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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Fractions, Decimals, Percents, and...BASKETBALL

Happy March Madness!

Each year my school hosts a 5th graders vs parents/teachers basketball game.  The game was yesterday, and even with the highest number of teacher volunteers EVER.  I am really sore today!  I am not much of an athlete, but I always give 110% anyway.  It was a GREAT night and a serious workout.  Glad that my blogging buddy Kelly joined us this year, her aggressive nature made me look gentle as I picked up, scooped, and carried kids during the game. 

Leading up to the game I thought it would be great to monopolize on the excitement in the air and incorporate some basketball into our Math unit on fractions, decimals, and percents.

First, we headed to the APR (or gym) and I paired each of my students.  One member of the pair served as the shooter and the other the recorder.  They were given two minutes to shoot, and hopefully make as many baskets as possible while the recorder collected the data.

As the gang shoots, our recorders use the Data Collection Sheet
to record the numbers of shots taken, and the number of shots made. 

After two minutes, my duos switched roles until everyone was complete. Once we headed back to the classroom they worked with the data.  We expressed the shots made and missed as fractions, then used calculators to convert them into decimals.  After our decimals were rounded to the nearest hundredth, we used so mental math to convert the decimal to a percent in order to have calculate our shooting accuracy.  I am happy to say that (as not much of an athlete) my shooting accuracy was 59%! 
Woo Hoo!

We surveyed our peers to find out the fraction of their shots made.  My guys then graphed their data along with the data they collected from their peers.  As with all my Math activities, their was a written reflection at the end that asked my kids to reflect upon how these skills may be applied to real life and what they thought of the activity.  

Collecting Data by surveying their classmates.
Converting their fractional representations of shots made/missed
into decimals and percents. 
This really was a fun activity for all of us, it got us out of the classroom, running around a bit, and all int he name of math.  One of my favorite reflections was written by a real cute, he wrote "I don't mind when we do boring stuff in math because I know Mr. F always has something fun on the way".  I TRY!

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  1. What a great idea for a way to get families to school!

    Christi ツ
    Ms. Fultz’s Corner

  2. Anyone who connects math and sports is an A+ blogger in my book. I teach math to remedial college students, and I supervised student teachers for years. I always harped on the fact that math must be applied and used in the real world. I am your newest follower, and because I am so impressed, I am giving your blog an award called the Calculating Heart Award. Go to my blog at:

    and read the March 10th posting to get the details. Then grab your award which is under Blog Accolades on the right hand side.

  3. Love it!! I am your newest follower and would like to give you the Lovely Blog Award!! Hop on over to mine to pick it up!!

  4. Thank you so much for your awards. It really brightens our day to know that others appreciate what we are doing and share our vision of what teaching can, and SHOULD, be.

    Thanks Again,
    Damien and Kelly