The digits of Pi, and Pi Explained

The digits of Pi have not yet been calculated. Pi is one of the unsolved wonders of the math world. The first of many geometry terms your child will learn that has a symbol attached to it. As of yet, even though pi is unsolved, it has been calculated to billions of decimal places. It just never seems to come to an end. This of course seems appropriate, as pi is used in circle calculations. And circles, as we know, have no beginning or end!

 you can (just for fun) check out the first 100,000 digits of Pi here.

This section is STEP 2: of our circle geometry section.  

You can visit Step 1: Know the circles construction.

STEP 2: Understand Pi

The first thing to understand about Pi is that it has NO SPECIFIED VALUE.  As stated above, it's value has yet to be determined.  Pi is a ratio.  It is a ratio between the circles diameter and its circumference.  So how do you explain a concept like this to a child, whose brain, developmentally, is not ready for very abstract thinking?  In my opinion, it is best to allow them to figure this out, using a hands on method for themselves! Use this little project to help them make the discovery!

So now, you child understands that Pi is indeed a ratio, and not an exact number, we offer them a way to remember the first 10 digits of Pi! Why?

Well at the elementary math level, more emphasis is on numerical calculation than on exact answers.  This is why, on most occasions, your child will indeed be asked to use the value of 3.14 when making circle calculations.  To be mathematically correct, Pi should be left in symbol form, however, if your sixth grader wants to get their math homework correct - they need to use 3.14 for Pi (or any other number given in the question).

They are proving their ability to deal with decimals and to substitute numerical values for symbols!

Mnemonic to remember the Digits of Pi


Count the number of letters in each word.

3 1 4 1 5 9 2 6 5 3

Don't forget to put the decimal point in after the 3 to get 3.141592653; the value of Pi to 10 significant figures.

I wish I could lay claim to this great method of remembering the first ten digits of pi, however I can not. I found this mnemonic in a great book:

Math Wizardry for Kids - (Kenda, Williams - New York, Baron?s; 1995).

This book is not only a great way to introduce your child to geometry terms, but has many great fun mathematic activities 

for all areas of kids elementary math! 

I am sure it is available at your local library, and is well worth checking out!

It's now time to move on to STEP 3:

Calculating the Area & Perimeter of a Circle.

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I am sure you will find all the information and worksheets you need here, however if there is anything you cannot find please don't hesitate to contact me or simply visit the MathMomentumCommunity and join the conversation!

I love to hear from my readers, and with a little feedback and a few suggestions I can make this a great resource for parents, teachers and tutors alike.

Be sure to explore everything on this site starting at the home page.

Move from understanding the Digits of Pi to our Circle Geometry Section.


Explore all the other Geometric shapes areas of this site.