TeachersFirst's Pi Day Resources

Other TeachersFirst Special Topics Collections

This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students celebrate Pi Day and everything Pi through related projects and classroom activities. Whether you “circle around” Pi for one class or spend an entire unit on this very special number, the ideas included within the "In the Classroom" portion of reviews will launch discussions and meaningful projects for student-centered learning. Here’s Pi in your eye!

 

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FastFig - The Word Processor for Math - Fig Labs, Inc

Grades
8 to 12
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FastFig is a predictive math computation website. It solves problems as you type, allowing free flow of ideas instead of focusing on the process of math. Create an account using ...more
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FastFig is a predictive math computation website. It solves problems as you type, allowing free flow of ideas instead of focusing on the process of math. Create an account using email, Google, or Facebook. Choose between a blank page or different types of problems such as word problems, algebra, or statistics. Use the search bar to locate options for use such as functions, mode, averages, and much more. Click on the "i" next to each term to view examples and explanations for use. Be sure to view the tutorials for a full overview of capabilities of the site.

tag(s): calculators (31), equations (124), factoring (27), fractions (205), integers (41), mean (24), median (22), mode (14), numbers (176), pi (16), polynomials (26), prime numbers (27), quadratics (28), square roots (22), variables (23), vectors (23)

In the Classroom

Use FastFig to demonstrate solving problems and correct syntax on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for some "backward" teaching. Type in a problem and allow FastFig to solve it. Challenge students to explore the steps required to solve the problem. Share this site with students as a resource for checking homework answers. (It doesn't get them off the hook for providing explanations and step-by-step procedures for solving problems.)

Comments

Hello Amy, Thanks for signing up and trying out FastFig. We've worked out the issues with FireFox, and i apologize for any inconvenience. Please check us out again! We'd love to work with you and tailor the product to better fit the needs of younger students. (On our page navigate to 'More' then to 'Contact' and e-mail us from there) Sincerely, Jay - from the FastFig Team Jay, , Grades: 0 - 12
Was disappointed that it didn't work in Firefox, but once I logged into Internet explorer it was fine. I teach younger students and it's not as useful as it would be for high school students. Amy, NJ, Grades: 1 - 6

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Math Monday - National Museum of Mathematics

Grades
6 to 12
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Math Monday is a weekly column discussing fun, experiential, and puzzling topics in mathematics. Each article takes a math idea, explains the concept, and uses images (and/or videos)...more
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Math Monday is a weekly column discussing fun, experiential, and puzzling topics in mathematics. Each article takes a math idea, explains the concept, and uses images (and/or videos) to put the concept into action. Sample topics include hula hoop geometry, large stars, mathematical quilting, and much more. Subscribe to the RSS feed to view new topics each Monday using the link at the top of the page. (Or add the feed to your Flipboard account if you have a tablet.) There is also a very long list of archives to explore and try!

tag(s): colors (66), fractions (205), geometric shapes (110), origami (14), pi (16), puzzles (175)

In the Classroom

Share articles with students and replicate activities included in the article. Share the video demonstrations on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos after reading articles and attempting activities. Share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Use activities in the article as inspiration for Math night activities or Math Fair projects.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Saxon Math Courses 1, 2, and 3 - Student Activities - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Grades
5 to 9
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Although intended for use with Saxon Math, use these activities as a supplement for any math curriculum. Sorted by grade level, these activities include the specific Saxon Math lesson...more
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Although intended for use with Saxon Math, use these activities as a supplement for any math curriculum. Sorted by grade level, these activities include the specific Saxon Math lesson they follow. Especially interesting are the calculator activities and real world investigations included at each grade level. Easily print these for classroom use in PDF format with the link provided with each activity.

tag(s): calculators (31), charts and graphs (176), coordinates (29), data (130), decimals (110), experiments (64), functions (57), multiples (31), pi (16)

In the Classroom

These activities are ideal for use on your interactive whiteboard or classroom computers to practice math skills. Be sure to look at activities for the grade above and below yours for remediation or enrichment. Share a link to activities on your classroom website or newsletter for practice at home.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Wild About Math - Wild About Math

Grades
6 to 12
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At Wild About Math you will find videos for math (SAT) challenges and several cartoon videos that will make math fun. Open your mind to the wild world of mathematics. ...more
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At Wild About Math you will find videos for math (SAT) challenges and several cartoon videos that will make math fun. Open your mind to the wild world of mathematics. Join Sol Lederman and others in uncovering the math challenges. Challenges, blogs, question areas, math contest information, and mathcasts will appeal to every mathematician. Join the RSS feed to stay in math shape! Search the index on the right to find topics that interest you. Some videos cost money, but the most of the site is free.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): equations (124), pi (16), pythagorean theorem (27), sudoku (17)

