Celebrating Pi Day in Secondary Math

Taking an entire class period away just to celebrate Pi Day? That sounds crazy right? You don't have to take an entire class period if you honestly cannot make up that time but here are a few ways you can easily incorporate Pi Day celebrations into your routine that can be as simple as a warm-up or as an early finisher activity.
Here is how it went down in my classes this year:

I displayed this quote from Albert Einstein in my lightbox. Click here to get these for your lightbox!

1. A Read-Aloud
The first thing I did was get out this awesome book from my elementary teaching days. You may think it is silly to read a picture book to older students but you would be surprised at how attentive they are! I walk around my classroom and hold the book up high so all can see. I get really expressive when reading the book which seems to keep them engaged. It only takes a few minutes to read this book and you can have this as your warm-up for the day if you are crunched for time.

2. Discovery of Pi (How is it derived?)
My Aunt has been a math teacher forever! She even taught me in middle school! She handed down this giant box of wooden circles to me 10 years ago! Can you find the carving of 1985 with 2nd period in the picture? I have students work with a partner to derive pi using these circles and yarn. You simply give each group some yarn, a wooden block, and a pair of scissors. Students will wrap the yarn around the circumference of the circle. They will then see how many diameters of their circle they can cut from their circumference. The students will find that they can only get 3 full diameters and will have a small piece of yarn leftover. This represents the 3.14159...Each group will get the same thing no matter how big or small their circle. They will discover that the formula for pi is circumference divided by the diameter. You can use any circular object you can find in your room (Pringles lids, coffee lids, cup bottoms, cans, etc.) or have students bring in something round! I unwrap some yarn and roll it around my fingers so it is quicker for students to grab.

Watch this quick video of how to complete this activity!

3. Investigate Pi 
I created some quick anchor charts for each class period and drew a big pi symbol in the corners (a different color for each class). I displayed this awesome Pi Day Investigation FREEBIE from To The Square Inch on my board so I didn't have to make copies. Students were given time to use tablets, computers, or their phones to find answers to the questions. Each group had to choose 3-5 questions to answer from the list and then write their answers on the chart paper. I hung the charts in the hallway so other students could read about Pi Day! Click here to get this free activity!

4. Pi Day Coordinate Graphing
If there is time left I have students work on the Pi Day Coordinate Graphing Mystery Picture. These make great classroom or hallway decorations and give students the chance to work on their graphing skills. Click here to get this for your students!

See time lapse below of the Pi Day Mystery Picture!

Here are a few more ideas from my math teacher friends to get you going on celebrating pi day in your secondary math classroom! I hope you and your students have fun celebrating the most popular irrational number!!

Adorably Math-y Pi Earrings (perfect for pi day!)
Pi Earrings
(Pi day)  Creating a Chain of Pi
Chain of Pi
Pi Day Challenge - Math in the Upper Grades
Free Pi Challenge
Pi Day Activities Bundle
Pi Activities Bundle
Pi Day Activity - Task Cards
Pi Task Cards

No comments:

Post a Comment