Pi Day is the biggest mathematical holiday that is celebrated in my middle school. Years ago, I had students bring in pies and we did a few fun pi day activities in my own classroom. Today, students at my school bring in pies and, along with the many pi day activities taking place in individual classrooms, over 1,000 students celebrate by eating pie at lunchtime. PTA volunteers usually help to organize and distribute the pies.
Pi Day Plans, Activities, Videos, and More
The purpose of this post is to share with you some ideas that you might like to use in your classroom on Pi Day (March 14 – the date that corresponds to the first 3 digits of pi). I will include links to two fun pi videos that I plan to share in my class, funny pi cartoons, and a link to the simple activity that I use to help students discover pi for themselves.
Determining Pi Using Pies Video
In the following 3-minute video from Numberphile’s YouTube channel the narrator uses pies as a unit of measure to determine the circumference and diameter of a large circle. Then he divides circumference by diameter to determine pi. His results are very accurate. Very creative! Using pies to determine pi! (Note: You must have access to YouTube at your school to view these in class.)
Pi Video starring Danica McKellar from Math Bites
In this 6-minute YouTube video Danica McKellar shares interesting facts about pi in a creative, engaging way. Of course you should preview it first to see if it meets your classroom needs.
My Pi Day Board on Pinterest
So far I have collected 16 pins (and counting) that can be used on Pi Day. The above videos are included on my Pi Day Pinterest Board as well as quite a few humorous posters and cartoons that can by projected before your class for a few laughs and fun. Enjoy! (Note: requires access to Pinterest which could be blocked by your district.)
Discovering Pi Day Printable Activity
Discovering Pi Day is a simple activity that I developed years ago to help students discover where pi comes from. Many of my students could not explain what pi was or where it came from. Thus, I created this activity where students use string to measure the circumference of several circles, measure the diameter, and then divide the circumference by the diameter. I enjoy watching the light bulbs go on as students realize that each quotient comes out to be very close to 3.14 or pi! Click here to access Discovering Pi Day for free.
How I Plan to Celebrate Pi Day
As is the custom at our school, students will be given a Pi Pass if they donate a pie in the morning on Pi Day. The Pi Pass entitles students to be released from class to go to lunch 5 minutes early so that they have first choice of pie. Our math teachers also give students a few extra credit points for donating a pie. For your convenience I have included a link to a Pi Pass that you can use in your school. You can download the Pi Pass here. It was created by one of the teachers at my school and she was happy to share it with you. Each copied sheet can be cut into four Pi Passes.
In my classroom I plan to show the two pi videos listed above, project some of the pi humor found on my Middle School Pi Day Pinterest board, and have students complete the Discovering Pi Day activity. Perhaps one or more of these activities will be helpful to you in your classroom. I hope so!
How Do You Celebrate Pi Day?
If you celebrate Pi Day in your classroom we would love to hear what activities or ideas you have for making the day special and memorable for students. You can share your ideas in the comment box below. Your first comment on DigitalLesson.com is moderated to prevent spam, but your comment will appear as soon as it has been reviewed.
Thank you and Happy Pi Day!