Friday Two Cents: Teaching Math While The Students Play Baseball


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Well this week we had our semi finals for our softball and t-ball leagues I run at the school. The only game I have left is the final two Championship games for the two leagues.   But I still have to finish up the MVP (Most Valuable Player of the week) awards and the final statistics for the older students in the Softball league.

Yes I even keep statistics on the students. They are not that detailed, just on-base percentage (OBP), numbers and types of hits and runs batted in (RBI). The beauty of it all is that the children keep the score and I enter the numbers into the computer to get the stats. At the beginning of training camp I would teach every child how to keep score on the score sheet and the teams would do so. They are very enthusiastic and do a great job. Many would think that keeping stats would be detrimental to the children; on the contrary, it encourages them and helps them with their self-esteem. On more than one occasion I would see children looking at the weekly stats and telling others what their numbers are. I even would quote the stats when presenting the weekly MVP awards. The children all look forward to them and it is also a great teaching tool.

You might not think it but it truly is. Many children would ask me how I come up with the stats and then I would explain that it is all simple math.   They all look at me in astonishment and then I would show them on the board how simple and useful math can be. One example is how to get their OBP. I would take the number of times they would get on base (OB) and divide by the number of at bats (AB). Then this would give me the percentage of how many times they get on base.

 OB / AB = OBP –> (10) / (12) = .917 –> .917 * 100 = 91.7%   OBP is .917 or 91.7%

 Simply speaking, I just taught them that math is a part of a game that they enjoy. Crazy is it not?

After I present the weekly MVPs, I post the stats for the season before the Championship game. With the final posting of the stats, I include the top ranked players and teams who achieve the most singles, doubles, triples, home runs, OBP and runs batted in (RBI). Everyone was looking it over for several minutes and it spurs conversations and more questions. Questions from how I calculated the stats to why does one team have more of one type of hit and not another.

That’s what I love about baseball. You can learn to play the game and yet once you do you can learn something new about it. For the children, without even knowing about it, they learned that math has practical applications beyond the classroom.   Granted they know that they can use math in everyday life but it can also be part of a game you enjoy.

Oh one other question the children kept asking me. ‘Who is going to win the Championship Game?’ I answer with ‘Who do you think will win?’ Many looked at the stats and gave me their predictions.

I’m curious who you think will win based on the stats. The two teams playing the championship game are the Lions vs. Eagles with the Lions having home field advantage. Below are the stats and a poll. Let me know and I will let you know after the game Monday who the winner is and if your predictions were in line with the children’s.

Enjoy!

Stats2015wk07web_Page_3a

Statistics For 2015

Stats2015wk07web_Page_2a

Statistics for 2015

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