Monthly Archives: March 2013
As the daughter of a mathematician, Pi Day is a big deal in our family. Especially to my dad whose two favorite things are math and pie, cherry pie that is!
In 2009 Congress designated March 14th (3.14), as National Pi Day. Pi (Π), the greek letter, equals approximately 3.14159 and stands for the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. It is an irrational number which I always found to be humorous. (A lot of numbers are irrational when it comes to math and me!) A rational number is any number that can be expressed as a fraction. All fractions have decimals that will terminate or if the decimal does not terminate, it will repeat. An irrational number is one that is not rational. It cannot be written as a fraction or a decimal because the decimal will never end and it won’t repeat as a set pattern.
Pi’s decimal has been calculated in the trillions! See 100,000 digits of pi here: www.geom.uiuc.edu/~huberty/math5337/groupe/digits.html There are many irrational numbers. Pi is the most famous and can be found in many forays throughout math and science.
Today, in schools all across the country, students are trying to see how far they can get by memorizing pi to the furthest decimal place. How far can you go? 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971……
For some other ideas on how you can celebrate pi day, visit www.piday.org and don’t forget to eat some pie. My favorite is my mom’s apple pie. Let the calculating and eating begin!
Special thanks to Professor Jack Crowell for checking my facts.
Celebrate the day! Let Scarlett Dalila show you the way.
And so it is.
If I told you all the things that have happened in the last 2 weeks, you would shake your head, smile, have a furrowed brow, be angry, be proud, be sad, hold hope, and then maybe you would sigh. …because these are all the things that life is made up of.
To be honest, this is usually how my life goes, it isn’t really so peaceful in the way I sometimes wish it would be and yet a peace still resides at the bottom- in between the laughing, cursing and crying, of course.
…because our humanity brings us together…even the crappy parts of us and hopefully the tender parts where we need each other to live and be okay…the moments we lean in and the places we stand up tall because someone else shared their power and support.
Today there isn’t really a huge triumph or epiphany, it’s more of…
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I’d like to live in a world where relationships mean more to people than getting ahead. Where instead of saving yourself, you grab as many hands as you can hold. I fear in that place, it only rains at night….
My opinion in 700 words. Exactly.
The Boston Public Schools have sent out the results of the terranova test. A test they use as the single factor in determining which kids should be invited to advanced work classes (AWC).
My daughter (8), a third grader, didn’t get an invitation. Disclaimer: The rest of what I’m going to say about AWC isn’t rooted in the fact that she didn’t get in. I felt the same way three years ago when my son did get an invitation.
It is educational apartheid. It decimates classrooms, schools and communities. We didn’t accept the invitation to advanced work for my son because it is wrong in so many ways, and thankfully, the majority of kids in my son’s class, who also got an invitation didn’t accept it either.
His class stayed intact. The parents thought the sense of community was greater than anything they could gain by leaving. Instead, they were nurtured and educated in our small school and then sent out into the world all the better for it.
Sadly, this is not happening in my daughter’s class. Most kids are going to accept the invitation, which means they will leave our school and go to a school that has an advanced work classroom. The majority of kids who received an invitation are middle-class. It was the same in my son’s class, and all classes since. I hope others see a problem with this as well.
The Boston Public School system should know that a good teacher can inspire and challenge all of the kids in his or her classroom. In schools all across the country, teachers are educating mixed-level students in a single classroom. Why is it different here? There is no need to test kids out – at least not starting in 4th grade.
How is it helpful to society as a whole if the kids who are considered smarter are moved to a different classroom? The AWC system divides not unites and the schools are a mess because of it.
Not every child fits into a single box. I’ve seen the way a functioning classroom works. The kids all learn from each other and the “smarter” kids show the others what can be achieved. Questions are asked that might not have been asked. Those questions lead all the kids down new roads, discovering things they otherwise might not have. They not only learn from the teacher, much of the learning comes from each other. The bar is set higher in a classroom with a mix of students. They all have a better chance to rise to the surface if more is expected of each and every one of them. Won’t this city be better for it?
I was not prepared for my daughter’s test results. She is not a mediocre student. She’s actually quite smart, at least that’s what I’ve noticed and what her teachers have been telling me all these years. Her test scores were abysmal. They do not adequately represent what she is capable of, or what her schoolwork shows she is learning.
BPS has put my daughter in a box along with all of the other third graders. She’ll have to stay at her school while others are given choices. While I would not have moved her to AWC even if she had received an invitation, I think it is wrong that the others are given a choice and the makeup of her classroom may change for the worse.
I am appalled that BPS continues to let this happen, and that little or no discussion about how to change this system is occurring. Separating kids based on a single test starting in fourth grade is too early, and it is hurting students and our schools not helping them.
My daughter will forge ahead in her more than adequate school. We’ll both make new friends and be better for it.
Her life hasn’t been ruined. She’ll still have every chance in the world to follow her dreams. She’ll do in life what she wants to do no matter where she goes to school. She’s smart and she won’t be left behind just because the others think they are getting ahead.