Pi Day Fun!

This Pi Day Fun! activity & project also includes:

In this multi-faceted introduction to pi, participants perform a bevy of pi-related activities. Ranging from measuring household items to singing pi songs and reading pi stories, this fun and non-intimidating resource serves to bring up higher-level concepts (specifically irrational numbers) in an approachable manner.  With many engaging activities that result in tangible products (paper chains, dyed t-shirts, bracelets and baked goodies), participants are sure to remember these concepts long past the end of the unit.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Think about having small groups rotate through the activities
  • Several activities would work as guided/discovery learning with reflection or as follow-up homework/independent practice
  • Many modalities of learning are represented, so allowing students to choose from the activities would serve as self-selecting differentiation of instruction
Classroom Considerations

  • Supplies for some activities (shirts, beads, bleach, etc.) requires advanced procurement and preparation
  • More advanced learners might have deeper questions about irrational numbers than the introductory lesson provides
  • Note that the instructions (page 3 and 4) for accessing mensaforkids.org are outdated
Pros

  • Activities involve many kinds of learners in new ways, using visual and musical cues to convey characteristics of irrational numbers
  • Emphasis on the derivation of pi (circumference to diameter ratios) makes a concrete example of an often abstract quantity
Cons

  • In activity 9, link http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6200593424291031420&hl=en# is non-functional
  • Activity 7 #2 states "Draw a circle with a diameter half that of the pan. You can do this easily by making one side of the square you use to draw the circle (as described in the activity above) the length you want for the diameter." However, no "activity above" exists that provides this information.