happy Pie die with pie symbol made out of pie March 13, 2017

Pi Day

As a math teacher, Pi Day has always been a day to celebrate. It falls on March 14th and is celebrated all over the world. The math constant Pi is used for many math calculations, but is often times memorized or pushed on a calculator instead of proven. Most people don't know that Pi is a mathematical constant that is calculated by taking the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter (3.14159...).

In order to celebrate Pi Day, I like to do an activity that is fun to do in a homeschool family.
First, you will need to find circular objects around the house. For example, the bottom of a laundry basket, the top of a cup, a bowl, a tire, etc. This could also be an opportunity to bake a pie together as a family and practice math using measurements. And you will have a treat in the end. Yum!

Second, you will need a piece of paper, pencil, calculator, and flexible measuring tape. Remember that the measuring tape will be going around a circle.

Third, you will go around measuring all the circular items you accumulated. Measure the circumference of the circle, and write down the measurement. Then, measure the diameter of the circle and write down the measurement. (Note that this only works if measurements are near exact). Make sure to be consistent with the measurements you plan on using like inches or centimeters.

Lastly, once all measurements have been made, you will take the calculator and divide the measurement of the circumference by the measurement of its diameter for each circular object.

You will see that no matter what circular item you choose, all calculations will lead you to prove that Pi= C/D = 3.14159. All calculations should be very close to Pi, otherwise you know you made a mistake when measuring and should try the measurement again.

This activity reinforces for homeschool families just how easy it is to work mathematics into everyday learning while at the same time having fun and sharing a treat together. I hope you all enjoy Pi Day!