You didn't really think we made it through Cindy Neuschwander's Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi, without having some pie, did you? I mean, they eat pies right in the story. It's a natural.
I figured as long as we were having a circular snack, we might as well use it to review some of the things we learned this week, both from the Sir Cumference series, and from the Cyberchase episodes we watched. So, I told the children, before we'd eat the pie, I had a few questions for them.
First of all, there was a vent hole in the center of our pie. I asked the children if it was really in the center, and how they could be certain of their answer.
They were pretty sure it was not in the center. G (age 11), used a pencil to check. She held the eraser over the hole, then spun the pencil around the circle. Since, there were times the end of the pencil stuck out from the pie more than others, the hole was not in the center.
This technique came almost directly from the Cyberchase, "for real" section, at the end of the "Borg of the Ring" episode, where Bianca uses a shoelace to check if the pegs on a game wheel are all an equal distance form the center.
Then, I asked them to locate the actual center the center of the pie crust.
T (age 13), unfolded a napkin, and used the intersecting lines to line up the center, making sure the corners of the square were overhanging the same amount.
This is also similar to something they picked up from "Borg of the Ring".
I asked them to cut the pie, first by cutting the diameter through the center. A (age 9), took on the honor of cutting.
Then, I asked them to cut a radius, at a 90 degree angle to the diameter line they had cut. They used their protractor medallions, to find the angle.
Next, I asked them to cut a radius, at a 45 degree angle to the diameter, they found that one a little harder, but did figure it out.
Finally, the Man of the House announced "enough testing", and declared it time to serve the pie. This of course, led to some fun review for the younger children, of fractions, division, and subtraction, and would have been a great time for charting, and percents, as some wanted pie, some pie with ice cream, and some only ice cream.
Who knew a pie could be so educational? But seriously, this review, as most tests are, was really more for me as a teacher, to confirm what I suspected. The children are learning quite a bit from both the Sir Cumference series, and Cyberchase. The books are proving great for teaching all the tricky math terms, in memorable ways, while the animated programs are doing better at teaching the math concepts, and how to apply them. And, the children are enjoying them both (although T likes to protest, that Cyberchase is a baby show - it hasn't stopped him from watching along with the rest of us), so it's a win all around.
It's great to be a homeschooler.