In the Classroom

Inspire your students to find joy in math with Sol Lederman. Test your brightest mathematicians or simply add depth to your math curriculum. Use math casts for personal explanations. Encourage students to create their own library of math casts to explain current information. Keep math casts on file to use as student tutoring by yourself as teacher or even for peer tutoring. Follow blog feeds to expand and involve students in even more intriguing problems.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Mr. Honner - Math Appreciation - Patrick Honner

Grades
8 to 12
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Mr. Honner's blog is an entertaining and informative blog related to all things math (particularly high school math). Categories of the blog include Art, Challenge, Geometry, Photography,...more
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Mr. Honner's blog is an entertaining and informative blog related to all things math (particularly high school math). Categories of the blog include Art, Challenge, Geometry, Photography, and Resources. A quick look under each of the topics finds many interesting posts along with pictures of classroom activities and reflections on the learning. Top Posts are listed on the side column for a quick look at what others have found interesting including a mobius battle, math haiku, and a custom pi necklace. Be sure to subscribe to the blog by using the RSS feed link near the top of the page.

tag(s): blogs (74), logic (198), photography (129), pi (16), social networking (96)

In the Classroom

Use this blog as a resource for finding new classroom activities such as the custom pi necklace mathematical Valentine. (Use the search bar near the top of the page to find these items if not found on the home page.) Have students complete activities found on the site and challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here. Share the site with your art teacher for collaborations in art and math classes.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Better Explained Archives - Kalid Azad

Grades
9 to 12
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The main idea of the site is that one needs to understand math; it is not just learned or memorized, and the explanations form the basis of understanding. Topics include ...more
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The main idea of the site is that one needs to understand math; it is not just learned or memorized, and the explanations form the basis of understanding. Topics include Mental Math shortcuts, discovering pi, different bases, and much more. The founder of this site stated: "I want to share hard-won "a ha!" moments in clear and simple language. Even Math shortcuts are fun, I promise." Many of the explanations aren't quite as "clear and simple" as students may like; however, there are a great number of topics explored on the site and they are worth the time to break apart and discuss as a class.

tag(s): exponents (37), mental math (19), number sense (75), pi (16), problem solving (170), pythagorean theorem (27), square roots (22), statistics (100), vectors (23)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Choose the appropriate topic, explore the explanation as a class, and then ask students to provide an explanation in their own words. Challenge students to create their own multimedia presentation of one of the topics presented on the site using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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Pi Day - 314 Solutions, Inc

Grades
7 to 12
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This website aims to be the online hub for everything related to Pi, and to promote fun with math! Although a portion of the site contains links to shopping for ...more
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This website aims to be the online hub for everything related to Pi, and to promote fun with math! Although a portion of the site contains links to shopping for Pi-related items, there are many valuable resources within the site to use in the classroom. Beginners can learn about Pi through the short explanation at the Learn About Pi link. While at this page, be sure to look on the right-hand side for the link of classroom ideas - this link contains many ideas sent in by classroom teachers. Suggestions include eating pie, contests for memorizing the most digits, Pi research ideas, and more. Also be sure to go to the link, Pi Stuff, here you will find videos, music, and more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): pi (16), puzzles (175), vocabulary (302)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students to explore the site on their own or with a group. Use some of the ideas on the site when celebrating Pi Day in your classroom. Share the site with students as a resource for Pi research projects.

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The Joy of Pi - David Blatner

Grades
7 to 12
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Math lovers have been known to celebrate the Joys of Pi, and this website offers many opportunities for celebration! The site is based on David Blatner's book of the same ...more
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Math lovers have been known to celebrate the Joys of Pi, and this website offers many opportunities for celebration! The site is based on David Blatner's book of the same name; however, it contains many links and resources for learning about Pi. The most in-depth portion is the links section which contains a long list of Pi links around the web such as Pi History, Pi Mysteries, and Fun with Pi. Who knows, you may want to follow the link to purchase a Pi tie!

Caution: there is a link to American Pi which is a spoof on the movie, American Pie, and may contain some adult themes.

tag(s): pi (16)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Ask teams to report back on interesting Pi facts or information found. Include this site with your Pi Day celebrations!

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History of Geometry - Cynthia Lanius

Grades
7 to 12
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This site offers an interesting look at the history of geometry. Learn about geometry during the times of the Egyptians, Babylonians, and Greeks, The Fifth Postulate Controversy, The...more
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This site offers an interesting look at the history of geometry. Learn about geometry during the times of the Egyptians, Babylonians, and Greeks, The Fifth Postulate Controversy, The search for Pi, coordinate geometry, non-Euclidian geometry, differential geometry, and fractal geometry. There is also an Assignment link at the bottom of the site. The assignment challenges students to research a famous mathematician. The research links are provided, and some are very lengthy.

tag(s): coordinates (29), pi (16)

In the Classroom

Use this site to help your students understand how geometry has evolved throughout the centuries. Have students work in cooperative learning groups (or independently) to research a mathematician. Challenge students to create a blog entry written from the perspective of the mathematician explaining what they have "discovered."

