3 (.14) Math Activities to Celebrate Pi Day
Watch the WWLP News Channel 22’s Mass Appeal segment featuring the Community Classroom below.
Math Activity 1: Play Which One Doesn’t Belong
One of our favorite books in the Classroom is Which One Doesn’t Belong, a book by math teacher Christopher Danielson that poses puzzles to adults and children alike.
To play: When looking at a set of objects, each person is encouraged to choose the object that they feel doesn’t belong, explaining their reasoning. Best part? There are multiple right answers!
You can find more Which One Doesn’t Belong here. We designed one just for Pi Day and St. Patrick’s Day. Which one doesn’t belong with a green leprechaun hat, a green shamrock, a rainbow, and a white diamond. (Possible answers: The hat is not organic/of the earth, the diamond does not have any green like the others, the rainbow is the only one with multiple colors, the rainbow is the only one that can’t be held in a person’s hands.)
Why we love it: This is all based on math debate and can be accessed by kids (and adults) of all ages. Plus, we love to dirty up a sidewalk with a pack of chalk and these!
Math Activity 2: Play Numboo
Developed by Community Classroom lead tutor Christina Webster, this game is a mash-up of celebrating Pi Day and Taboo. You can actually do this with any set of numbers!
To play: One or more players are moving the number cards, one person is the caller and gives clues (without saying the actual number). Place the digits in pi in front of the players. The players must try to place the digits of pi in order. When they need a clue, they can ask the caller. The caller can give a clue but may not say the actual number.
Why we love it: You can play this game at any age. Toddlers? Try using shapes and colors. And you don’t have to use it just to celebrate Pi Day, but use it any time of year.
Math Activity 3: Explore a Mobius strip.
A Mobius strip is a rectangular piece of paper that has very interesting properties—it has no beginning, no end, and just one side. It has some similarities to pi!
To create one: Take a long, rectangular strip of paper. Twist one side of it ½ times, then tape the ends together to form a circular shape. Ask your children: What do you notice? What do you wonder?
Why we love it: Because it’s cool! It has such fascinating properties, such as no end and no beginning, and having one side. You can also have fun with it no matter the age of your child or students: you can get in some REALLY deep conversations about this enigma! Read more about the fun you can have with Mobius strips in this Smithsonian article.
Okay, we have two bonus math activities for you!
Create a Free Little Math Library. We are celebrating the grand opening of our Little Free Math Library in Florence, MA, on Pi Day. The Math Library will offer families and children in the community access to check out free math games that they wouldn’t necessarily have at home. Find out more here!
Design with tangrams. We have created a giant set of tangrams to use in the Classroom and at our Pi Day Celebration, and we have smaller sets available for use in the Classroom as well. Tangrams are made of 7 polygons (shapes) that can be used to create a variety of images and larger shapes. They help kids develop a stronger spatial sense and geometric concepts.
And a curated Pi Day playlist for kids!
Looking for more math activities? Check out: