Pi Day .

Date March 2006
Class Math classes, school, and community
Teacher Patti Bailey

Pi Day was a huge success!  Not only did the students get involved, but so parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles.  The models of pi brought in by students included welding, cutting with a blowtorch and a chain saw, cross-stitching, string art, a glass mosaic, as well as paper models.  There were several songs that were written as parodies to well-known songs and then some of the students even sang them for the class.  These were a great addition to the day!  Several poems were written to tell others about the usefulness of pi.  The final culmination was on Pi Day, March 14 (3.14).  Over 80 pies were brought by the students to be shared with all.  There were several community members that came to enjoy the day with us as well as admire the work of the students.  When asked if we should do this again next year, there was overwhelming support for it! 

Students learned many things, not only about pi, but also from interacting with those that helped them do their projects.  It was amazing how much the students remembered about pi when it was time to take their quiz.  They actually remembered a lot of the questions.  It was also neat to see that when they were eating their pie, they just sat and visited.  I was expecting them to kind of be bouncing off of the walls and they handled themselves quite well.  They remained quiet, were polite and had great discussions. 

Changes for next year….more pre-teaching so that when community members come in, the students will give the tour of the room and explain projects.  I will give ONE assigned project per class rather than having them pick 5 to do….that was quite overwhelming.  If I do the chain again, I will have to make parameters on it, even though I hate to stifle the excitement of it!  I had several that were well over a thousand long….the longest chain was 3,800!!!  Finding a place to put this became an issue!!    Students not in my class will be issued a ticket of some sort so they don’t just randomly come in.  This started causing much wandering the halls by the end of the day. 

This activity didn’t come directly from the Algebraic Thinking and Data Analysis class, however, had I not taken it, I would not have met Lanette who introduced me to the idea, so I decided that this would be an OK topic for the month of March since it was the highlight of the month!!! 
Date March 2006
Class Math classes, school, and community

Cassandra Joseph


I decided to celebrate PI Day with my students this year.  A week before I explained what PI Day was and that we would spend the period working with circles and if they would like they could bring a circular treat to eat during class that day.

On PI Day their bell ringer was to divide out 22/7, I then had them compare their answer to what I had printed out from the PIDAY.ORG website.  We talked about why the 2 were slightly different and why we use an approximation sometimes.

Next we discussed how to find area and circumference of a circle and did a few sample problems.  I had a short two-sided worksheet on circumference and area that had riddles on them (so that when they finished the worksheet they had the answer to the riddle).  I only let them use calculators for 10 minutes of class otherwise they had to work out the problems on their own. 

At the end of the period we went over the riddles and then I had a news story I read to them about a teacher being arrested for carrying weapons of “Math Instruction”, which they got a groan out of!

While they were working on their worksheets they could eat their circular treats and I had some “School House Rocks” songs (mainly the math ones) playing in the background.

The kids enjoyed the day for the most part, they still had to do work, but they didn’t have homework and they got to eat in class.  Most students finished the worksheet in Pre-Algebra, but many of my math 8 students needed more time. 

For next year I would like to stretch it out into other classes and maybe make a short interdisciplinary unit out of the day.  We will have to wait and see what next year brings, but I will definitely do PI Day again!