By Ann Kajander
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Additional info for Big Ideas for Small Mathematicians: Kids Discovering the Beauty of Math with 22 Ready-to-Go Activities
Remind them that adding a new ring adds two pennies to the diameter. So if the diameter goes up by two, the circumference goes up by three times that much, or six. 38 Procedure 2: Large Circles The next part of this activity involves measuring the diameters and circumferences of large circles, on the playground or on the gym or classroom floor. The larger the circles you choose, the more accurate the measurements will be. 1. Have each child use a yard stick (or meter stick) to measure the diameter of the first circle you’ve chosen and record this on the Large Circles Chart (page 41) on their activity sheets.
21 Chapter 4 Suggestions • Children may be surprised to discover that the diagonals of rectangular shapes are longer than the sides. They may not know it yet, but this is a handson experience with the Pythagorean theorem. You don’t need to introduce this theorem (unless the kids are ready), but this property may warrant a rethinking of the design—to use edges cut shorter than one straw length, for example, so that a single straw can be used for a diagonal. • It may also be fun to investigate the creation of large polyhedra.
4. Once they see the relationship between the diameter and the circumference, ask if they think that relationship will be true for all circles. Can they think of something else circular they could apply this new idea to, measuring just the diameter or just the circumference and figuring out the other? Suggestions • It may be helpful to leave the penny circles for a while and go on to the next part of the activity, then come back to the pennies. The larger circles of the Children can explain the diameter-circumference relationship to a peer or an adult.