Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pi Math Night

This year I have been so incredibly busy, I now understand why so many first year teachers don't return a second year since the first one is crazy.  One of the things that I have been working on is a family math night at HDA which was held on 3/14/13 (Pi Day).  I have been thinking of ideas about this night since I got the job and started actually planning as of January.  I wanted a night for both parents and students to work together and explore the concepts of mathematics beyond what the classroom teaches.  I wanted hands-on activities as well as games to apply these concepts. 

My idea started with having different booths around the auditorium with each booth containing a different activity and concept.  I came up with 9:

1. Exploring the Monty Hall Problem
2. Coordinate twister
3. Pi Digit Reciting
4. Estimation Station
5. Sudoku Raffle
6. Tessellations
7. Fibonnachos
8. Magic Squares
9. Creating a Pi Mural

I quickly realized in planning this activity that I wouldn't be able to create each booth myself.  So in the spirit of having this a family night, I emailed parents and had a family "sponsor" a booth which entailed creating the activity and running the booth that night.  I quickly got volunteers within hours of my email, so this wasn't an issue.  With the booths taken care of, it freed me up to do other organizational tasks which included creating the program, shopping for materials, creating posters, advertising, and searching for pies. 

The night was absolutely amazing, and exceeded all expectations that I had.  We had about 100 people attend which included students, siblings and parents.  Everyone seemed to have fun exploring each booth and stayed and bought slices of pie, where the money went back to the school.  I was extremely nervous about how the booths were going to look like, due to the fact that I have control issues.  But as the volunteers arrived, each booth looked beautiful and were well thought out.  They were all much better than what I would have been able to do on my own.  I learned from this event that you need to delegate tasks in order to be a good leader or manager since I would have gone insane if I did all that work myself. 

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