## Wednesday, August 3, 2011

### Happy SUM Day!

It all adds up today. Whether you write the date the American way (mm/dd/yy) 08/03/11 or the European way (dd/mm/yy) 03/08/11, today is one of those very special days that I like to call a SUM day!

Can you see why?

Well, first you need to know what a sum is. According to MathIsFun.Com a sum is
"The result of adding two or more numbers.

Example: 9 is the sum of 2, 4 and 3, because 2 + 4 + 3 = 9."
I agree with this definition 100%! In fact, I couldn't think of putting it any other way. That website even has a picture with some other fancy vocabulary that makes it even clearer (and unbelievably appropriate for this blog post)

So, according to this picture, when you add 8 and 3, the answer (or sum) you get is 11.

Any guesses why I am wishing you a happy SUM today?

Today, as I write the date (8/3/11), is a sum day because it all adds up to me!
The month + day = year (in two digit form)!

Oh! I can hear you now!! "Nicole!" you say, "That's not fair! What about all of the Europeans? They write their date differently! Why is your SUM day only an American holiday? I thought Mathematics was universal!"
I understand your dismay. I, too, would be upset if I thought that there was some sort of maths celebration that I was excluded from. However, calm your fears my global guests - mathematics is universal and can be celebrated by our entire global community today!
Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pleasure that I introduce you to: The Commutative Property (or Law) of Addition!
According to this law, swapping the numbers you add will not change their sum. The MathIsFun.Com website has another cool picture that might help you see that this is true, but, trust me, it is all of the time (it's a pretty amazing law!).
Can you see what this means for us???

It's a happy SUM day for everyone!

I am so excited about this. These types of things don't happen every day, so we have to take note when they do and we have to celebrate.

How Do We Celebrate SUM DAYS?

If you don't know where to begin, here are some ideas:
• Find the math in your day. So many people go through their days, their LIVES, trying to avoid mathematics, not even realizing what a beautiful part of their day it actually is. Look for the beautiful mathematics that surrounds you today, and rather than dread any bit of the unknown... wonder at it!
• Have a get-together! A sum day marks a day where numbers are coming together to make larger amounts, so why not get together with other people and see what kind of greatness you can come up with.
• Play games that require sums! Can't think of any, how about: Scrabble, Dominoes, Monopoly, Boggle, or any game or sport where you have to keep score!
• Learn how to really use your calculator. Today's the day, if you bought yourself one of those super-fancy scientific or graphic calculators and you haven't even opened it up! Take her for a whirl, even if it is just to add a lot, no calculator likes to be neglected.
• Read a great math book with your family! For picture books you can try Math CurseSir Cumference: And the First Round Table (A Math Adventure), or The Grapes Of Math. For a chapter book, I highly recommend The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure
Alrighty! You are all set for your day of celebration and mathiness. I am so happy I had the opportunity to share this with you! Now, keep in mind, if you already had plans today because you simply were unaware of the type of day today was going to be, don't fret! There are more sum days to come! That is part of what makes them so exciting, so just plan ahead for next time!

When will the next SUM DAY be here?
Did you miss your birthday being a SUM DAY?
Do you think you will get a chance to celebrate a birthday SUM DAY (I can't evn imagine the über celebration required for such a day!)?
Do you have any other suggestions for SUM DAY celebrations?

Are you a fan of Celebrations of all sorts? If so, check out the Celebrate With Us Link-Up over on the Laugh With Us Blog!