Making Pi Day Count: Creative Classroom Celebrations

Lauren Kelly

Associate Product Marketing Manager, K-12 Core Math • National Geographic Learning | Cengage

As Pi Day approaches, it’s time to dust off our protractors, sharpen our pencils, and get ready to celebrate the most irrational of numbers in the most rational of ways! Pi Day, celebrated on March 14th (3/14), is an opportunity for us to infuse our classrooms with fun, creativity, and mathematical exploration. Allow me to share some ideas on how to make Pi Day a memorable and educational experience for your students:

Discovering Pi

Gather an assortment of circular items like canned goods and paper plates. Students can measure the diameter and circumference of each object using rulers or tape measures. Guide them through dividing the circumference by the diameter and observe their excitement as they consistently approach 3.14. To conclude the activity, measure and enjoy some round treats together, such as cookies or donuts.

Pi Day Storytime

Read aloud math-themed books or stories that highlight the importance of pi or circles in everyday life. Happy Pi Day to You! by Bonnie Worth is a fun read-aloud that explores circles. After the story, facilitate a discussion about the mathematical concepts introduced in the book and how they relate to Pi Day. Get kids engaged by making Pi Day hats from disposable pie plates, just like the characters in the book!

Pi Memorization Contest

Challenge your students to see who can memorize the most digits of pi. Host a competition in class to see who can recite the most digits accurately. You might be surprised at how competitive and enthusiastic your students can get! Host a lunchtime or after-school pizza pi party for the winner’s class!

Pi Day Games and Activities

Incorporate pi-themed games and activities into your lesson plans. From Pi Day Bingo to Pi Day dice and card games, there are plenty of fun and engaging ways to reinforce mathematical concepts while celebrating the occasion. In my classroom, I hosted a bracket-style Pi Day Dice Tournament, where students raced to roll the first five digits of pi in order. For this game, all you need is dice and a template (optional), which can be downloaded here!


Pi Day Posters or Presentations

Have students design posters showcasing the significance of pi. They can research its history, applications in real life, interesting facts, and include illustrations related to pi and circles. Incorporate technology by having students create digital presentations or videos about pi.

Remember, the goal of Pi Day celebrations is not only to have fun but also to foster a love and appreciation for mathematics in your students. Embrace your creativity and let the pi-themed festivities begin! Wishing you a Happy Pi Day from National Geographic Learning and Big Ideas Learning!

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