trial of Amazon Prime that includes free two-day shipping on your purchases with no minimum order!  (Perfect for ordering your textbooks – and you can save up to 40% on them!)  Amazon also offers special deals and discounts for students, and pays you a $10 credit when you refer a friend!

amazon prime logo  When the six-month trial ends, you can then enroll in Amazon Prime for just $49 (half off the normal $99 rate) and receive: unlimited instant streaming of their 41,000 movies & TV episodes; unlimited, ad-free access to over a million songs and hundreds of playlists; free unlimited photo storage in Cloud Drive; and a free monthly download of one of over 500,000 Kindle books.

Sound good?  Unfortunately I’m not a college student, so I’m paying full price for my Prime membership, but maybe you qualify for the discount!

From the Amazon website:

Your Amazon Student membership starts once you’ve filled out the application form and your .edu email address is validated.  You can enjoy all the benefits of being an Amazon Student member, even if you don’t have a .edu email address!  If you’re able to provide proof of enrollment in at least one course at a college or university located in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia, you may be eligible to enroll in Amazon Student through an alternative process. To provide proof of enrollment, please send an e-mail to amazon-student-verification@amazon.com from the e-mail address associated with your Amazon.com account. In the message, include a scan, photo or screenshot of one of the following:

• Your student ID displaying the current term or an expiration date; just a student ID number is not valid
• Your transcript or class list for the current term with your name and your school’s name on it
• Your tuition bill for the current term with your name and your school’s name on it
• An official acceptance letter for the upcoming term (must include matriculation date)

If we determine you’re eligible, we’ll send you a follow-up email within 3-5 business days that contains a link which allows you to complete the signup process without a .edu email address.

   Just click the Amazon Student icon to get started!

If you can’t view the Amazon Student icon, just click here.

And don’t forget to download the free Kindle Reading App!

 

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Seuss-y Snacks

For Read Across America Day (RAAD) today, I wanted to provide some snacks for our guest readers from Alice Drive Middle School that would highlight a few books by Dr. Seuss — after all, RAAD was founded in honor of his birthday!  So here’s what I came up with:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some close-ups:


Cat in the Hat hats (strawberry and banana slices)
and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (goldfish)

 

 

 

 

 

 




Hop on Pop Popcorn

 

 

 

 

 

 




Brown Bar-ba-loots (chocolate teddy grahams)

 

 

 

 

 

 




Pink Ink Drink (strawberry soda)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The middle school students ate every crumb and drank every drop!  Mission accomplished!

 

 

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And Now a Word From Our Students

World-Read-Aloud-Day-2014For week 2 of the World Read Aloud Day (WRAD) blogging challenge, bloggers were asked to answer the following questions individually and with a child or children:

1. I think everyone in the world should read…

2. If I could listen to anyone in the world read aloud to me it would be…

3. When I read aloud, my favorite character to impersonate is…

4. The genre or author that takes up the most room on my bookshelf (or e-reader) is…

5. My favorite part about reading aloud or being read to is…

I decided to open up two of these questions to the students at my school, and I created Padlet walls where they could post their answers.  Here are our results!


Click here to view our 3rd Grade Wall

 

 

 

 



Click here to view our 4th Grade Wall

 

 

 

 

 

Our students were excited about the opportunity to share their opinions with the world, and I think some of our teachers will begin using Padlet as a class brain-storming tool.   Win-win!

 

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Read Aloud Memories

World-Read-Aloud-Day-2014The topic this week for the World Read Aloud Day (WRAD) blogging challenge is:  What is your earliest or fondest memory in which someone read aloud to you?

It’s hard for me to remember my earliest read-aloud experiences, because my mom and dad read aloud to me from the time I was a baby.  I feel so blessed to have been surrounded by books all my life, and to have parents who were readers themselves.  As a young child, I read aloud to my dolls, my cat, and my baby brother.  I was raised in a home where sharing books was an everyday part of life.

charlottes webA more specific memory is of my 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Holden, reading aloud to our class.  I loved Mrs. Holden; she was young and pretty, she wore fashionable clothes and shoes, and she was so kind and funny!  She read many books to us, but the one that stands out in my mind is Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.  Every day after lunch she would perch on her stool, facing us as we sat in our desks, and read to us about Fern and Wilbur and Charlotte and that nasty yet strangely fascinating rat, Templeton.  When Wilbur received his special award at the fair, we all rejoiced; and when Charlotte died alone, we all cried together.  I don’t remember any of the phonics worksheets I completed that year, but I will never forget that special reading time.

As teachers we need to remember that it’s not enough just to teach kids how to read; we need to teach, model, and promote a love reading as well, because there may not be anyone at home who is doing that for our students!

read-across-americaIt just so happens that World Read Aloud Day is on March 5 this year, which is the day that our school is celebrating Read Across America Day.  Therefore, our read-alouds will all be Dr. Seuss books!  In addition to teachers reading, we’ll be bringing in guest readers from the community, and we hope to bring in some middle school students to share books with some of our elementary kids.  It’s a half day of school for us, and we plan to make it a pajama day for our students and have read-in sessions throughout the school.  What could be more fun?!?

 

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