March 14 is one of my favorite days of the year. Why, you ask??? March 14 is otherwise known as Pi Day. Get it??? 3.14 = March 14. Fun, right?
On Pi Day of years past, my 6th graders at Walnut Elementary Education Center in Turlock, CA, learned a great deal about pi and its importance in our mathematics system. Not only that…they had fun doing it!
The focus of our day was not on memorizing the digits of pi and the formulas we use it in; but rather, deeply understanding the meaning of pi and its uses.
Below are the activities the students participated in throughout the day:
- Creating a presentation (American Pi Presentation) for the entire school using a song (American Pi) we found online.
- Exploring the applications of pi by determining the circumference and diameter of an actual mini pie.
We used this document (Pi(e) Exploring) to record our thinking:
- Dressing up in “pi” clothing. Here are some of my favorites!
- Holding a “pi” memorizing contest-The winner memorized 35 places past the decimal! Not surprisingly-They won a pie!
- Reading Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi
- Making Pi Day bracelets with our buddy classroom
We used this worksheet to record our Pi Day bracelet work:
Here is the link to the original source:
This day is truly the Christmas of math lovers. What I like most about this day is the opportunity for students to see math as interactive and fun. In all the years I have celebrated Pi Day with students, I can tell you that not once have I had a student absent on this day. That says something for the power of meaningful math instruction.