Tag Archives: Pi Day

Be Irrational – Celebrate Pi Day with your Students

pi day image

Here are some of the documents that I shared during my half of the Pi Day presentation at globalmath (2/26/2013).

Here is a copy of my powerpoint that I used.  I’m not one that likes to put everything I am going to say on a slide and then just read it – so either watch the recording of globalmath or read my notes that are available for each slide (or I guess read what I wrote below since I seemed to explain everything there as well – sorry).  Hopefully it will make more sense.

With so much going on during the actual day I need students (and parents) help.  To make sure everyone has a job and feels involved I use a sign up sheet.  Each hour has their own sign up sheet and everyone must sign up for something, but they can certainly sign up for more than one thing.  Generally after students have put their name down, I will email parents a little information and remind them to ask their child what they signed up for!  I could just see my son signing up to bring a  pi and not telling me until March 13th!!!

I want to remind everyone a lot of these ideas did not come from me, but unfortunately I can not remember who the presenter was at a NCTM conference that I got all this great information from.  If that person ever reads this – please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due.  The best thing, in my opinion I got from that presentation was the 10,000 digits of pi activity.  Here is the nicely set up document that allows you to put 10,000 digits of pi in your school.  I used adding machine tape for kids to write on.  Don’t kid yourself.  This will take some prep time – 1) cut strips of adding machine tape – I used 10 tiles worth in my classroom for each strip.  2) Students will need to write their numbers – which is where this lovely document comes in handy. 3) You will need to tape all of the strips together – in the right order (well actually no one will probably notice) and hang them up.  This is where you will need a system and a few extra hands.  But to me it was worth it walking down the hallway listening to everyone comment about it.

Another thing I enjoy doing is a Pi Day scavenger hunt.  Students don’t need to go around looking for things for this scavenger hunt – they need to search in the digits of pi for certain things.  Here is the scavenger hunt questions I use.  Obviously you will need to change a few things since I’m guessing your students won’t care where my husband’s birthday falls first in pi!  The best thing I use the scavenger hunt for is determining who gets pie first.  Not everyone runs to the table to get the pie and it’s not up to me who gets what kind!  (Although if anyone brings a french silk pie – I definitely get first choice!!!)

Final favorite thing that I have done, which I am sure a lot of teachers do something to this effect, is assign each digit of pi a color and then make a paper chain (or a bracelet, etc).  I like the paper chain activity because we then use the chain as a count down to the end of school.  I teach 5 different sections and there will be 40 days left for us after pi day, so our chain will be 200 links long.  Then every hour of every day a student takes a link off.  It is very fun to watch the chain get shorter and shorter as the year winds down.

I would love to hear any of your suggestions/ideas for what you do to make pi day so fun and irrational!


Posted by on February 26, 2013 in Uncategorized