Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Maths Madness in March

There’s so much happening in March there just aren't enough school days in the month to cover it all!

Here’s a selection of some of the most important and exciting events happening this month:

1st: St David’s Day
4th – 10th: Climate Week
5th: World Literacy Day (part of World Education Games)
6th: World Maths Day (part of World Education Games)
7th: World Science Day (part of World Education Games)
7th: World Book Day
8th: International Women’s Day
10th: Mother’s Day
11th: Commonwealth Day
13th: No Smoking Day
14th: Pi Day
15th: Comic Relief: Red Nose Day
15th – 24th: National Science and Engineering Week
17th: St Patrick’s Day
20th: Spring Equinox
21st: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
21st: World Poetry Day
22nd: World Water Day
23rd: Earth Hour
24th: Palm Sunday
26th – 1st April: Passover
27th: Holi
29th: Good Friday
31st: Easter Sunday & British Summer Time begins (possibly the best day in March!)
Here are just three activities to try this month.

Key Stage 1
22nd March: World Water Day
International World Water Day focuses attention on the importance of freshwater and advocates for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.
– How much water do you use?
Ask the children to investigate how much water they use in a day.
Ensure they have access to the following information:

Lower Key Stage 2
23rd March: Earth Hour
Earth Hour is a worldwide event that aims to raise awareness about the need to take action on climate change by encouraging homes and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour. Earth Hour 2013 will be held on Saturday 23 March between 8.30 p.m. and 9.30 p.m.
– Energy audit
Undertake an energy audit in your school.
  • Ask the children to work in groups to make a list of all the different electrical appliances in the school – perhaps assigning different groups to different areas of the school. Encourage groups to collect the data in a table, detailing the type and number of each appliance.
  • Provide children with the information in the table below. If there are appliances in the school that are not on the list, ask them to find out the average yearly running costs for these appliances.
  • What about the cost of heating?
  • Bring groups together to pool and present the results.
  • Discuss the results – What conclusions can you draw? Where does most of the school’s energy consumption occur? How could the school reduce its energy consumption?
Children could undertake their own energy audit at home.

Upper Key Stage 2
14th March: Pi Day
Pi Day commemorates the mathematical constant  π (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 (3/14 in month/day date format), since 3, 1 and 4 are the first three digits of pi in decimal form.
– Discovering Pi
Begin by discussing the terms ‘circumference’, ‘diameter’ and ‘radius’ with the children.

Gather together a collection of at least 6 circular objects, all different sizes. For example, plates of different sizes, waste paper basket, analogue clock, geometric circular shape.
Ask the children to:
  • use a tape measure to measure the diameter and circumference of each of the objects
  • record their measurements
  • find the average of all of the answers they have just calculated
Discuss the results with the children. Explain to the children that mathematicians have calculated that the circumference of a circle is about 3.14 or 31/7 (22/7) times the diameter and that this number is called pi (after a letter in the Greek alphabet) and it is written: π.

Find more activities related to Pi in Collins New Primary Maths – Enriching Maths Resource Pack 6

Peter Clarke
Series editor, Collins New Primary Maths

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