Fantasy Baseball Hits a Home Run with Students in Math Class

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A California educator announces the launch of “Fantasy Baseball and Mathematics,” a dynamic program designed to motivate students in math. The curriculum consists of teacher guides and student workbooks for grades 5-12 and basic college mathematics. The program aims to help alter the negative perception of mathematics held by many students in the U.S.

A college professor in California has taken advantage of the Fantasy Sports phenomenon by developing “Fantasy Baseball and Mathematics,” a program that consists of teacher guides and student workbooks for grades 5-12 and basic college mathematics. The teacher guides list for $24.95 and the student workbooks list for $8.95. They can be purchased at http://www.fantasysportsmath.com

“Fantasy Baseball and Mathematics” is a hands-on game in which students draft and manage teams of professional athletes. Each week, students gather data from newspapers or online resources to compute points earned by their players using either non-algebraic or algebraic methods.

“Fantasy Sports was the most successful curricula I used in the classroom,” author Dan Flockhart stated. “Every day boys and girls would run into my classroom excited to play the games. Girls had as much fun as boys and they enjoyed being successful in a paradigm traditionally dominated by males. Unlike much of the math curriculum being taught in schools, Fantasy Sports are fun. The result is a high level of student interest, which facilitates learning. In addition, “Fantasy Baseball and Mathematics” is perfect for summer school programs.”

“Fantasy Baseball and Mathematics” contains 165 scoring systems to choose from, which gives teachers and parents the flexibility to customize content to best meet the needs of their students. The program includes lesson plans, 46 worksheets, 46 quizzes, graphs, box scores, player values for 295 players, a comprehensive pre- and posttest, student handouts, and step-by-step instructions on how to play the game. Math concepts that are emphasized include percentages, factorials, summations, exponents, roots, linear equations, data depiction, and absolute value, as well as operations with fractions, decimals, and integers.

The author believes Fantasy Sports are games the whole family can enjoy, confirmed by the following testimonial:

“I bought your Fantasy Football last fall and tried it with my 6th graders. I’m not sure who loved it more – the students or their parents! At my fall parents’ night I explained what we were doing (although the parents had certainly heard about it already!) and many of the dads wanted to form their own teams and compete. Students couldn’t wait to help their dads compute their scores each week.” Jennifer R. Tuxedo Park, New York

Research indicates that many students in urban districts are not making connections between math at home and math at school, in large part because the content found in textbooks does not have any relevance to their lives. Consequently, many adolescents perceive math as boring. A recent survey discovered that approximately 90% of students in eighth grade in many large urban areas are not proficient in mathematics. “Fantasy Baseball and Mathematics” aims to reverse the trend of poor test scores and facilitate learning by engaging students with math curriculum that is relevant, interesting, and fun.

A 1999 Harris Poll found that 30 million people participate in Fantasy Sports. According to Flockhart, “families are already playing on the Internet; why not bring math into the equation so math concepts can be reinforced while they play? In addition, Fantasy Baseball and Mathematics is a perfect fit for summer school programs.”

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 offers teacher resource guides for football, basketball, and baseball, as well as student workbooks for football and baseball. The company can be located online at http://www.fantasysportsmath.com

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