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Pi Day in a Middle School Classroom

It seems like March 14th always comes at a time when students (and teachers!) are in need of a break from the normal routine! Celebrating Pi Day on 3/14 in the middle school classroom can be a great way to take a step back from whatever unit you are in and have some fun! Here are a few ideas to help explore this intriguing number!

1. Read "Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi"
This book, written by Cindy Neuschwander, is such a great introduction to pi each year. It has become tradition to start off the class by reading this book to the class. I love how the book dives into what the number pi is and how it relates to circles.

2. Pi Day Challenge
As you may know, I like making classroom activities into challenges. This free Pi Day Challenge helps students understand that pi is a ratio between circumference and diameter. In this activity, groups must measure these lengths using a ruler and yarn. Once measured, they divide their measurements to see which group can get the closest to 3.1415...!

3. Numberphile Pi Videos
I am so glad I discovered this site. They have some amazing videos that explore a wide range of mathematical concepts. Although some of these go above and beyond middle school math, these two Pi Day videos are great! The "Mile of Pi" follows them stretching out the digits of pi, in fine print, for one mile on an airport runway. The second video I always show is "Calculating Pi with Pies," pi is measured and calculated with actual pies. Students always enjoy watching both of these!

4. Digits of Pi
If you are in need of a time filler on Pi Day, this simple idea is fun for students. Give each student a blank piece of paper. Then give each student a digit of pi, starting at the beginning. For example, the first student gets 3, the second student gets 1, the third student 4, etc. Each student must create, design, and color their number. Once they are all finished, I post them around the room, creating the digits of pi. This is even more fun if you have multiple classes, since each class can pick up where th last class left off!