by Lora Boyd, Upper Elementary Teacher
Last Monday was a big event in our Upper Elementary community—it was Pi Day (March 14th)! We talked about how Pi represents the ratio between the diameter of a circle and its circumference, and the different groups throughout history who found this relationship important. From there, the children made pi artwork, geometric constructions, calculated the circumference and area of various circles, and ate pie at lunch. Our day ended with a pi recitation contest where one student came out on top being able to recall over 140 digits of pi—he’s now up to over 300!
While this was a day-long celebration, moments like this are not unusual in the elementary classroom. Every lesson we give strives to connect all the academic areas. Dr. Montessori called this “Cosmic Education.” A botany lesson will typically include etymology for the different parts of the plant and a discussion of that part’s importance to humans and other living things. A lesson about the diagonals in polygons may lead to a discussion about triangles and their importance in architecture and engineering. Cosmic connections are all around us!
Celebrating Pi Day is a reminder of the magic all around us. This year, my classroom formed a Celebration Committee to help us give attention to everything from birthdays, to peace day, to welcoming a student-teacher. Given all that we each have been through in the last two years, it feels more important than ever to celebrate every chance we get!
Next time you are able to observe in any of our elementary classrooms, you can be sure you’ll see something amazing worth celebrating.