Happy Pi Day 2016 with some Play like a Pirate

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So you’re ghost looking for inspiration?

This past weekend, after waiting what seemed like forever, my copy of Quinn Rollins, Play like a Pirate arrived. I filled a glass of lemond with the Care Bear, Funshine on it. Sat down on my new couch by the window and started reading. Like all the other Teach Like a Pirate books, it was filled with amazing ideas, lessons and a few things I never thought of, well one I had thought of. As we know, its Pi Day once again and I was planning on some fun ideas around Pi or pie, depending on what type of educator you are and after I turned to the Trading Cards chapter in PlayLap. I was taken a step back and a light bulb went off above my head. 

Rollins talked about using Trading Cards in the classroom from students creating their own characters with stats, abilities and more. I have used this idea before when I first stepped into education back in 2011. I used the Trading Card app and had students create their own review trading cards for authors of poetry and literature. Well, dicing things up a bit and taking both a cue from Rollins and eXPlore like a Pirate’s Michael Matera I decided add some gamification and my 3D printing of Peler Beads to create some awesome Pi Day learning.

  1. FullSizeRenderUsing Perler Beads, Quixels or if you have a 3D printer, create  set of trading card tokens. I say tokens because if you know RPG or card games like Magic the Gathering, Yugioh or Pokemon. Tokens can be used as combinations with cards to power them up or create new character substitutes from them. Each student creates their own Trading Card Token with one player who had the Pi logo power up card. Once students have completed their tokens. They have a match up to combine the tokens and create a power-up or new character using the tokens.
  2. IMG_7342Students then present their new token to the classroom and the Pi wild token holder adds to one of the pieces of the token to power it up using Pi. In the example is with the raspberry token, using Pi, the student group must now use the a Raspberry Pi in their classroom to create a project or lesson with their said tokens. If it was the Fire Mushroom token with the raspberry, students could create a raspberry pie collection game similar to Dokey Kong or by pass the Raspberry Pi all together and make a game using Super Mario Maker focusing around mushroom power ups to create a GameJam for the classroom.
  3. IMG_7349Students who don’t get the Pi trading card token have to create a lesson using the trading card combos they have created, but it must have a mathematics theme to it. In this case with Lugi and Andy the Android, students can create a numbers game similar to Hundreds on Google Play. Where the student group must make a game where players have to use based numbers to reach 100 and then break it back down to get back to 100 again.
  4. IMG_7275Another idea is for ST Math achievement GameJam, where students try to achieve higher levels on ST Math and have their tokens became achievement badges for students to trade and use for future trading card games. After all, the reason why the name: “trading card” came about was that collectors traded cards they already had or did not want for cards they did want or could use for future games.
  5. FullSizeRender 3A final way to create some Pi Day fun is to create geometric puzzles by creating Tetris magnets for students. In this case, Napstablook is trapped on one side of the room and has to reach, Flowy the Flower on the other side to exchange MP3 music. Students are given only a certain number of Tetris pieces that they have to use to have Nap reach Flowy. If you know the game, Undertale. You know that Nap has low self-esteem and looks for inspiration from others. Students could take the Tetris shapes and make the symbol for Pi and have Napstablook answer what it is. In doing so, raising his self-esteem and floating over to Flowy to exchange the music. Or simply create a path for Nap to take to Flowy. Students could also get creative by creating a ladder and slide out of the Tetris pieces or having Napstablook solve math problems using Apps like Explain Everything or Geoboard. There is no wrong way to do it, its about tapping into creativity and spreading the love of Pi to the classroom.


These are a few ways you can have some fun in the classroom for Pi Day this year, give it a try and have fun.


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