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WebQuest: Pi - Leigh Ann Forde

Grades
8 to 12
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Celebrate Pi Day (March 14) with this WebQuest! Allow your geometry students to go on a quest to explore 'pi' on the web. Please note: one of the activities requires ...more
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Celebrate Pi Day (March 14) with this WebQuest! Allow your geometry students to go on a quest to explore 'pi' on the web. Please note: one of the activities requires students to have access to the Geometer's Sketchpad Activity Book. However, this activity could easily be skipped. If you are interested in purchasing the book, the ISBN number is #9781559535816. Other assignments include creating a video, writing and essay, and more.

tag(s): pi (16)

In the Classroom

Have students work in cooperative learning groups to complete this Webquest. Share the introduction on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Rather than having students use YouTube to share videos, as the WebQuest suggests, have students try an educational video sharing site such as TeacherTube TeacherTube (explained here). For the Youtube video on the site, teachers whose school filters the site may not be able to access it. Instead, rip the video from a site such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

This simple website should inspire you to make your own WebQuest to invigorate learning. (This one used Googlepages, but there are many other internet hosting sites that offer free or nearly free pages. Learn more about webquests at TeachersFirst's Webquest 101 and read a review of a possible tool, zwebquest, here here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Simpson Math - Dr. Sarah Greenwald and Dr. Ansdrew Nestler

Grades
11 to 12
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Will The Simpsons TV show engage your students? Peruse the site to find examples of Simpson clips that can be used as a springboard for discussions or instruction of math ...more
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Will The Simpsons TV show engage your students? Peruse the site to find examples of Simpson clips that can be used as a springboard for discussions or instruction of math functions. The "Guide to Mathematics and Mathematics on the Simpsons" link includes episodes from each season. Another link, "Girls just want to have Sums," has several math and cognition articles worth reading, and a text transcript of a presentation providing a class example of engaging students using the Simpsons.

Of greater use is the link to "Classroom Activity Sheets" that provides engaging ideas for using Simpsons' scenarios to solve problems in class. Note: These are thought-provoking activities that are open ended and require considerable critical thinking. Examples include: "Are the Simpsons 2D or 3D?", "2D universes," "Pi," "Blackboard Equations," and "The Simpsons Lottery." At the top of the Activity Sheet page is a link for "suggestions" for successfully implementing these activities as well as cautions for changing math gender bias in society and the classroom.

tag(s): critical thinking (64), equations (124), pi (16)

In the Classroom

Use these as a springboard for problem solving group work in class. These activities can also be used to jumpstart your own ideas for tying pop culture and other media into your classroom. The articles on gender bias and promoting math and science for girls can help promote math and science education for all students.

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Pi Day Activities - Mathematics Educators of Greater St. Louis

Grades
8 to 12
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Don't let Pi Day slip by without a proper celebration. Search through this site for some ideas on how to make March 14 memorable for your math students. ...more
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Don't let Pi Day slip by without a proper celebration. Search through this site for some ideas on how to make March 14 memorable for your math students.

tag(s): pi (16)

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Graphics for the Calculus Classroom

Grades
10 to 12
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This site provides first year calculus students and teachers with a collection of helpful graphics illustrating a variety of important concepts including differentials and differences,...more
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This site provides first year calculus students and teachers with a collection of helpful graphics illustrating a variety of important concepts including differentials and differences, Archimedes calculation of pi, the number e, secants and tangents, and much more. Each graphic is accompanied by an overview and description.

tag(s): pi (16)

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Infinite Secrets - WGBH

Grades
9 to 12
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What can you do with infinity, or pi? While most secondary math curricula are content to merely define them, there's more to the story. Here's a site that explains the ...more
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What can you do with infinity, or pi? While most secondary math curricula are content to merely define them, there's more to the story. Here's a site that explains the efforts of Archimedes to identify and explain both terms. Math teachers with an eye toward history will no doubt find a way to integrate some of this material into an interesting class.

tag(s): pi (16)

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Pi Land - Eve Andersson

Grades
7 to 12
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Have fun exploring Pi with this math site! Play Pi Trivia to test your knowledge of Pi, use the Pi Trainer to test your memory, or discover poems, photos and ...more
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Have fun exploring Pi with this math site! Play Pi Trivia to test your knowledge of Pi, use the Pi Trainer to test your memory, or discover poems, photos and more all representing Pi. The site is divided into three sections - fun activities, aesthetics, and nerd stuff- making it easy to explore.

tag(s): pi (16)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector, then allow students to explore on their own. Use the poems, photos, and other aesthetics as examples, then have students create their own Pi aesthetics to share on your classroom website or blog. Have a class competition to see who can memorize the most digits in Pi after training with the Pi memory trainer.

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