Friday, May 6, 2016

Math Baseball

Baseball Field, Game, Baseball, Field My neighbor, who teaches science, introduced me to the idea of playing a version of baseball to review material for a test.  One day when she ran one of these games, I heard them through the walls having fun. 

I found lots of computer based versions of math baseball but it took longer to find the rules for the same so I could organize physical movement in the classroom.

The great thing about starting with the rules is you make the questions so you are not restricted by someone elses games.  This is important because many times the available questions are not exactly what you want to test or do not meet the needs of your students.

I found this set of rules for math baseball that has you drawing a diamond on the board. I would rather set up the diamond in the room itself.  As far as the time limit, I might add a minute to the 2 minute limit for more complex problems. Its rather simplified and does not cover a few situations.

This set of rules covers penalties, the number of bases the hit made, or how many outs.  The number of runs and outs are based on a roll of the dice.  These rules add a complexity to the game that the other set of rules do not have.

Imagine being able to use this game for any mathematical topic.  Most of the ready made questions I found covered multiplication, division, addition, subtraction, fractions, decimals, and percentages.  That does not mean you can't make your own to cover:
2 Dimensional shapes, area, and perimeter or circumference.
3 Dimensional shapes, volume, surface area, edges, faces, vertices.
4. Solving one, two, or multistep equations.
5. Multiplying binomials.
6. Factoring polynomials
7. Unit circles
8. Logs and ln.
 9.  And lots more.

All you have to do is make sure you have at least 20 questions available for the game and have a tie breaker or two should it become necessary.  To make this more fun, I found a couple places that have a free online baseball scoreboard you can flash up on the Smart board. 
1. This is only a beta version but its worth a check.
 Otherwise, check for scoreboard apps for apple or android and have someone keep track of it on their mobile device.  If none of the above work, try setting up something basic using Numbers or Excel.  Here is a tutorial for creating a baseball scorecard using Excel with step by step directions.

Now you and I are set up to play math baseball in our classrooms.  Have fun and enjoy.