Tag: Arithmetic Magic

Math Is No Pi In The Sky

So as I was reading through some math articles, I ran across this one and the article’s title intrigued me. After reading it, I thought you might like to as well!

Learn Math Through Poetry

Since mathematics as a whole is a difficult subject to learn, maybe different  approaches are needed to enhance the teaching of this discipline.  Certainly the  hands-on method gives students a tactile perspective to the inner workings of  this subject, while the real-life applications approach lets students see and  understand how mathematics is actually used in life and in different worldly  settings.  Could poetry be another approach through which to teach and learn  this most fascinating subject?

There is an interesting story behind the creation of my work Poems for  the Mathematically Insecure.  While I was tutoring one of my learning  disabled students, he asked me to do something for him for pi day.  For those of  you who do not know, pi day is March 14 of any year (March 14 is 3/14) and the  decimal approximation to the famous mathematical constant known as pi is 3.14.   Every year in schools across the country, math teachers like students to do some  special project involving the number pi.

While sitting there tutoring him, I asked him if he would like me to put  together a poem on pi.   He naturally said yes, and while he worked on some  practice examples I gave him, I sat there and hammered out the lines to a poem  which would be called Wonderful Pi.   I decided to keep a copy for myself  to use in my classrooms the next day, assigning one volunteer in each class to  read the poem aloud.  Because the poem was well received, I decided to write  some others.

What came out of this experience was the idea to write a collection of math  poems–some humorous, some witty, some pedagogical–which would both teach and  entertain the reader.  Thus during the summer of 2003, I worked on the novel  collection of verse called Poems for the Mathematically Insecure.   In this collection, the reader finds the humorous Help, Please Help,  Teacher! and the instructive Chief SOHCAHTOA, the latter of which  teaches the basics of trigonometry in a torrent of rhyming verse.  There is even  the classic, How Can This Be?, which proves in verse in a manner that  anyone can understand, the famous fact that the real numbers between 0 and 1 are  more numerous than all the counting numbers put together.   Now how’s that for  teaching math in a novel manner!

The textbook approach to learning mathematics definitely has its place in the  classroom.  Indeed there is a limit and some restrictions to what math can be  learned from poetry, but these limitations are mostly imposed by the confines of  our minds.  As educators, we must constantly look for new and interesting ways  to pique our students’ interest, and manners in which to break through learning  barriers.   Learning math through poetry just might be an instructive way to  accomplish these objectives.  And who knows?  We might churn out some good poets  as well as good mathematicians.  What an interesting thought.

See more at Cool Math Poems Ebook

Joe is a prolific writer of self-help and educational material and an  award-winning former teacher of both college and high school mathematics.    Under the penname, JC Page, Joe authored  Arithmetic Magic, the  little classic on the ABC’s of arithmetic.  Joe is also author of the charming  self-help ebook, Making a Good Impression Every Time: The Secret to  Instant Popularity; the original collection of poetry, Poems for  the Mathematically Insecure, and the short but highly effective fraction  troubleshooter Fractions for the Faint of Heart.   The diverse  genre of his writings (novel, short story, essay, script, and  poetry)—particularly in regard to its educational flavor— continues to captivate  readers and to earn him recognition.

Joe propagates his teaching philosophy through his articles and books and is  dedicated to helping educate children living in impoverished countries.  Toward  this end, he donates a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every ebook. For  more information go to [http://www.mathbyjoe.com]

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So …. how is your poetry? 😉



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