Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Circles

Today we contemplated the mysteries of circles at Math Club.  Initially the children were instructed to find a stick.  Much debate occurred over what type of stick would be appropriate, who had the biggest, which was longest, etc.  Next each child was given a piece of chalk and a string.  They enjoyed deciding how long their string would be.  Then the fun began.  The only instruction provided was to make a circle using all three things.

Amazing things occurred.  Most kids placed the objects on the ground and tried to create a circular shape.  One child arranged her stick and string perpendicular to one another and drew a circle around them with her chalk.  The following clues were given to help solve the puzzle:

  1. Tie the string to one end of the stick
  2. Tie the chalk to the other end
  3. Place the stick perpendicular to the ground
Once the final clue was given, everyone was catching onto the task.  We then used everyone's circle making device to draw a basketball court full of circles.  We discussed why the circles were different if we used the same materials.  We also tried to figure out the circumference of the circles.  This led to a quick discussion of the constant pi.

We wrapped up the morning with a 36 point circle and some artwork on it.  The kids appeared to enjoy themselves.  It helps being at a park and running around to get the sillies out as needed.

The most amusing part of the exercise was noticing the school kids in the adjacent school playground standing at the fence watching what we were doing.

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