April is Math Awareness Month. In honor of the irrational number pi – commonly approximated to 3.14 – many schools hosted math events that culminated on Pi Day, March 14th.

At Aki Kurose Middle School, City Year corps members provided students with daily math problems during their lunch period. Problems were tailored to specific grade levels and aligned with the new Common Core standard proficiencies. After completing the problem of the day, students were able to spin a giant wheel and win a prize. The challenge helped improve students’ critical math reasoning skills while making math exciting.

We also hosted a parent math night, where parents had the opportunity to learn more about how the switch to the Common Core will affect the math curriculum, technology, and future testing.

Pi week posters to get students pumped up for the week’s activities.

City Year corps members help Aki Kurose students complete math problems and earn prizes during lunch periods.

Other partner schools hosted a variety of other Pi Week enrichment programs. At Highland Park Elementary School, students were given the challenge of memorizing as many digits of pi as possible in a week. Students competed for prizes at the end of the week, with the winning student in every class earning the ultimate prize of pieing his/her City Year. Roxhill Elementary School hosted a similar activity where students, during their lunch periods, wrote down as many digits of pi as they could from memory. The school-wide winner received a pie of their own to share with friends and family.

Students at Highland Park pie their favorite City Year.

Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School hosted a weeklong lunchtime program that focused on introducing students to the concept of pi and its infinite digits. Each day, students were taught a new fun fact about pi and participated in an engaging lunchtime activity. The daily activities were designed to push students’ ability to recognize and utilize pi in everyday situations. Students earned prizes for their daily participation, and the class with the most participation at the end of the week won a pie party. The week’s activities culminated in an “estimate the number of candy in a jar” activity, where students were invited to make their best guesses based on the concepts they were taught in the week. The closest guess won the whole jar of candy!

Students eagerly apply the concept of pi to solve for dimensions of a smiley face.

As you can see, Pi Week celebrations took form in many different ways throughout City Year’s partner schools. Students were able to increase their ability in math and find exciting ways to apply math to their lives. We hope that students will continue to show excitement for learning and develop their abilities further, both in school and beyond.

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