Pi Day is one of those “holidays” that I didn’t know about when I was a student. Once I became a teacher and librarian, I now find it to be a glorious holiday that celebrates all things math! I have three traditions that I do every Pi Day to celebrate. I make a delicious Lemon Meringue pie that I share with my teachers, I eat a pizza “pi” with my family, and I make Pi Day necklaces with my students. A Pi Day necklace is a low cost and no tech activity that can help students better understand the infinite number pattern!
Here’s a list of the supplies you’ll need to make the Pi Day necklace:
- Color Beads
- Pi written out to the 40th number (Feel free to go longer or shorter depending on your age group. I have noticed with my middle school students that 40 is about as long as it will hold their attention.) Shortcut: 3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197
- Number to Color Key (I have a free downloadable version on STEM Universe here.)
Incorporating Literature into Pi Day
Get students pumped about Pi! In the days ahead of Pi day start explaining to students what Pi is. One of my favorite books to read is Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi by Cindy Neuschwander. Being a librarian, I love to find any and every way to integrate literature with math and this story is hilarious, full of riddles, dragons, and math!
Celebrate Pi Day
Set a date to celebrate! Pi day (for my district) is often during spring break, so I usually pick a date before Pi Day to celebrate with the students so they can wear their necklaces on actual Pi Day. I invite all students, teachers, and admininstrators to come to the event.
Make Pi Day Necklaces
Once the actual day arrives, have all your materials set out and steps for your students written out so they can have time to create their necklace. I use the Number to Color Key for it to move quicker, but I have had students create their own key and then challenge their friends to find out which color is which number. While the students are working, I like to read off Pi facts, quiz them to see how many digits of Pi they actually know, and have a game of concentration where we name off different kinds of pie.
Don’t forget to take lots of pictures! It is so much fun to see all the students with their final products!