Celebrating Pi Day at School
One of my favorite math holidays is Pi Day (March 14th, in honor of 3.14). Although, in my house we treat it more like PIE Day! Typically, we have chicken pot pie (our favorite!) for dinner, and then some other form of pie for dessert. However, for teachers, celebrating Pi Day can be fun in the classroom as well. Since this fun day is just around the corner, today I wanted to share some Pi Day ideas for the classroom.
If your students are too young to learn about the actual number pi (which, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, they probably are!), that’s okay! Pi Day doesn’t have to be just about the number! Anything activities that have to do with circles – or pie – will work! Here are a few of my favorite ideas.
Note: This year (2020), Pi Day is on a Sunday. However, if desired, you can celebrate on Friday or Monday instead! Or, just file this post away for next year.
Pi Day Ideas
Read a Sir Cumference Book
Math stories are a great way to engage your students and pique their interest in a new math concept. The Sir Cumference books would be perfect for Pi Day! Not all Sir Cumference books are specifically about circles or geometry, but Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi would be a great choice for celebrating Pi Day!
Note: The reading level for Sir Cumference books is placed at ages 8-12! So, your students don’t have to understand pi in order to enjoy this book.
Make a Venn Diagram
Pi Day doesn’t have to just be celebrated in math! Venn diagrams can be used in any subject. Pi Day would be a great day to use Venn diagrams to compare things in different subjects. You can also talk to your students about how Venn diagrams are made out of two circles, that when overlapped, form 3 different sections.
Learn About Circles
In math class, Pi Day would be a great opportunity to learn about circles and what special shapes they are. They have no sides, no angles – they aren’t even polygons! Circles are definitely a unique shape. Go on a circle scavenger hunt to find things around the room that are made of circles. Do a circle craft. You can find lots of circle activities with a quick search on Pinterest!
Make a Pie Chart
Making a pie chart is another great idea for celebrating Pi Day in the classroom! Show them some examples of pie charts, then create your own! Survey the students in your class and model filling in the pie chart. Then, have students create their own survey and make their own!
Since pie charts in general may be a little advanced for your students, I would suggest preparing for this ahead of time. Provide students with a copy of a circle divided into the same number of parts as you have students (20 parts if you have 20 students). Then, as you model, show them how each part represents one student. Students can survey their class about various things, and color in their pie chart accordingly.
Learn about Fractions with Pie
Of course, it wouldn’t be Pi Day without some actual pie! If you are able, bring actual pie for your students, and use it in a fractions lesson! Talk about how to divide circles into equal parts, and compare different amounts of pie. But of course – don’t forget to eat it when you’re done! Pizza can also be a great option, since technically, it’s a pie, too!
If you aren’t able to bring actual pie, consider still using the visual by using pie clipart or drawing it yourself. It’s not as tasty – but still impactful!
How will you be celebrating Pi Day in your classroom? Share your ideas in the comments!
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