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Circumference and the
Dragon of Pi

Circumference and the Dragon Of Pi

A Unit on Circumference and Pi (p)
How It Works
This is a fun unit that ties in literature and mathematics. Using technology and the books Sir Cumference and the First Round Table and Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi, students will explore the concepts of circumference and pi.
Differentiate between and use appropriate units of measure.
Express the solution clearly by using the appropriate mathematical notation.
Uses problem solving approaches to investigate and understand mathematical content.
Understand the concept of a constant such as p; know the formulas for the circumference and area of a circle.
Know common estimates of p(3.14; 22/7) and use these values to estimate and calculate the circumference and the area of circles; compare with actual measurements.
Analyze problems by identifying relationships, distinguishing relevant from irrelevant information, identifying missing information, sequencing and prioritizing information, and observing patterns.
Estimated Class Periods
This unit is best done over a week's period of time. It is great if you can have the culminating activity on March 14th (3.14) so you can participate in Pi p Day. There are many activities in this unit. You can do as few as four activities or extend the unit to fit your needs.
Software and Materials
Internet access, paint or drawing software, rulers or measuring tapes, string, circular objects, a variety of pies.
pi (p), circumference, radius, diameter
Students in grades five through eight can benefit from this unit.
Students are assessed objectively based on their mathematical data and solutions.
Overall Value
This unit allows students to discover the approximate value of pi (p). Utilizing the Internet and literature, it gives them the opportunity to measure objects, report the data, apply formulas, and problem solve.
Send a note home to parents before the unit begins letting them know about the culminating activity. Ask for donations of pies for the last day of the unit. It is nice to get a variety of pies that are different sizes and flavors.

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About the Teacher

Tracee Sudyka currently teaches fifth grade at Joe Nightingale Elementary School in the Orcutt Union School District. Tracee has been a classroom teacher for fourteen years, and has taught grades three though six. Tracee has a strong interest in using technology as a tool for learning. Using technology, her students create variety of student-centered projects each school year.