Did you celebrate Pi day?

Pi day is my favorite mathematical holiday of the year!  It is celebrated on March 14th because pi is approximated by 3.14 (get it?!).  As a self proclaimed math dork, I have always had fun, nerdy shirts that I would purchase to wear on “casual Fridays” and I started a tradition of buying a new pi shirt each year for pi day pretty early.  My favorite place to buy my pi shirts is from Digby at TheScienceTeecher.  I met him once at a VCTM (Virginia Council for Teachers of Mathematics) Conference and we hit it off pretty well.  He’s a super cool math nerd too!  I’ve also purchased some shirts from the daily Woot!  $12 for a math  t-shirt is awesome… you just have to buy it that day!
Anywho, here are the pi shirts I own (no I do not wear them all… most are hanging up in my classroom as “posters”)!
My first pi shirt!  The front has the little circle and blue pi symbol on the chest.  Funny story– I wore this shirt one time when I went home to visit my parents.  I was washing dishes and my dad laughed and said, “they made a shirt to fit your personality!”  I replied that I loved the math part of it.  He looked puzzled and then said… “it’s a math shirt?  I just thought the well – rounded and irrational part fit you to a tee!” I wasn’t sure how to respond to that!
My pi shirt for my second year teaching!
3rd year teaching…. glows in the dark!
4th year teaching even though I was working on a grant that year and didn’t get to celebrate with any kiddos!
5th year teaching.  New school.  Convinced every math teacher in my grade level that they needed this shirt!
My 6th year I convinced the math dept they needed shirts… Sadly for me, they picked the Pi al a statistics shirt from year 4.  Sooooo…. I bought a woot shirt but didn’t wear it for pi day… just because!
Year 7.  Actually bought this one for National Talk Like a Pirate Day (yes, that day DOES exist!).  We made out own pi shirts as an Algebra team this year.  Don’t have a pic of it, and gave it away to a student teacher so he would have one for this year!
Year 8… this year!  Needed a colorful and fun shirt!  SUPER PI it is!  The kiddos LOVED this one! BIG BIG HIT!
here you go!  Check out the earrings I was wearing in the pic below!
My amazing mother-in-law always makes the most fun earrings for me to wear! My kiddos constantly comment on my earrings and love to point out when I have new ones… I absolutely ADORE the pair she made me for Christmas!  HUGE hit this year!

Okay, so you want to know what we did for pi day…. sadly, we used SuccessMaker.  It was our day to have the laptop carts so we did our duty… however, on Friday the 15th we did celebrate (Ugh… so wrong, I know… so wrong…)  So tons happened on Wednesday and Friday… and even more will happen on Monday (45 minutes in resource class is just NOT enough!)

Anywho, on Wednesday all of my kiddos got thank-you cupcakes for being so awesome while I was going for a week in Arizona.  

I brought in funfetti cupcakes and they got to choose between chocolate icing and rainbow chip icing.  

Then, MissMathDork taught my kiddos about pi.  Some of the 5th graders had not heard of pi before (other than seeing it hang all over my room).

Get So, you want to be Pi-lingual here!

After they had seen some information on pi, students worked on memorizing the digits.  I heard ton of “this is too hard”, “we can’t do this” and then they heard me say the first 15 numbers and they got excited.  Oh, and I told them the winners would be deemed “Nerds” and get some candy… sad, but true.
She has tons of other fun ideas that I will be using next week as well!  
The top two pi-reciters from each grade level were rewards with a box of Nerds.  I had two 7th graders both recite 35 digits of pi after 20 minutes of “studying”.  Then a weird thing happened… one 5th, 6th and 8th grader recited 26 digits, and one 5th, 6th and 8th grader recited 25….  I was not expecting the digits to all be so close.  It was very cool though.  I made a poster that will be hung up for everyone to see on Monday.
On Friday, we spent some time with 4mulafun’s Pi day Solve and Snip. If you have never used Jenn’s solve and snips before, you are in for a treat!  She pairs fun word, and challenging word problems with a cool theme and provides ALL of the answers.  The kiddos just need to solve, find the answer, snip and glue.  Sounds easy, right?  The activity is… the problems require some thinking!  
The pi day solve and snip was pizza pi related.  These problems are multi-step and require the student to think about what is happening in the real world situation, adapt, then solve. After some encouragement to draw a picture of what was happening, the kids partnered up and started problem solving!
First I had the kiddos cut out all the pieces.  This student decided to put the answers in order from least to greatest.
Then they worked together to draw pictures and solve the problems.  #1 was a dousy!  Most kiddos tried to fin thecircumference… when they couldn’t find the answer we went back and read the story again and thought more deeply about what we were being asked to find.
My 5th graders also decided they needed to bring in round food.  We had an abundance of cupcakes that day!
So, what did you do for pi day?  I’d love to hear your stories or see links to the activities you used!  I’m always looking for new, fun stuff to do with the kiddos!
OH!  Also, which pi shirt is your favorite?  My husband my shirt from this year was his all-time favorite so far!  Would love to hear other opinions!
Categories: holiday, pi activities, and pi day.


  1. I love a few of those pi shirts, but my favorite has to be the first! I like a clever shirt that I can take in “at a glance” because it sticks with me more. I love pi day; it’s one of the few fun days that’s just for the older kids at school! So much of the time they complain, “How come the little kids get to…” But not when they get pie! 😀

  2. Wow, y’all really had some fun! I really like this year’s shirt but ALSO really like Pi-Lingual shirt. I think next year Miss Math Dork needs to make an appearance on her own shirt!

    And I’m so happy that you were able to use the Solve and Snip! Love seeing it in action!

    Jennifer Smith-Sloane

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