Looking for a fun and festive way to celebrate Pi Day virtually with your students? Try this Digital Pi Day Activity to practice operations with decimals & build problem solving skills.
Pi Day is just around the corner and here at Math Geek Mama we are so excited! An entire day dedicated to math (and tasty treats)? What more could you ask for!? This is an especially great opportunity to help your students get excited about math. This digital pi day resource is a great way to get students in the spirit of Pi Day with a fun and tasty theme they’ll love and the deeper mathematical thinking you expect.
Digital Pi Day Activity: Adding, Subtracting, Multiplying, and Dividing Decimals
Decimals and Why They Matter
We believe that math should always be in context and have real world aspects. The purpose of teaching math to our students is to prepare them for the math they will encounter in their everyday lives. What better way to teach math than in contexts that students can relate to and will encounter?
Decimals are an essential math element we deal with on a day to day basis. So it is essential that our students are confident in their ability to manipulate decimals in all forms of real world context.
Using the Digital Pi Day Activity
Provide Some Context
In this task there are six different Pi day contestants who will be competing with their different pies. Each person has a math problem that they need solved involving money, weight, and measurements with decimals.
These are included as digital slides for Google Slides, which students can then read, solve and type their solutions onto.
If you are meeting in person, printable pages are also included, which students can write their final solutions on. You might set these up as stations and have students rotate through the problems to solve. Then you can discuss them together to determine the winner of the Pi Day Pie Contest. 🙂
Students will first solve each decimal problem using addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. Then at the end they will determine who the winner of the contest is.
The winner just happens to be the person whose answer was 3.14, or the decimal approximation of pi.
The Math: Operations with Decimals
Each of the six math problems require students to either add, subtract, multiply, or divide using decimals. Each problem requires students’ knowledge of lining up place value and moving decimals according to standard algorithms.
There is one addition and one subtraction problem as students generally are more familiar with these and two multiplication and two division problems. Students are less familiar with multiplication and division, so more of these problems were included to help students practice more.
The Added Challenge
Often students are told exactly what type of problem they are solving, but in real life rarely is this the case. We need to offer our students more opportunities to determine from context what math is required.
In this task, students are asked to solve the decimal problems but not told how to solve them.
Students will determine whether they need to add, subtract, multiply, or divide using only the context. This will give your students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of decimals and practice solving math in a real world way.
Providing Additional Support
Although students are familiar with multiplying and dividing decimals with whole numbers by fifth grade, one problem does include division of decimals by decimals, which is a sixth grade standard.
To use this activity with younger grades, you can simply work through the problems they are unfamiliar with together.
In general, I put the problem up on the board and then ask students how to solve it and work through it together as a class with some guidance. You might be surprised with how much your students are able to discover about unfamiliar content!
Also, the last question does require students to be familiar with the rounded version of pi (3.14). If students do not know that Pi is approximated by 3.14, you can guide them to this by sharing the holiday date with them and helping them make the connection. You may also simply want to explain Pi and its notation.
More Pi Day Fun!
March 14th is a fun opportunity to expand your students’ love and excitement for math! You and your students will love this fun and free digital Pi day activity that will have your students thinking deeply and leave you all craving some delicious pie! Happy Pi Day and math geek on!
Looking for more ways to celebrate? Try one of these FREE ideas:
- Pi-lentines: Cards to Pass Out for Pi Day
- Race to Pi: Simple Card Game
- Pi Day Sing-a-Long Songs
- Pass the Pi Investigation Lesson
- Pi Day Logic Puzzles
- HUGE List of Pi Day Ideas for All Ages
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