Math teachers are finding that using sport to teach math can wake up an otherwise sluggish classroom. When kids are young, teachers, parents and caretakers make the effort to keep the math interesting and fun. But then in middle school, the level of math is upped and the effort to make it interesting is not. This results in bored students and a dip in the interest in mathematics, which in turn results in disrupted classrooms.
Understanding that a pizza has four quarters is a real way to comprehend fractions. Kids sometimes don’t realize that a quarter is actually a ‘1/4’ in mathematics. Teachers now have also found that kids are better at understanding math, when taught via Fantasy Football.
Why Fantasy Football
The sheer numerical data that is generated from football games is mountain high. This data is ploughed through by experts, who make predictions about players, games and the game itself. At the end of the day this is a tornado of mathematics – statistics, percentages, predictions etc. With kids creating their own teams there is an excitement of building and owning teams, based on real live player statistics. How well these teams perform is also based on real life statistics. To play this, and to play it well, kids have to understand the mathematical information that is churned out.
Understanding the Game
When a teacher introduces Fantasy Football in a class, she has to ensure that every kid involved understands the game. Not everyone enjoys football, but there is more to the game than what meets the eye, and this the teachers hope will get the kids interested. With every team training almost a hundred players in real life, it is sometimes confusing to see all the players on a field.
The man who popularized Fantasy Football in the classroom is Dan Flockhart. The benefits are listed and it is a long list. Along with using online games and mathematical games to support curriculum, Fantasy Football is the new popular way to teach math. In his own words,
Students can make trades, draft any players they wish, and decide on their starting lineups each week…. They control their teams, and they enjoy the feeling of power that comes with managing a franchise. This independence helps them to build their decision-making skills, thus contributing to their social and cognitive development.
The trick to keeping kids interested, is getting them to see beyond football – the math, decision making, injuries, how players and others involved are compensated. Kids then understand the many facets of the game. They may start by playing Fantasy Football, but might go on to use the learning in very innovative ways.