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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation
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7 Classroom Resources for Pi Day

Pi Day is coming on March 14, and the annual celebration offers a great opportunity for students to explore pi and math-related concepts! (Pi Day 2015 is extra special too, thanks to the aligning of the calendar.) Of course, there are plenty of great teaching resources online to help your class celebrate Pi Day, so we thought we'd help you sort through them all.

Here are a few of our favorites from around the web, starting first with an interesting music-related pi lesson, "What Pi Sounds Like," which was produced by musician Michael Blake. This video is a fun resource that can help students of all ages get excited about pi. Happy Pi Day!

  • San Francisco Exploratorium Pi Day Activities: Without the Exploratorium, official Pi Day celebrations might never have happened. In 1988, Exploratorium physicist Larry Shaw started the tradition, and it was finally recognized by Congress in 2009. The Exploratorium highlights some great hands-on activities on their Pi Day page, with links to useful pi-related resources.
     
  • Happy Pi Day, TeachPi.org: TeachPi hosts a trove of Pi Day resources, featuring fun classroom activities, Pi Day-inspired music, and other fun learning ideas. There's plenty here to keep students engaged and learning, on March 14. Check out the activities section for a bunch of great learning ideas.
     
  • Scholastic Pi Day Teaching Ideas: Scholastic produced this list of plans for three different grade spans: preschool - grade 1, grades 2-3, and grades 4-6. The page features interesting information about the history of pi, ideas for activities and a link to a web application for exploring the music of pi. Another great Scholastic resource is: "Writing With Pi."
     
  • PBS LearningMedia Pi-Related Resources: PBS LearningMedia features a great collection of geometry lessons related to pi on their site. These aren't specifically for Pi Day, but they're especially relevant on March 14. Plus, for more math and pi-themed lessons, OER Commons has curated more than 100 resources from a variety of sources.
     
  • What Is Pi, and How Did It Originate?: Scientific American dug deep into the history of pi in this article, offering an insightful look at the origins of the mathematical constant.
     
  • TeachersFirst's Pi Day Resources: TeachersFirst offers this great roundup of pi-themed lessons and resources from around the web, focused primarily on high school. Included in the collection are some general math resources, like Simpsons Math, and they all come from a variety of great sources.
     
  • Pi-Related Resources, Joy Of Pi: Author David Blatner is a pi fanatic, and his website Joy Of Pi features tons of useful and interesting information. Included on the resources page are links to sites that can help you learn the history of pi, how to calculate pi, and mysteries about the number.
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Elana Leoni's picture
Elana Leoni
Director of Social Media Strategy and Marketing @Edutopia, edcamp organizer
Staff

Great resources Matt. I recently compiled a Math Rules! Pinterest Board that has some of the best resources around the Web that you can use to celebrate the day: http://pinterest.com/edutopia/math-rules/.

Enjoy!

Big-Brained Superhero's picture
Big-Brained Superhero
On a mission to tap into the hidden strengths that all young people have th

Some great resources here! Though that video is exactly the kind of thing that, had I watched it as a kid, would have convinced me that I was horrible at math. The explanations went way too fast and Max was way too capable of comprehending them on the first go-round. It seems that, sometimes, by presenting an idealized version of learning and glossing over the lengthy and challenging processes that it involves, we may be simply reinforcing the idea that some kids are capable and others are not. Possibly even making those who have to struggle a bit more than Max does in that video feel "stupid". Possibly.

We, in The Big-Brained Superheroes Club, are celebrating "March Mathness" this month. We're going to try to make it a yearly thing. Just to spread the Math word, if possible.

Visnos Mathematics's picture
Visnos Mathematics
Founder and Developer of Visnos visual numbers website

Thanks Matt
Perhaps you can add this resource
http://www.visnos.com/demos/pi

It explains PI by using a regular polygon, as the number of sides increases the polygon approximates to a circle. So if the polygon is opened you can measure its perimeter against a ruler with is equal to 2π

KenyaSchoolReport's picture
KenyaSchoolReport
Helping schools in Kenya with resources for 21st Century learning

We have also listed 100's of other resources at kenyaschoolreport.com/resources.

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