National Pi Day celebrates all things math

DOWNEY - In recognition of Pi Day on March 14 and to build math awareness, Sylvan Learning is offering free math resources to families.Pi Day is the annual observance of the love of math and the mathematical constant Pi, commonly approximated as 3.14. To celebrate Pi Day, Sylvan Learning is providing a free new online Math Activity Book with 30 days of math concepts, trivia, questions and puzzles. Parents, students and even educators can log on to Sylvan's website to download and print activities and math games. "Effort and attitude in math matters," said Joseph Irizarry of Sylvan Learning located in Downey. "Math skills build over time, so missing one early essential component can translate into long-term difficulties that can slow future progress. The Math Activity Book can be used by the entire family, including parents, to open a mathematical dialog that will revive forgotten concepts and practice skills." Irizarry is also encouraging parents to play an active role in boosting their child's math skills by offering the following tips for getting them interested in math at an early age: Make math connections to everyday life. There are many opportunities for children to see the value of math in everyday occurrences. Think of tasks that you do everyday - rearranging a teenager's room is a lesson in geometry and equally cutting slices of pie can teach fractions. The more parents talk about math while completing these tasks, the more students will realize its importance. Involve your children in real-life family decisions. Encourage them to plan a family activity while remaining within the budget. For example, ask your children to plan a night at the movies or create a budget for the family vacation. Demonstrate your math ability. Think out loud so your child can hear your analytical reasoning. For younger children, count your change or discuss which measuring cup is needed when baking a birthday cake. For older students, calculate discounts when shopping or estimate how much money will be needed to fill up the gas tank. Mathematize career choices. Casually talk about mathematics while highlighting the types of math needed in your children's chosen careers. Video game designers, architects, doctors, football coaches, musicians and chefs apply math skills in their daily work. Praise your children's academic progress. Tell your children you are proud of their math efforts, even when they struggle. When students are confident in their abilities, they enjoy learning. That love of learning in turn leads to a willingness to try new, academic experiences. Sylvan Learning's online Math Activity Book provides 30 days of math writing topics, questions and puzzles. Families can download the booklet and answers by contacting Joseph Irizarry of the Downey Sylvan Learning at (562) 622-9210 or

********** Published: March 10, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 47