Fantasy Football Scores a Touchdown with Adolescents in Math

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A California teacher designed a dynamic game for adolescents and adults that combines math and Fantasy Football. His new book, Â?Fantasy Football and Mathematics,Â? serves as an instruction guide for teachers and parents on how to play the game. The purpose of the book is to make math fun and increase academic achievement for adolescents.

A teacher in Northern California has created what he claims is a perfect math curriculum for motivating adolescents: “Fantasy Football and Mathematics,” a comprehensive resource guide he used in grades 5-8 to increase student motivation and academic achievement.

Developed as a thesis project for a Masters degree at Humboldt State University, Dan Flockhart spent a decade testing and refining the thesis project that is intended for teachers and parents of adolescents in grades 5-12. The book lists for $19.95 and can be purchased at http://www.fantasyfootballmath.com

“Fantasy Football and Mathematics” was the most successful curriculum I used in the classroom,” according to Flockhart. “Everyday, boys and girls ran into my room wanting to play the game. I believe this resource can help to alter the negative perception of mathematics held by many adolescents in the U.S.,” the author stated. “Eighty-three percent of students in eighth grade in large urban areas are not proficient in mathematics (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2003), in large part because the content found in traditional textbooks does not have any relevance to their lives. Fantasy Football is a game based on statistics from professional football games, and students can relate to the real world data.”

Flockhart also contends the game can be an activity the whole family can enjoy. “According to a 1999 Harris Poll, thirty million people participate in Fantasy Football. Families are already playing on the Internet; why not bring math into the equation so adolescents can learn important math concepts while they play?”

The benefits of “Fantasy Football and Mathematics” are numerous:

  • Adolescents are given the power and autonomy of managing their own team.
  • Interest is maximized because of the hands-on features (technology, graphing activities, and the use of newspapers).
  • Participants receive multiple (weekly) exposures to concepts in order to facilitate mastery learning.
  • The game emphasizes the use of fractions, decimals, percentages, graphing, and algebraic equations - core concepts for middle school and high school adolescents.
  • The game emphasizes the use of visual aids, which facilitates learning for learning-disabled participants.

According to Flockhart, “Millions of adolescents perceive math as boring. We need to make math fun for them. “Fantasy Football and Mathematics” aims to do just that.”

Fantasy Sports and Mathematics develops and publishes math curriculum for teachers and parents. Dan Flockhart launched the company in 2004 and is currently teaching at College of the Redwoods, in Eureka, California. Fantasy Sports and Mathematics can be located online at: http://www.fantasyfootballmath.com

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