## Thursday, 23 May 2013

### Circles – forever going round in the loop

Have you had the same problem as me? I teach the vocabulary and characteristics of circles, to say a 12 year old, and then perhaps two years later we have the same bright youngster and introduce the concept of π. What went wrong they couldn’t remember what the difference is between circumference, radius and diameter? We really are struggling now, forget π, they can barely remember the names yet alone what they represent. Yet year after year we repeat the same mistake. I have developed these simple steps that have helped improve my success rate.

# Colour

How often do we ignore the use of colour when teaching? Not only is it more cheerful than the usual drab black and white it is a great aid to memory. Not too many colours otherwise it starts to look like an explosion at a paint factory.

# Circumference

I start with the circumference. I draw it, in say blue, and now right the name underneath. But write it with a huge blue circle almost swallowing the word explaining this is how you remember it because the first letter of circumference tells you what it is.

# Diameter

We now move on to the diameter. Explaining what this is I draw my blue circle again but draw the diameter vertically in red. Now I point out that the word tells you what the diameter it is just the vertical in the D. Make sure you draw the D as a capital D.