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Looking for a fun pi day activity? Check out this pentominoes puzzles which uses a full set of twelve pentominoes to form the shape of a pi symbol.
The goal of this pentominoes heart puzzle is to construct the shape of a pi symbol using a standard set of twelve pentominoes. The pentominoes may be flipped or rotated, but they are not allowed to overlap one another.
I discovered this pi-shaped pentominoes puzzle on the Dutch classy.be website. I decided I had to turn it into a printable pentominoes puzzle for my classroom. If you are looking for more pi-themed pentomino patterns, there are several different pi symbol designs featured on the website linked above as well.
Printing and Prepping the Pentominoes Puzzles
11 x 17 Version
This pi symbol pentominoes puzzle is designed to print on 11 x 17 inch paper. I print all of my pentominoes puzzles on 11 x 17 cardstock for extra durability, but regular 11 x 17 copy paper will work just fine as well. (If you don’t have the ability to print on 11 x 17 paper, keep reading for an alternative printing option!)
All of my pentominoes puzzles are sized for plastic pentominoes made up of 1-inch squares.
If you don’t have a class set of plastic pentominoes, I do have a printable version of 1-inch pentominoes available to download and print. Please be aware that you MUST allow students to turn over the printed pentominoes pieces in order to solve the puzzle! This is less obvious than with the plastic pentominoes pieces.
MATH = LOVE RECOMMENDS…
Amazon offers several brands of plastic pentominoes which I recommend. Each brand is sold in a tub containing six sets of twelve pentominoes each for a total of 72 pentomino pieces.
- Learning Resources Rainbow Pentominoes
- Learning Advantage Pentominoes
- Didax Colorful Pentominoes – CURRENTLY THE CHEAPEST!
Want each student to have their own set of pentominoes? I also offer a set of free printable one-inch pentominoes pieces which can be laminated or printed on cardstock for durability.
Letter Sized Version
Since many teachers have told me that they do not have access to a copy machine or printer which prints on 11 x 17 paper, I have also uploaded a letter-sized version below which prints on 8.5 x 11 inch paper. You will have to trim and tape or glue the two letter-sized pages together to form the pentominoes puzzle board.
Hints for Solving the Pentominoes Pi Symbol Puzzle
Pentominoes puzzles which use an entire set of twelve standard pentominoes can be quite tricky to solve. When I shared the Pentominoes Heart Puzzle for Valentine’s Day, I heard back from numerous teachers that they had students work on the puzzle for over 45 minutes without finding a solution.
While some students can handle this level of perseverance, other students might benefit from a few hints in solving the puzzle. I have created a set of 4 printable hint cards that can be used with students to give them (or yourself!) a small piece of the solution.
These hint cards can be downloaded at the end of this blog post.
There are several ways you can use these printable hint cards in your classroom.
If you are having students work on the puzzle as a full-class activity, you can make the pentomino puzzle hint cards available after students have worked for a certain amount of time.
If you are using the pentominoes puzzles as an early finisher activity or as a puzzle of the week for students to work on in their spare time, you could post the puzzle without any hints on day 1. On each subsequent day, you could add a different hint card.
I look forward to seeing what other ways that teachers come up with to make these hint cards work for their students.
Ideas for Using in Class
We are sadly on Spring Break for Pi Day, so I decided to put this up earlier in the month of May so we can still celebrate a bit of pi day fun.
I posted the pi symbol pentominoes puzzle as my puzzle of the week.
I hung two copies of the puzzle printed on 11 x 17 cardstock on my dry erase board with two sets of plastic pentominoes for students to grab in a magnetic pocket.
I love these magnetic pockets from Charles Leonard (available from Amazon) because students can easily grab the entire pocket of pentominoes and the puzzle and take it back to their desk to solve the puzzle.
This keeps me from having to pass out pentominoes or from students dropping pieces on their way to their desks.
Free Download of Pentominoes Pi Symbol Puzzle
This file is specifically designed to be used with plastic pentominoes composed of one-inch squares. For the pentominoes to fit perfectly on the grid, this file must be printed at 100% Scale or “Actual Size.” If your printer defaults to “Fit” or “Shrink oversized pages,” the pentominoes will not fit properly on the grid which can cause great frustration when trying to solve the puzzle.
If you do not have access to a set of plastic pentominoes, you can also print a set of one inch pentominoes on cardstock.
11 x 17 Inch Paper (I recommend printing on 11 x 17 cardstock!)
Pi Symbol Pentominoes Puzzle 11 x 17 (PDF) (465 downloads)
8.5 x 11 Inch Paper (Letter Sized Paper)
Pi Symbol Pentominoes Puzzle 8.5 x 11 (PDF) (384 downloads)
Pi Symbol Pentominoes Hint Cards (PDF) (404 downloads)
Editable Publisher Files
Pi Symbol Pentominoes Puzzle (Editable Publisher Files ZIP) (121 downloads)
I intentionally do not make answers to the printable math puzzles I share on my blog available online because I strive to provide learning experiences for my students that are non-google-able. I would like other teachers to be able to use these puzzles in their classrooms as well without the solutions being easily found on the Internet.
However, I do recognize that us teachers are busy people and sometimes need to quickly reference an answer key to see if a student has solved a puzzle correctly or to see if they have interpreted the instructions properly.
If you are a teacher who is using these puzzles in your classroom, please send me an email at email@example.com with information about what you teach and where you teach. I will be happy to forward an answer key to you.
More Pi Day Activities
- 3-1-4 Pi Day Number Challenge
- Pi Puzzle for Pi Day
- Pentominoes Pi Symbol Puzzle
- Pi ku Poetry: Writing Pi Day Poems
- Pi Day Dice Challenge
- Ultimate Guide to Celebrating Pi Day
- Square Pi Puzzle
- Square Pi Day Puzzle
- Pi Clock Poster
- Pi Day Videos
- Seeing Pi Activity
- Pi Birthday Search Activity
- Pi Day Songs
- Tossing Pi Activity
- Cutting Pi Discovery Activity
- Pi Memorization Contest
More Pentominoes Puzzles
- Pentominoes Pi Symbol Puzzle
- Pentominoes Heart Puzzle
- Printable One Inch Pentominoes
- Reindeer Pentominoes Puzzle
- Pentominoes Christmas Tree Puzzle
- Pentominoes Pig Puzzle
- Pentominoes Jack-o’-lantern Halloween Puzzle
- Elephant Pentominoes Puzzle
- Terrier Pentominoes Puzzle
- Penguin Pentominoes Puzzle
- 13 Free Printable Pentominoes Puzzle Challenges
- Star Pentominoes Puzzle
- Color Rectangle Puzzle
- Pentasquares Puzzle
- Three Immovable Pentablocks