Pi Day is coming…Is your magical math book stack ready?

[Cover image created by Martin Krzywinski and Cristian Ilies Vasile appeared in a fascinating 2015 Washington Post article 10 Stunning Images Show the Beauty Hidden in Pi. The image shows is a series of circular representations of pi, where the numbers are connected across the circle with a chord. The artists start at 3, draw a line to 1, draw a line to 4, and so on, changing the color with each new digit.]

March 14th (a.k.a Pi Day) is almost here, are you ready? I realize some teachers have a love and/or hate relationship  regarding math-themed holidays. [Here’s a list of math holidays created by Sara Van Der Werf.]

[Image of my (now 8 year old son) on Halloween.]

I’m on the love side of Pi Day,  as long students/children celebrate this curious circle constant in its full glory. Pi day should be about more than  filling your stomach with pie and your head with superficial π connections like this:

pi symbol
Superficial π pie correspondence

[Image from F in Exams: The Very Best Totally Wrong Test Answers]

If you need ideas for how to celebrate with your students/ children, Why not pick a magical math book to share and call it a day. I recently asked Twitter for some circle-themed math picture book suggestions:

Then The Greedy Triangle author Marilyn Burns kindly offered more suggestions:

In addition to the suggestions above, there are more math book suggestions on our Blog Booklist and the Shared Booklist. Note: Two of the books mentioned above already appear in posts on this blog in case you want to hear more: Tana Hoban’s books and The Greedy Triangle.

Alright, now that this π day business is complete, I wanted to share two changes on the blog this year.

  1. More sharing: Finding magical math books is a subjective venture. My goals in creating this blog were to search for and read magical math books with my children, their friends, classmates, my friend’s kids, and neighborhood kids, to share the magic we find with teachers, parents, and the mathematically curious, and provide a platform for them to share back their math book magic experiences In 2018, I plan to concentrate on the last last goal. To get more teachers, parents, and more importantly childrens’ perspectives on what makes a math book magical. I’m excited to have a few teachers/parents lined up to write guests posts this year and am hoping to find more volunteers. The sharing will begin in two weeks with an interview with, Sasha Fradkin and Allison Bishop, authors of the math-inspired fantasy book Funville Adventures. 
  2. Broader range of Math Books: Up until now, I’ve only shared magical picture books. However, there are other types of books I plan to explore this year on the blog.  Since leaving my university teaching position (and my office space!) behind in 2017, I have a lot of math books in my home. I’ve just finished reading Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.  Kondo’s book provides guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t). This idea of objects sparking joy made me think of my own math books and my definition of magical math books.  
    IMG_9090I’m positive not all of these math books spark joy.  I’m curious about which ones do and which ones do not. In the coming months, I’ll be weeding through these piles, searching for math book magic treasures to share with you.

See you in two weeks! Plenty of time to get those math books ready for Pi Day. 

Have a magical math book you’d like share? Please go to the Shared booklist to find out how.  If you’d like to receive these magical math book posts every other Monday, be sure to follow this blog in the side bar of this page.

Thanks and see you in two weeks for more #mathbookmagic!

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