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Pi Day Math Stations for Middle School

Pi Day was awesome this year ūüôā

A few weeks before Pi Day I realized I had a LOT of options for what to do in class, and that many of them tied in well with history, science, english, music, PE, etc.  So I emailed all the other teachers to ask if they wanted to join the Pi Day celebration.  About half of them did.

In science they talked about Einstein (who was born on Pi Day).

In English they read Sir Cumference and the 1st Round Table.  They also did Pi poetry.  (first word has three letters, 2nd has 1, third has 4, etc.)

In history they learned about the history of the number pi.

I was planning to as parents to bring pie, but the PTO offered to get pie for everyone! ¬†They got the “cutie pies” that are just individual servings already pre-packaged and everyone got one at lunch. ¬†Easiest way to serve Pi day pie ever!

In math I had 7 stations set up.

Stations 1-3 were from Yummy Math! If you teach math you really need a subscription to their lesson plans.  My students love them, and the subscription is cheap.  Lots of good lesson plans out there, but many are way too pricey for me.  Not these ones!

The Yummy Math Pi Day lessons included:

1) Archimedes method for calculating pi

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2) Comparing some of the more common approximations of pi

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3) Finding pi by measuring circumference and diameter of circular objects (keep lids from your food!), then dividing circumference by diameter.

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My other stations included:

4) 50 fun facts about pi, read them and tell me your favorite one

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5) Read a Sir Cumference book (the rest of the series, other than the one I lent to the English teacher) and tell me what you learned

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5) reflecting pi – 3.14 backwards looks like the word pie!

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7) Buffon’s needle experiment. ¬†I put lines on a large¬†piece¬†of butcher’s paper for this one. ¬†The lines were exactly as far apart as a popsicle stick. ¬†They dropped about 15 at a time.

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I used these stations with 6th-9th grade and it worked great for all of them.  For 6th-8th they could pick any station to work at as long as they were working the whole time.  I encouraged them to try at least 3, but if they were really excited about one of the stations, they could stay there.  9th grade had to do station #6 (reflecting 3.14 over a diagonal line) then could pick anything else.

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