Breidablik students enjoy a slice of “Pi”

POULSBO — On March 14 Breidablik Elementary students memorized numbers to infinity and beyond — sort of.

In an effort to celebrate national Pi day, Breidablik’s da Vinci room math specialist AmyBeth Fisher gave her students a worksheet that contained 143 numbers of Pi. She then challenged her third-, fourth- and fifth-graders to memorize as many numbers as possible past Pi’s 3.14 decimal point.

Pi is a never ending number that is used to equate the circumference and area of a circle. It’s irrational. It can’t be a fraction.

And fourth-grader Weston Moutray just about memorized it all.

He stood before Fisher and recited 126 numbers of Pi.

“I about fell over when Weston did it,” Fisher said. “He said ‘I want to recite Pi for you,’ and he just started going and going and going.”

The fourth-grade phenomenon flawlessly repeated the 126-number sequence again the following day.

Weston, however, didn’t think his accomplishment was all that exciting. He felt “kind of happy,” about his number crunching skills.

“Everything is pretty easy if you try,” he said.

Weston said he practiced whenever he could and memorized nearly all the numbers in one afternoon.

A self-described math-loving numbers person, Weston’s favorite number is 24. He likes to watch race car driving and his favorite driver’s number is 24.

Weston’s mother Sue Moutray was slightly more impressed at her son’s mental capabilities. She said combining numbers, memorization and competition is the sport for Weston.

“He always amazes me,” Moutray said. “As parents we think we have so much to teach our kids, but they have so much to teach us.”

Weston’s classmate Joshua Benson memorized 45 numbers of Pi.

Again Fisher was floored.

“How many of us can memorize a sequence of 45 random numbers?” Fisher said.

Probably not many, but for Joshua it was no big deal. It just took a little bit of practice.

Joshua began memorizing on the bus and then continued to crunch the numbers at home. And before he knew it 45 random digits were lodged in his brain.

“I guess I just memorized that much in one day,” said Joshua, whose favorite numbers are two and 24. “It’s not that hard to memorize.”

Fisher said 28 students took the challenge and most of them memorized up to 20 numbers past the decimal point.

On Pi day da Vinci room students also played games with circles. They had to find the circumference of different hula hoops. Once they nailed the right answer they got to hula.

“It’s just a way to bring some fun into the classroom,” Fisher said. “I think it makes the lessons more interesting and clearer and I think it helps them to remember.”

The da Vinci room started two years ago as a way to help students improve their math skills. It is a specialist class similar to music, physical education and library, but math is the focus.

Algebra is next on the list for fourth- and fifth-grade students. Third-graders will be learning about graphs and coordinates.

“It gives kids who don’t get math through conventional means a chance to learn it,” Fisher said. “From what I’ve been told by the teachers they like what’s going on here.”

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