Consider kicking off Pi Day class with a fun, instructional video on Pi! I love this Math Bites with Danica McKellar video all about pi; It’s funny, light-hearted, relatable, and most of all informative and really helps students understand the concept of pi; it really gets the point across that pi is an irrational number. Plus, it’d be the perfect time to serve up and eat some Pi Day treats!
Pi Doodle Notes
If you’ve tried doodle notes, you already know kids love them! They are the perfect blend of creativity and rigor; doodle notes activate the left and right sides of the brain, which improves memory and retention. To read more about the many benefits of doodle notes, go here!
These Pi Doodle Notes are perfect for Pi Day or anytime! Here’s what it includes:
- approximations of Pi
- definition of "irrational"
- meaning / utility of the number Pi
- room for a history fact about Pi
- room for a formula that includes Pi
Pi Day Stations
My favorite way to set up class on Pi Day is implementing Pi Day Stations. I have a post about how I plan and manage the perfect Pi Day using stations, here.
I wanted to structure the class period so that the learning activities could run themselves, while I monitored and served pie to the students. Here are the stations I came up with:
I settled on the idea of stations, or centers, that would cover all the activities I wanted to do. This filled the time so nicely. No time was wasted. (As always, I am all about KEEPING the rigor, even on a fun day!) Plenty of learning was accomplished, but students still felt the joy of a fun celebration day.
For station 1, I laid out a bunch of different round objects, and had kids measure with string. They recorded their observations for a few and then derived an estimate for pi.
In Station 2, students receive a Pi Fact Sheet with fun tidbits about pi and its history. Using the sheet, they are asked to develop something creative to share a few of the facts. It can be a poem, song, graphic, etc....
I leave out special Pi-themed paper for drawing or writing. I also set out some blank white paper, so each student can choose.
Stations 3, 4, and 6 are fun worksheet-style stations. Students do a word search in one. In another, they apply pi to determine what size pizza is the best deal by finding price per square inch of pizza. The 3d one focuses on a spherical ball.
For Station 5 students read books about Pi; my favorite one is Sir Cumference!
You can purchase it (affiliate link):here.
Most students, if asked their favorite part of Pi Day will be quick to answer with, “The food!” After all, they probably don’t normally get the chance to eat anything in class, let alone sweet treats.
I discovered the coolest item at Kroger a few days ago- miniature individual pies! Avoid the mess and hassle of serving pies or other foods, and give students the choice to eat their favorite pie! I found mine at Kroger, for only a dollar, but I also saw these pies on Walmart’s website for only 50 cents! Create a signup sheet for students to choose which flavor of pie they want, and then ask students to chip in $$$!
Get Students Laughing with Pi Jokes
It’s always a good idea to begin class with some smiles and laughter! Break out a few of these hilarious and dorky Pi jokes throughout the class period, and set the mood for the class period. Here are some favorites:
Reading this too Late? Pin It for Next Year:
I hope you try one or more of these ideas! Don’t forget to plan your Pi Day the right way- Check out Perfecting Pi Day for my tips and tricks for planning the perfect day and avoiding my previous mistakes!
Do you have anything awesome planned for Pi Day? We’d love to hear in the comments below!
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