Pi Day is one of my favorite days of the year, and it is quickly approaching. On March 14, we get to celebrate Pi Day in math class, and that’s one of the best days by far. Not only do we get to celebrate something in math and have pie, but we get to teach kids that math is more than just numbers and equations and that is cool.
At my school, we have a whole afternoon devoted to Pi Day. Each teacher at our grade level takes on 3-4 activities and the students not only rotate through activities, but they also rotate through the rooms. So each student gets to engage in at least 9 Pi Day station activities each year. Between that and the fact that almost everyone wears a Pi Day shirt, which our math director designs, the day is epic. Here’s an example of our typical setup.
Pi Day Station for Crafts
We usually have one teacher that enjoys crafts more than the others, so he or she takes on most of the craft-related activities.
In their room, they may have the following Pi Day stations
- Make a paper chain with colored rings related to the digits of pi
- Make a necklace, keyring, or bracelet with colored beads related to the digits of pi
- Create circle art following the digits of pi.
- Complete a crossword or word search puzzle with terms related to pi and circles
Creative Outlets for Pi
For another Pi Day station, we usually have another teacher that often doesn’t mind a little chaos and noise in their room. As a result, they tend to get the following station stops.
- A round table buffet with foods that are round
- A piano or synthesizer marked with keys as numbers and students play the digits of pi as a musical piece
- Graphing the first 100 digits of pi
- A basic measurement station where students measure the diameter and the circumference and then try to figure out the ratio between the two – which is obviously pi.
The third teacher’s room tends to be based more on exploration and inquiry, and it has activities that line up with that premise. In this room, students may see the following Pi Day station rotations
- Test the magical ratio with polygons just as Archimedes himself had done
- Play with moebius strips and see how they react when twisted in different loops various times
- Discover the relationship between parallelograms and circles
- Finally, if you have the time, space, patience, and responsible students, an experiment with Buffon’s Needle is an interesting look at pi and probability.
I hope you have an amazing Pi Day educating your students on the wonders of Pi.
What are you doing to celebrate Pi Day this year? Let me know in the comments.