Friday, March 13, 2015

Planning Pi Day in the Primary Classroom

Hello there!  I'm Pamela Wendt from Hedgehog Reader, and I am absolutely delighted to be the guest blogger today on Who's Who and Who's New!

It's Almost Pi Day!

Tomorrow is being hailed as the most epic Pi Day of the century, thanks to the date aligning so perfectly with the first five digits of this most famous irrational number:

(Adorable clip art and font credit to Krista Wallden and Kimberly Geswein)
Although the fact that Pi Day falls on a Saturday this year pretty much eliminates celebrating with our kids on the actual day, those always-ready-for-a-holiday youngsters are not going to mind one little bit that the festivities occur a day early or two days late!

Planning for Pi Day

There are a gazillion Pi Day ideas, activities, and lesson plans out there to choose from, so I wanted to put together a one-stop post of how I plan the day.  I hope that there might be something here that helps save you a little time!

First, I establish the length of the period.  Typically I will spend only one day for an observance like Pi Day, but I do allow for some activities to trickle into another day if necessary.  (This is especially true of writing activities, or visual arts - activities in which students are particularly self-paced and often requiring adequate production time.)

Next, I find it easiest to organize my thoughts - as well as the wonderful ideas out there on Pinterest and other treasure troves - into a graphic organizer.  I've always been a fan of Multiple Intelligences, so that is the foundation of my structure, but I've modified the categories to fit my needs.  For instance, bodily-kinesthetic becomes "movement," and verbal-linguistic is divided into "literature" and "writing." 

I've created a freebie based on the graphic organizer I use for my own planning.  Please feel free to click and download it from my store:

Pi Day Plans Galore

Here are some ideas (and links gleaned from Pinterest) for each region of the graphic organizer to help inspire your own creativity.  This is only the tippy-top tip of a very huge iceberg, so have fun exploring as these links will undoubtedly lead you to even more!

Literature - 

Writing - 

Author's Purpose - What better day to refresh our understanding of Persuade, Inform, and Entertain?

Another fun activity is to write haiku based on circles, pi, and other related content.

Math - 

Cutting Pi - a hands-on look at the relationship between a circle's circumference and its diameter
How to Teach Pi to Little Ones can be adapted for all grade levels

Science - 

Social Studies - 

Movement - 

Introduce vocabulary and discuss concepts with this Fun with Balls and Hoops activity

Music - 

Art - 

Group - 

Mnemonic Devices - A fun independent or small-group activity would be to come up with tricky ways to remember the value of pi.

Self - 

Other Notes - 

Many Teachers Pay Teachers stores will celebrate Pi Day with a sale tomorrow.  This graphic will take you to a clickable download created by Bethany Lau of Science and Math with Mrs. Lau:

Pi Day is also the birthday of Albert Einstein, so there are some fun tie-ins there.  I will leave you with one of my favorite Pinterest finds for Pi Day this year:

Happy Planning, and Happy Pi Day!


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