## Fantasy Math Class

02 Sep

On the radio this morning, an announcer talked about bringing Fantasy Football into math class. The idea is that kids care about sports, so they would actually care about their math problems. Also, Fantasy Football is filled with numbers. Kids would get to draft a team of professional players and then get to earn points based on how well their players did.

Consider this:

• Quarterbacks earn 3 points for every yard passed.
• Receivers earn 5 points for every yard ran.
• A touchdown earns players 6 points.
• Kickers earn 2 points for every field goal.

My Quarterback threw a 30 yard pass to your Receiver. Your Receiver ran it from the 20 yard line to the one yard line. On the next play, my quarterback dives over the line for a touch down. Your Kicker follows with a fabulous, between-the-posts field goal. Who has more points?

Go ahead, figure it out before you peak at my answer.

• Let’s see, my QB got me 3 points for each of his 30 yards, so I’ve got 90 points so far.
• Your Receiver caught 95 points for your team at 5 points times 19 yards.
• Luckily, my QB earns me 6 more points for his touchdown, and I end up with 96 points.
• By adding your Kicker’s field goal, you have now earned 97 points.

In regular class, this same problem would look something like this:

Which is bigger, 3 x 30 + 6 or 5 x 19 + 2?

In other words, some educators believe that bringing the field into the classroom will make those boring math problems easier–or at least, more fun–to do. I tend to agree. I tutor math to 3rd graders and we spend most of our time playing games like this. We roll dice, shuffle cards and do everything they never teach you to do in math class. And even though we are having fun, we are practicing math skills by the gobs. By the end of the year, my students are way quicker at math facts than when they started.

I can only imagine how much better they would be if we had a Fantasy Football team to cheer on.

What games do you play that use math? Would you like to add Fantasy Football to your classroom? Why or why not?

Curious minds want to know.