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Pentominoes Pi Symbol Puzzle

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.

pentominoes pi symbol puzzle

Puzzle Instructions

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.

pi day pentominoes puzzle

Puzzle Source

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!)

pentominoes pi symbol puzzle screenshot.

 

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…

plastic one inch pentominoes in bucket

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.

penotminoes pi symbol puzzle on letter sized paper

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.

pentominoes pi symbol puzzle with blue hint cards

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.

pentominoes puzzle hint cards

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.

pentominoes pi symbol puzzle for pi day activity

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.

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